A Mirror Helps Me Write Micro-Fiction and Reflect on Life as a Privilege Instead of a Burden

One writing exercise I like to do is find an intriguing object and imagine it’s history, it’s experiences over the course of it’s existence, and the people or other creatures who may have interacted with it. Such a fun exercise! It really gets my imagination going too.

This mirror inspired a micro-fiction piece earlier on in the year and today actually synced up with some personal growth exploration I’m in in the midst of.

First – The Personal

A dear friend of mine sent me an old photo of us from 1998-ish. I use the term friend but Jasi and I’s relationship was definitely more than that. We were roommates, chosen sisters, party partners, wing women, support systems, classmates, and just figuring out young adult life in the wild world together. We fought and made up, shared jokes and laughter, taught each other new things, cried over guys, danced until we could barely walk, and always looked out for each other. Our times could easily be made into a movie. Or a book for that matter.

When I shared this photo with my younger sister, Quinn, it started a conversation about how life was simpler then. In the spirit of the mirror, I started to reflect. I began to wonder why did life feel like it was simpler? I mean, in 1998 I still had to pay rent, bills, go to the doctor, maintain relationships, grocery shop and cook, and everything else we humans have to do to stay alive and well. So what changed? What’s different now?

Then it hit me. In 1998 I was just out of college and had been living on my own for about 2 years. Life at that time felt like a privilege to me and nothing felt like a burden. I was thrilled to be alive and absorb the world around me. Even the hard stuff like medical issues I had to put on credit cards because I couldn’t pay the bill, or break ups that shattered my heart, or eating rice and beans because I didn’t have enough money for anything else, or working extra shifts to get overtime pay were all just simply what life was in the moment. Nothing more, nothing less.

As the years passed I can see how some things began to be a burden in my mind. And though this burden was a personal mindset, it was propagated by society’s view (rules) of what an adult life should look like and what success and happiness should look like as an adult in the US. So there began to be a need to earn more money and settle into a career and the like. Not to mention that I should act a certain way and look a certain way to fit into an arbitrary mold set up by the culture around me.

So now I say boo to all that! I’m taking back my mindset of life as a privilege. It’s a privilege to breathe this air and feel the sun on my skin and eat delicious home cooked food and take care of my health and have a family and wash my clothes and be a part of this wild world. Sure there are hard and challenging times but there is so much wonder and beauty too. So much to experience and learn and grow from.

Upon all this reflection I realized that I had way more fun back then. In between all the life maintenance stuff and heart breaks and illness, there was fun, joy, parties, laughter, and lots and lots of dancing. So I’ve decided to bring the party back. Now I definitely don’t want to party like I did when I was 22 as that is NOT my definition of fun these days. So what does fun look like for me now, at 46?

I still love to dance. And I love to write. I also really enjoy creating and building things. So I have an idea to combine these things and start a local group for creative exploration of life through dancing and various arts. There’s nothing like this where I currently live and it’s really what I want to do. So I’m gonna do it! Stay tuned for progress updates!

Second – The Micro-Fiction

He wants to get her a mirror.

The burden of the beauty he beholds everyday is too much to bear alone.

He needs her to share in the mystery and wonder of her own existence so he can make sense of it, or at least feel accompanied on such an overwhelming journey.

She eschews mirrors.

Those portals into the unknowing masked as safe reflections unsettle her.

Tapestry covered mirrors are tolerable with their icy fear slightly softened.

No poltergeist will get through here, thank you very much.

And the eternal enigma therein waits patiently to see herself being seen.

Yet again.

Dear Cosmic Diary 8/12,

Looking into the full moon as it hangs out with Saturn – literally since they woke me up at 1:47am this morning and kept me awake for an hour – I find a new perspective on my own natal chart. My map for the possibilities of this life.

For most of my life, I’ve tried to logically fix or detach from my emotions. I was definitely given this skill at birth and then had to hone it when I was young. Emotional nourishment was never something I really understood nor even thought I deserved. It was for the weak and I was not weak. 

Seeing my peers being in loving friendships made me jealous, angry, and judgmental. I wanted what they had but was certain I could never have it as I didn’t deserve it and I never learned how to do it. But I wouldn’t admit that. So I detached and pretended not to need it.

Such a painful way to live for a tender, developing heart and mind.

Many of my relationships ended up being about power, control, and ownership. Thinking about it now saddens me and I grieve for the many depths of connection and love I missed out on.

So where do I go from here?

I will find compassion for my past self and my experiences by maintaining a connection to something beyond, something greater. As I do this I also become more able to hold a compassionate kind space for others.

I acknowledge my skill of detachment and accept it as a truly brilliant way of protecting myself from terrifying situations. Situations that were threatening or caused me shame for not knowing how to do something.

I see myself now and in the future giving what was withheld from me by others and my own fears. I shift my perspective to see the benefits of both aspects of my experience and I welcome all of me into the now. 

I make a promise to myself to allow my skills of protection to activate in truly threatening situations while encouraging my nourishment abilities to flourish at all other times – even when it’s challenging.

*self hug*

*collective hug*

Love, Vanice

Intimacy, Bonds, Pain, & Pleasure

August 7, 2022

In the evenings right now, Venus, Sun, and Descendent meet up and bring some clarity in the realm of personal relationships, deep bonds, and intimacy. Taken into consideration with outer planetary nodes, we gain insight into hard truths about and great possibilities for our human experience.

What This Means For You

You may be feeling a bit adventurous and looking for ways to broaden your experience of life. As new ideas enter your field of awareness right now, it’s very important to welcome them and take a little time to reflect in an objective way. Perhaps a new direction is just what you need to find more of the enjoyable in your daily living.

Life is full of paradoxes and the other side of pleasure is pain. At the same time your struggles, difficulties, or losses pierce you with agony, your successes, contentments, and wins saturate you with joy. You can and will have both and that’s okay. Allow it all in and truly experience the full spectrum. Pain and pleasure are your lifelong companions so it’s a good idea to befriend both.

How I’m Feeling It

Collectively we try to structure and scrutinize our intimate relationships. We fall into the traps of labels and shoulds. We compare our own needs and desires for intimate partnerships with the imposed external power structure’s ideas of what these very personal bonds look and feel like.

Trying to fit our inherent knowings of who we are in intimate exchanges into those false ideas has distorted our experience of essential life-giving relationships.

Some of us subconsciously believe we deserve pain. Over and over we place ourselves in relationships that belittle and demean us. We give our agency away to a partner who controls, manipulates, and exacerbates our deep seated fears.

Some of us subconsciously believe we need to cause pain. Over and over we seriously hurt the ones we care about to avoid the closeness we want yet fear. We take from others and give very little, holding ourselves away from the experience of true intimacy as a way of trying to avoid our own pain.

Some of us do both.

At the core of it all is fear. Whether we fear being alone, being unloveable, being rejected, or having all of our hidden secrets and vulnerabilities exposed, it all plays out in a way that prevents us from stepping into a truly fulfilling intimate bond that is our natural way of being.

Intimate expressions in a relational bond can be easy and joyful. The complications we experience can be replaced by simple, sweet kindness. Our partnerships can be a source of relaxation and vibrancy. We can experience all of that when we acknowledge our pains and hurts, courageously reveal them to others who are willing to do the same, and step forward together into an original paradigm, a fresh pattern, a co-created reality of kindness, compassion, and acceptance.

We then begin to swim in the ocean of fears, traumas, desires, and yearnings instead of drowning. We immerse ourselves into a fuller experience of life, seeing pain and pleasure as aspects of being alive instead of identities. Together, we grow in recognition of each other and ourselves as we enfold everything into this mysterious adventure of living.