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30 May 2012

speech! speech! speech!

"Tell em you want to use your education to better the community, to grow Arizonans youth and future by exploring the differences in humankind and in so doing reveal the commonalities. The bonds that make us all a family." -Archer's advice to me, when I lamented not knowing what to say to the people who are giving me a scholarship tomorrow. He's brilliant.

I have to prepare a speech. Maybe if I call it something else (not a speech) then it won't be so hard to write.

Ok, so I have to say a few words about myself, so the scholarship-donors can get to know me a little, to see where their money's going.

Here goes nuthin...


Hi, my name is {Bones}, and as I mentioned on my application, I'm going to change the world. 

Briefly: I plan to use education to combat the social injustice which feeds on ignorance. In particular, I will use my own education to further our understanding, as a society, of ourselves. I'm currently pursuing a Bachelor of Art degree at the University of Arizona - South, with a dual major in Psychology and Anthropology. I'm also minoring in History, because I believe you can't study people without knowing what they've done. My next step will be to begin graduate studies; at that point, I will begin to focus more specifically on human psychological development, especially as it pertains to gender diversity in American culture.

Why gender diversity? - Because I believe that our most fundamental human right is simply to be human - to be who we are, without pretense or fear or retaliation. Many Americans are not able to exercise that right; among all the trampled-upon groups in American society, the transgender population is perhaps the most invisible, and the most publicly reviled. It is still legal, in many states, to deny even medical care to a transgender person. 

I'd like to help change that. And, I believe whole-heartedly that if change is to come, it will be on the back of education. I've begun working toward that already, as a guest speaker for gender diversity at Cochise College, in Sierra Vista, and as a volunteer for the Green T Homestead, right here in Bisbee.

For those who haven't yet heard of it, the Green T Homestead is a non-profit organization that provides resources for transgender individuals and their families, friends, and allies, and they're working toward building an intentional green community in or near Bisbee. 

I'm about to enter my last year as an undergraduate at the U of A. It has not been an easy endeavor, and my financial ability to continue has faced steep challenges. This scholarship, in fact, is the lynch pin that will secure my remaining steps. Truly, you have made this possible for me, and I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I believe that, with your help, I will change our world. 

28 May 2012

for memorial day

-you lost it all
to save us from ourselves-

-an offering
taken from your flesh-

-your light went dark
but i remember you-

-you, the Fallen,
who gave it all
to save us from our fate.

to the Fallen

kiwi, kwik fixes, and karma

Random k's in words where they don't belong annoy that crap outta me. Really.

Remember when it was all the rage to start up a business and name it with some atrocious spelling that was probably intended to be cutesy? Oh right, people still do that. That really annoys me. It's nearly a guarantee that if you do that with your business, I'll never be a customer of yours. I take it as a sign that you're too lacking in creativity to come up with a name that actually works, without molesting an already precocious and troubled young language (english, btw). Instead of spending some quality time considering what name might best suit your business and attract customers, you took a shortcut on creativity - a kwik fix.

Too harsh? Perhaps.

In my world, shortcuts have a way of making things messier, and more resource-consuming.

I used to be in the military, back when we had to shine our black leather boots with kiwi (which wasn't so long ago, really). Maybe some of you remember this, too. Some troops would buy this spray-on crap to put on their boots that was intended to give them a high shine without all the work. I can't even remember what it's called, but it looked great as long as you didn't get too close, and as long as that troop didn't try to walk anywhere. The first crease in the leather would crack the gloss coat, leaving the leather exposed, unconditioned, and ugly. It was an inspection-day shortcut, touted by the junior recruits as a Messiah-of-Weekend-Passes. Anyone who actually cared about their boots wouldn't touch the stuff. Guess what happened? The first time that stuff was used on a pair of boots, those boots were practically ruined. Those boots would never again have the structural integrity to keep out the water from a mud puddle, nevermind hold up on even a 20k ruck march. Those recruits had to buy new boots, and they had to put in the half hour or so of care to make sure those boots would take care of their feet later on. And, the new boots looked better up close.

Shortcuts have their place; they're not all bad. Personal hygiene, cognitive acuity, and spirituality are not places where shortcuts belong. Each of these is vital; each of these requires work to be optimal.

Karma was once explained to me this way:

'If you take care of your tools, they last longer and work better - that's karma.'

The implications of that go beyond the simple sentence. I try to remember that lesson, often. My mind is my most treasured tool; I will not take shortcuts with it.

I will not use randomly-added k's.

That's right, I won't even use magick.
Ugh. It's so... I don't even know any nice words for it, and you won't see it again in this blog. You'll just have to deal with me not misspelling magic.

I've heard the excuses. "We needed to distinguish between magic and the magic of modern witchcraft." - Or some such dithering. Don't we have enough to distinguish us from every other spiritual or religious path on the planet? We're not considered weird enough as it is, we have to change the language to look more - what, new age-y?

Oh right. Crowley. Because he was a great role model. (Well, perhaps he was in some areas, but certainly not in all... that'll be a 'nother post, one of these days when I have that kind of time and nothing better to do.)

