Today is my daughter’s last day of homeschool. It’s also just a couple weeks before she’s officially a teenager. I wonder if I could have made more of this time… all of it, but especially the last year with her home. We haven’t spent this much time together in a long time. While the pandemic which spurred this stint was not by any means on our terms, it’s still been a blessing to have had it.
It feels like the bustle of the hustle blinded me. I take things slower now. I don’t want things to go back to the way they were before. I don’t she does either, honestly. Now we must strike a balance. I hope she is treated well in her new school. I hope that sending her back will be a decision we are happy about. I hope that college doesn’t take me away from her too much as it did the first time around.
I can’t say that I’ve embodied the paradigm of enlightenment. My emotional intelligence and compassion has a long way to go before I can even truly embrace that kind of love of myself. However, looking back at old journals, talking others in text, vox, video, or in person, and especially my recent time on reddit has given me some clarity to reflect upon how far I’ve come and what I had to do to get here.
Let me catch you up briefly on my life as it stands. I’m enrolled in college, growing some beautiful marijuana plants, and starting an Etsy. My husband and I have a 3 year and a 5 year plan and home ownership is on the not-so-distant horizon. I’ve lost about 8 pounds, and am going to approach a healthy life along with a healthier lifestyle. I’ve learned not only how to tidy and clean but how to declutter which has transformed my life in many ways beyond the satisfaction I feel about my home. I’ve spent over a year with my daughter all day every day and I am grateful for this rare opportunity that I had with her as a mother.
So when someone asks me for help; people (friends and strangers alike) calling out to others for hope while they’re struggling with weight, finances, or even just depression I want to tell them what I’ve done, but what I’ve done is so internal and personal that to give a step-by-step process would seem vapid—it always does! But if I could put it into some sort of poetic expression it would be this:
Everything you need is already inside of you. You are the world. You are the universe. And you’re not unhappy because of the lack of love which you do not receive but because there is a lack of love you are not yet understanding how to, or are not able to, embody. The passions and the care that lacks, that creates a void within, you have to find a way to fill that yourself. You must care and have compassion for yourself and those who treat you well. You must cut those who do you harm, and leave spaces that don’t serve you.
I don’t know if it will help you today. But through my journey this is what I’ve learned, and I hope if nothing else that it helps give you hope, today.
Last night I had a dream about maple seeds twirling around me that felt so grounded in reality I didn’t realize I was dreaming until my dog woke me up to be let outside. I thought, “that first chapter of Braiding Sweetgrass must’ve really spoken loudly to me”. I’d read it weeks ago so truly this I believe. I dreamt of Skywoman and I dreamt that I’d found forgiveness for Eve. I woke with zest, ready for a day of hard work in the garden and a morning full of poetry and creamed coffee.
It was to my pleasant surprise that I walked out onto my garden deck, carrying that coffee in my grandmother’s fox mug, to find the glass table, my potted plants, my citronella candles, my beautiful little marijuana seedlings, all decorated with maple seeds—plucked dragonfly wings—and more still cascading down from what looked like Heaven. That was 8 AM, and in the Spring/Summer months 8 AM is yellow, the blue of the Winter mornings that I love dearly is shed in the earliest hours of 4 and 5, and I’ve not been waking up that early for a long time now.
I don’t try to believe in mystical coincidences, giving credence to these happenings to a higher power when the magic of simple healthy life is a miracle to be gracious for alone, but sometimes life has a way of making them hard to ignore. An italicized idea snug in the middle of a mundane sentence called “The Morning Routine”. And isn’t that really the moral of the Skywoman mythology/belief? Either way, I returned some of my coffee to the Earth, and I hope it was enough to say thank you for such blessed sights.
I’ve seen a lot of ugly sights in my life, and so I’m trying hard to remain grateful for every beautiful ones. Especially since that afternoon in November where I closed my mother’s dead eyes. I’m haunted quite literally by my mother’s ghost and not in the sense that we’d have hoped for jokingly when she was alive. I like to imagine, even just for my own sanity that she is in these maple seeds, in my seedlings, in the grasses, the clovers, the coffee…
Some days I don’t know what to write in the mornings, so I don’t. I study, or garden, or clean… But days like today—when the laundry has piled and the floors beg me for a mop—it all boils over into my dreams. I know I’m on fire or steaming; I’m pouring over the edge with some experience, well of thoughts, emotionally ripe and it all must flow out of me somewhere. So I find a page and I let it bleed red.
Perhaps one day these seeds of thoughts will be a great maple. Those who plant the seeds of maple trees never live to see how tall the trees grow, or live drink of their sugar even one time, do they? And it’s okay that this is the way. I believe it is so, anyway. –Paige
I’ve been enjoying watching my little ladies grow over the past month or so. Today I transferred my White Widows and my Diesel seedling into pots. The Diesel was getting very leggy beneath the grow light, and the White Widow’s first little baby leaves were turning yellow and about to be shed.
Unfortunately my Tangerine Dream didn’t germinate properly. It sprouted, but the little girl had no leaves. Since the company I purchased from has a guarantee that the seed will germinate, I’m hopeful that they’ll replace it.
Chuck bought me this awesome shirt for Mother’s Day. It arrived today, right on time.
I tried to capture the moon rising last night. But the moon rose too late around my part of the world an at my altitude. These were my Egg Moon photographs from last year. I’m still incredibly proud of them. – ♥ Paige
I couldn’t wait for Spring to spring. It’s a little cold up here in NJ but I’ve started my white widow inside with a grow light/window. I also repotted all of my house plants (many succulents, a peace lily, and a purple basil that will be planted outside).
