Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coming Back

     It's been awhile. As you've probably figured out, I have trouble with consistency. I tend to let myself get caught up in work and other responsibilities, and neglect self-care methods like writing my thoughts and reflections and engaging in other hobbies.

     I'm going to try to change that. As part of that change, I'm going to try to write in this blog at least a couple of times a month. I've come up with a list of topics I've been meaning to write about for a while, but just never have gotten around to. Interspersed with that will be my thoughts and reflections on current events, holidays, and other life events as I so feel led. So basically not much will change except I'm going to try to do it more often. Sometimes I feel like I need to write something because I'm feeling strongly about it, but when I actually get the time, I struggle to put it into words. But I guess that's when I need to do it the most, to remove my mental and spiritual blocks.

     The more things happen the last few months, the more I get tired of the bullshit. I've considered myself somewhat of an activist for years, but since Trump's election, especially with the recent events in Charlottesville, VA, I find myself becoming more restless and wanting to do more. I'm getting at that age to where I need to be my fully more authentic self so that I can practice what I preach to my clients. So I'm starting in small steps.

   October is LGBT History month. October was chosen because October 11th has already long been recognized as "Coming Out Day". As my place of employment's most outspoken and most vocal bisexual, I've decided that I'm going to put together a presentation of LGBT historical events and figures, the symbolism of the Pride Flag, overviews of mental health and substance abuse issues LGBTs face in comparison to the general population, and links to other resources, and present it to my company's (admittedly not very culturally diverse) Cultural Diversity Committee for them to distribute to the company as a whole. If they don't acknowledge me or follow through - which is a definite possibility, I'm going to just directly send it out myself, at least to my particular department (the ones most likely to be working with LGBT clients), if not the agency as a whole.  I'm tired of just sitting on the sidelines lamenting the cultural obstacles of where I live right now. I'm ready to act, even if some small way.

Speaking of acting and being my authentic self, I've decided that on - or at least by - Coming Out Day, I'm going to begin my process of coming out to my family. My obvious first step is my father. Since we're still getting to know each other, he's a "safe" person to come out to, I believe, as if he rejects me, well, it won't be anything different than the previous 30 years of my life before we first made contact. A test run, if you will. It also gives me time to prepare the best way. With him I'll obviously do it by phone, text, or email - he lives all the way in DC and so I don't even know when we'll see each other in person again because of finances, time, etc. But it's a little less clear with the rest of my family.

Well, we'll see how this goes. I know that I've talked about writing more often before. Let's see if it sticks this time.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Genealogy

I always thought that my previous connection to Celtic spirituality was, in large part, due to a past life connection to the Irish/Celtic world. More recently, I've come to believe that it's not only that, but also a connection to my current heritage.

A couple of months ago, I took a DNA test through AncestryDNA. I got the results back last week. They were interesting to say the least. It turns out I'm 98% European. No surprise there. What was a little surprising was the breakdown:
-30% Irish
-28% Scandinavian (Sweden, Norway, Denmark primarily)
-16% from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal)
-11% Western European (Belgium, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein)
-5% Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
-4% Eastern European (Poland, Austria, Russia, etc.)
-3% Italian/Greek
-around 1% European Jew


And the final 2% comes from the Caucasus region, which is around Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, etc. I guess this is where my Middle Eastern heritage comes in.

I'm surprised that there's no Native American in there, as one family legend was that one of my maternal ancestors was Cherokee. And I admittedly thought my Middle Eastern genetics would be higher, since in my younger, curly-haired college years, I had so many people asking if I were Jewish, and even had a Middle Eastern shop owner ask when I came to America from Israel. I also thought there would be more Scottish, as I always understood Moore (maternal grandmother) to be a Scottish name.

All of this has rekindled my interest in Celtic spirituality and confirmed that perhaps I need to revisit the Celtic deities I felt connected to. I wonder, at times, if perhaps my lack of connection to them over the years has been more due to my lack of balance and connection overall, as I tend to let life circumstances and anxieties take control. My goal now is to make some baby steps towards re-establishing balance.