Let's say, for argument's sake, that we take Mr. Crowley seriously. He started this whole magic-with-a-k thing.   But if we're going to take him seriously, then we have to take his whole concept into consideration, not just the parts we like (lest we tread the path of the American Religious Right, who like the part of Leviticus which condemn homosexuality, but not the parts that condemn haircuts or eating shellfish). With that in mind, let's consider Mr. Crowley's reason for adding a -k.

"In my third year at Cambridge, I devoted myself
consciously to the Great Work, understanding thereby
the Work of becoming a Spiritual Being, free from
the constraints, accidents, and deceptions of
material existence. I found myself at a loss for
a name to designate my work, just as H. P. Blavatsky
some years earlier. "Theosophy", "Spiritualism",
"Occultism", "Mysticism", all involved undesirable
connotations. I chose therefore the name "MAGICK"
as essentially the most sublime, and actually the
most discredited, of all the available terms. I
swore to rehabilitate MAGICK, to identify it with
my own career; and to compel mankind to respect,
love, and trust that which they scorned, hated and
feared. I have kept my Word."

-- "Magick in Theory and Practice"
by Aleister Crowley (pages XI-XII)

Waitwaitwait, so.... he was using it to describe his own work? His own path? And he chose it because it was the most discredited. Which, honestly, makes a lot of sense to me. It's akin to the LGBTQI community reclaiming the word 'queer' for positive use. Ok, so I agree with that... sorta... Well, I agree with the idea of reclaiming descriptive words that have been misdirected into slurs, in general. However, knowing that Crowley really enjoyed making a spectacle of himself for its own sake, I have to express some skepticism that his motives were altruistic. 

But, regardless, why did he chose the -k ending? There must be more of an explanation! ... I went searching again, and found this: 

"The Anglo-Saxon k in Magick, like most of Crowley's conceits,
is a means of indicating the kind of magic which he performed.
K is the eleventh letter of several alphabets, and eleven is the
principal number of magick, because it is the number attributed
to the Qliphoth - the underworld of demonic and chaotic forces
that have to be conquered before magick can be performed. K
has other magical implications: it corresponds to the power or
shakti aspect of creative energy, for k is the ancient Egyptian khu,
the magical power. Specifically, it stands for kteis (vagina), the
complement to the wand (or phallus) which is used by the Magician
in certain aspects of the Great Work."

-- John Symonds; Kenneth Grant (1973). "Introduction".
In Crowley, Aleister. Magick. Samuel Weiser.

The correspondences are both convenient and ... interesting (heh, my given name starts with "vagina" - who knew?)... but they don't, in my opinion, excuse an intentional restructuring of the language. There are other references, from Crowley himself, which indicate he did chose that spelling in order to differentiate magic from staged trickery. 

Personally, I don't consider stage illusions to be magic, nor do I see a reason to further differentiate stage illusions from magic. They're almost entirely unrelated (don't get your knickers all twisted - I'll explain that further in a different post... someday...), and they already have different names. One is a trick-of-the-eye, or more kindly put: a stage illusion; the other is magic, or as I like to put it: prayer. 

Oh! Oh! I'm getting back to my point! Yay!

I consider the addition of a -k to "magic" to be lazy. Not that the individuals using it are necessarily lazy (I won't make that call, but you may if you like), but it's a sign of our cultural laziness that we cannot bother to simply educate ourselves - or those to whom we might like to speak of magic - of the differences between what we do, and what a theatrical performer does (which, I insist, is not magic). 

Adding the -k excuses people from the work of learning what magic is, and is not. It's a kwik fix, and it depletes our mental acuity as a society.

Remember, "K" is for karma.


This blog post was brought to you by me.
But also by the Pagan Blog Project, for the inspiration,
and by a bottle of Corona and a slice of lime,
which also inspired me
for better or worse. 

23 May 2012

days of remembrance

I follow a somewhat heathen-ish path. That is, if I had to pick one of the many pagan labels to apply to myself - which I don't, but for the sake of argument, I will - it would be Heathen. Ish.

Once upon a time, I looked into following the Heathen path, officially. There's much to be said for that path in how it intersects with my internal spirituality and chosen mores. In the end, I chose to go my own way regardless of all the various 'official' spiritualities and their intersections. But that's neither here nor there. 

One of the aspects of Heathenism which has made its way into my personal practice is the observation of days of remembrance. At first, I tested the idea of observing the common days of remembrance - such as that of Rey Radbod, who (story has it) resisted early Christian missionaries, telling them he would rather burn in hell with his ancestors than go to heaven with the missionaries. Surely, if the story's true, he deserved a day of remembrance. ...but the thing is, I felt no connection to him. And because I practice this aspect of my faith on my own, it didn't make much sense to observe a holiday to which I felt no connection. So I decided to come up with my own days of remembrance. 