Miracle grow is giving away many goodies this month, although I try not to use Miracle Grow it’s still a fun treat after what felt like a very loooong winter. I don’t know about you, but I get the blues something bad by the time February has rolled around. The house plants really help to get me through. I love to touch them and to get my hands into soil.
March is a little bit of a pick-me-up because of my anniversary with Chuck, and because I know that in just a month I’ll be able to start growing things again… and then there’s April, which seems to get colder and colder with each passing year. Maybe that’s just me though.
Because this is the first year that it’s legal to engage in recreational cannabis use in NJ, I’ll be growing my first marijuana plants! We splurged and spent like $200.00 on gardening books on the subject. If you’d like to follow their journey I have a TikTok and IG for their progress! I’ll be covering my book purchases, my soil preparation, updates on their growth, and more! Hope to see you there. If you have a gardening profile you’d like me to check out comment below and I’ll be sure to follow back!
So yesterday I enrolled in college almost accidentally, but certainly impulsively!
I’m going to go back to get a science degree in Botany/Horticulture. This is a big shift from my previous physics focus; I’m going to have to take a surprising amount of new courses because of that. But I think I’m good for it. I think my problem with my initial college focus was three things:
₁. I wasn’t happy about the actual practice of the jobs. I am an active person who likes to move around and to change focus. I think working in environments that shift with the seasons will serve my desires.
₂. As a single mother the demand and focus on time away from home simply was unacceptable.
₃. Minimizing debt. I have a stunning amount of education on a very small tab and I intend on keeping it that way. I’m well below the average debt margin for a person my age in America of equal education. While I might have to take on some extra debt I plan on paying courses outright this time around.
I have some real life longevity goals, but first I need to have the credentials to achieve them. So this is my first step. With luck and patience I’ll have my new Associates degree lined up in 2 years, because I plan on taking one-two classes at a time for the more challenging requirements. Because I already spent 3 years at a university I will likely have a good amount of credits accounted for. Basic mathematics, humanities, arts, and language requirements should all be accounted for leaving me the ability to focus on my actual desired course load.
If I decide to take on a full course load I could potentially have the degree in less than a year. But I don’t think it would be wise. I’m not in a rush. I want to have high scores and be able to do this at my leisure. My daughter is still home, and young enough to need me frequently. I also will need to be in school for some of my more focused classes working with the plants or in a lab, so I can’t set myself up for failure by devoting all of my time to school when I know that I will have obligations at home to compete for time with.
On a darker note I had a miscarriage yesterday and no it’s not my first. While I’m not trying to get pregnant by any means, I have to admit that it was a strange and sad way to wrap up what was turning out to be a very optimistic day. I’ll keep my head up, of course. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d gone back to school only to find out that I was expecting again.
I went a long time in my life without ever getting pregnant, and not for being careful. I don’t know why now all of a sudden I keep being thrust into the hormonal whirlwind of it. Sometimes it really feels as if the whole world paused while I figured myself out and now that I’ve become more comfortable in my skin it’s fast forwarding, everything is all happening at once.
Ultimately an unexpected pregnancy was what stopped my training for the military in 2019. Granted it was the first in a succession of unfortunate events not the least of which being COVID and losing my beloved job. 2021 is looking to be just as wild and unpredictable as it’s preceding year, which was just as trying as the year before that in my life. It was 2 weeks after my wedding that I found out and frankly my body hasn’t been the same since.
Every year people make resolutions, but I like to meditate on a word. In 2019 my word was Discipline. In 2020, I was so broken up about the death of my mother that I didn’t pick a word. And in 2021 my word was Remain. I think I picked that for 2021 because 2020 was the first time in my life that I actually wasn’t on the run from or to something. I had a creative renaissance in my late 20’s and 2020 allowed me to live in it, without having to play strange geometric scheduling puzzle games with my time.
I came out of 2020 knowing that I am ready to start making decisions. Not because I had to (because I don’t have to change a thing), but because I know myself well enough to start cementing my foundation. Perhaps many people will think I’m too old for that. But my time was never my own until now, and so I unapologetically have gotten to know myself better. I didn’t live for a boss. I got off of the internet for a year and didn’t chase ‘likes’, ‘comments’, or popularity. I started my own website, I drafted my own books, I started my first novel, and created freely.
Now I’m going to try and make a new dream come true. I hope with this education to do many things. But most of all, I hope to find balance, wonder, and to make the world a better greener place.
I became in a family way when I was 17. My foster mother started to accuse me of sleeping with her jobless boyfriend and changed the locks, leaving me to sleep outside many nights when they went out to clubs. I reported it to services, my teachers, and my nurses. I told my health teacher that I felt the stress affecting my child. I trusted him, I had no one. He told me not to worry.
At 30 I began to explore epigenetics and the research suggesting that trauma can be passed down through generations. Epigenetics translates literally to “above genetics”, referring to external modifications to a person’s programming. I say programming because that’s how it makes sense to me. If you’re familiar with binary, how the 1’s and 0’s turn lines of code on or off, outside forces can do this to traits within us, turn them on and off.
If you’ve created a child at any time, the 1’s and 0’s within you get passed down as they exist in that moment. In short: these modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but rather, they affect how cells “read” genes. I think about the shared trauma in the world and how it’s sinister nature infects the future; contaminates quite literally the gene pool. Ignorance is certainly not bliss.