Or, the care and feeding of gremlins.
Sometimes we get the New Year we need, not the New Year we wanted.
2017 was a battle for me. And I’ve heard so many tell of the challenging years they have faced; my challenge was finding a way to rebuild my self esteem and ego after an incident of heartbreak and destruction at the end of 2016.
And while I was attempting this, I also experienced several career changes. I had close family members pass away so grief was always by my side. I was a new transfer in a new roller derby league, a sport that has seized my heart and soul and now I was committed to commuting for countless hours to see if I could push myself a little further in a strange new environment where I was no-one’s hero and the only thing I had to worry about was my own progress (and constantly refuelling my car).
All of this, was freaking hard. I cried a lot, in front of people – not something that’s necessarily in character for me. I proved that I was strong and that I could grow. But 2017 had one last little surprise for me.
We all have light inside of us. It’s the shining beacon that shows what we got to others – this Jedi-esque part of me is a teacher and an artist, a kickass witch, an amazing skater and team member, a powerful priestess, a decent friend.
But there is also another little gremlin inside of me that does it’s best to match that light – a Sith Gremlin, if you will, of self-destruction, self-loathing and what appears to be gleeful comforting negativity. My inner critic grew to a towering height to match the part of me that shone, and at many times last year, it won the battle and kept things grey and murky. What would happen, this gremlin says, if I completely self-sabotage by encouraging you to retreat under the doona covers and cry yourself to sleep, while negative thoughts spiral you into a loop that goes nowhere? This gremlin made me do all sorts of things, many of them subtle, but mostly it was a weight on my back that stopped me from shining. For much of the year I felt dull, like I was simply going through the motions. This gremlin would stick its finger into sore spots and stir around little until whatever was in there would erupt. This is the work, no? And I had one last big blister to burst, and boy did it hurt.
I’ve got all sorts of intentions for 2018, and I articulated these in an end of year ritual. And you know what it’s like. We innocently move about in circle and write things down and do little witchy bits and fiddle with tarot cards, and we underestimate the power these gestures can have. Spirit, believe it or not, is listening if you’re plugged in. And I didn’t quite realise what might happen. It was fast, it was powerful, it felt ridiculous and I felt just a little mad. But we’re all mad here. It’s not the first time I’ve been hit by a broom on the back of the head, and it probably won’t be the last.
Cancer Full Moon! The water works were a thing. And I think I’m done now. Nailed it.
The gremlin isn’t fully vanquished, nor will it ever be. One of my friends suggested a strategy, of building it a spot to live in, where it can be fed things it likes – she did something similar for her inner child, and we think this might just work as she has a gremlin of her own. So I might give it a go. This little beastie has been inside of me since I was a primary school overachiever in the style of Lisa Simpson.
And it’s way past time to do something about it.