This week marks my year anniversary for living in the amazing and wonderful place that is New Orleans.
Last year was my year without boundaries. I was in love with someone who was too hurt from their own issues to be able to clearly see me. At the time I thought that I could put my feelings aside and just live in the moment. This had horrible consequences for my physical, emotional and spiritual selves. In the end, I walked away without saying anything. I knew he wouldn’t understand where I was coming from and I felt too stupid for having let myself get to that place to achieve anything productive from it. He has his own healing journey to follow and sadly, I don’t think that I’m a part of that. While I wish him well, in many ways I have been regretting the experience. I was never the sort of girl to have ridiculous crushes on people. I think the gods decided that it was time that I had just one. I think it was meant to teach me several very hard lessons and to put me on the path that I was meant to be on. The Gods are not always kind with their lessons.
I was lucky. I walked away from the whole experience in much better shape than I should have. I found someone who gave me the strength to recognize what I do really need and a city that I love dearly. My feet have been clearly set on a different spiritual path, I have a much better job and am much more financially stable, a man who I’m ridiculously in love with, and I am just in a better place in general.
The one thing that I regret in all of this, is that to find where I was meant to be, I had to move away from the Pirates. While becoming Wiccan has been a spiritual growth that is furthering the tools I have at my disposal, the Pirates were my first Pagan family and will always remain my family. The Pirates are a group of eclectic Pagans who identify as pirates in dress and manner, who practice Paganism, and being pirates, who steal from whatever Pagan source they see fit. While they’re probably a part of the reason that I wasn’t much more greatly hurt by last year and were part of the vehicle that brought me to New Orleans, alas, moving away from them was also the part of my process.
This year has been rough in its own way. If last year was my year without boundaries, this year has been my year to once again set those boundaries that I had always lived with. I’ve found it necessary to be more confrontational this year. It has been a year of recognizing a lot more of my warrior side. This has been my year for being an “aggressive, territorial bitch” (yes, this has been thrown at me several times). I’ve decided to embrace this aspect of myself and go with it. I refuse to be cowed again by the ridiculousness of other people’s behavior and to let myself get back to that place without boundaries.
This weekend, my best friend and sister Pirate, MadmadmadMadame Magda, ship’s scribe, came down to visit me. In the course of her stay I went and had my septum pierced. I had been thinking about getting this piercing for a while and figured that while my best friend was here to hold my hand, I might as well go and get it done. (For someone as covered in tattoos as I am, the piercings still get to me…ironic, no?) Later, we were sitting on my front stoop drinking mead and she asked me if I knew anything about the history of the septum piercing, which I don’t. She told me that she thought it was interesting that it was the body modification that I had decided to go with next since it was a symbol of warrior cultures and the closed ring was used to symbolize the code by which they lived their lives.
In the end I think this is a good thing, I’ve never thought of myself as someone that wouldn’t stand up for myself. In some ways, this has been something that has always defined me. But I was never someone who wanted to have the actual confrontation. I’m a very polite pirate at the end of the day. Confronting someone about something and getting things out in the open is much healthier, usually, than keeping it all bottled up inside of you. I think that having lost sight of that, I also lost sight of some of my spiritual practices. Maybe this is partly the reason that Wicca has come into my life; I’ve needed that more disciplined practice to pull myself back to what I was doing before the insanity of last year.
In the end, the Gods knew what they were doing, even when I didn’t. While last year certainly wasn’t a good year, it was the catalyst that brought me to my true place in life and for that, I am grateful. I am also grateful for the people around me who share their insights. Sometimes life lessons aren’t easy, but they serve a purpose and that, at the end of the day, is what counts the most.
Pirates hanging outside the galley at Earth Warriors Festival 2010 (I’m the redhead in the back), if you would like to meet the pirates they assist with the Earth Warriors Festival and perform at Wisteria Summer Solstice.
MadmadmadMadame Magda, Dirty-Dirty Alice and Me (The Luscious Lead Boots Lea)