The ideas weren't overflowing. As time goes by, I accumulate more things to remember - most of them bittersweet at best. The first Official Bones' Day of Remembrance was for Naanaa, my cat who died in my arms, on 21 March 2010. I still can't even think of him without hurting. The next two - which are perhaps ironic - observe the deaths of my sister and my grandmother. Ironic, because they are less painful than the death of my Naanaa, and because they happened earlier but became something I observe, later. Recently, I've decided to add one more day: a day for myself. 

There are other annual events which are more positive - the celebration of my anniversary with Archer, and my anniversary with my coven (which indicates my growth in that area, too, since I'm still so new to the coven). 

I think it's important for me to take a day to recognize the difference in who I am now, and who I was before I came to terms with my past. There's probably a resemblance here, between me and a recovering addict, marking the days our lives changed for the better. In fact, that's probably a more apt analogy than I care to dissect right now. Regardless, I haven't decided what day that should be, yet. How does one decide these things, when there isn't necessarily an exact date which can be easily identified? This transition has been a journey, and it isn't over yet. Perhaps I need to wait until I feel it's completed to select a day. I feel that day might turn out to be the day I tell my mother what I experienced as a child; I feel, for now, as though that might be the last hurdle between me and the rest of my life. 

Time will tell, I suppose. 

Time will tell, as it always has, and as it always reminds us. 

13 May 2012

journaling: here I am

I wasn't going to write tonight. I had nothing in mind that yearned to be put to paper. ...or to blog, as it were. Yet, here I am.


"The great thing about journals is that you can look back and see how stupid you were being."

I said that today, about my own journal, written right before I married ex-husband #2. I was so blind to my own observations; I wrote about red flags that I didn't recognize, even as I wrote them. I was so wrapped up in my own depression and the thick veil depression creates between me and reality, that I couldn't believe any thing bad about anyone else, least of all someone who showed me the cruel attention I thought I needed. Yet, here I am. I made it through to the other side, and am a better person for it.

Journals and integration - there's something to think about.

I'm becoming more integrated, as a person. This path I'm on is pulling my selves together; it's breaking down the walls between my internal, mental compartments. I'm referring to something different from feeling like I had a half-rotted side. I'm talking about how I perceived people and events, and about how I reacted to people and events. I acted differently around different people.

Wanna see?

I used to write two different blogs, before I scrapped them both and started this one. It was the first step toward integrating my self, and seeking truth in my own heart.

One was written to be viewed by the public.
One was written to be anonymous, and private.

[As I wrote this post, I realized that by sharing these links, I'm also sharing more information about my child, whose gender is not hidden in those blogs. After some deliberation, I've decided that's ok. When I first started this blog, I was afraid of people knowing my thoughts, and of judging my child by extension. I no longer feel that way. The relief of not hiding has lifted many of my fears associated with being hidden - which was less obvious than it sounds.]

Neither was telling my entire story. My truth was still hidden away in the cobwebbed areas of my heart. It seemed very rational, at the time. The point of these blogs was to have a place to store my journaling efforts. The different tones of the two blogs was logical, in that one held more private information, which "shouldn't be made public." I struggled with that, even then. I was uncomfortable with the lines I had drawn, but more uncomfortable with moving the lines to expose more of my reality.

I started this blog when I finally began coming to terms with my history. The intent was - and remains - to look at myself without allowing masks, to clear away the cobwebs and become whole. This is where I come to think. This is where I process, and where I learn. This is where I heal.

Thank you, Archer, for forcing me to see myself; I would not have started this blog or this path, without you.

I had peered onto the path, timidly, when I did not have the courage to take a full step. But thanks to my journaling, parsed as it was, I can tell you when and how I took that first look. It's here, the day before my naming day with my coven - the anniversary of which is just around the corner.

Looking back, I'm grateful that I did write those blogs. They were basically true; I lied by omission, and felt that the things I kept hidden, either needed to be hidden or were irrelevant. And although those omissions represented a deeper divide in my self which needed to be healed, it was a step in the way that every journal represents a step - these blogs allow me to look back on myself, and see more clearly that which I have difficulty remembering.

And that's important.

10 May 2012

j is for... just breathe

Just breathe.

Letter to myself, this morning:

Just get through today. You don't have to be happy and outgoing all day, just for a few minutes. You don't have to be all business-casual all day, just for the interview. After that, you don't have to tell anyone anything, if you don't want to. You can stay home. You can paint. You can relax. You can read. You can wear your comfy jeans with the holes in them. Just breathe.


Yes, I have my comfy jeans on now.

I had an interview today. It was step 2 in my application for a scholarship. I feel like it went well, by the way. They seemed excited. I'll know by Monday.

This morning, I woke up well. I got to talk to Archer for a little while, and I got some good sleep last night. But then I spent an hour or so cleaning my carpet because my poor dogs had diarrhea last night. (On the bright side, I figured out what was making them sick - the new food I just bought for them.) And then... I don't know. I actually felt like I accomplished something after I finished cleaning up - which was a good feeling - but I was just down. It's more than just feeling sorry for my dogs.

It's almost as though I felt good when I first got up because I wasn't fully awake yet; once my mind started to wake up and I became aware, my mood sank.

It was all I could do today to get showered, get enough to eat (I wasn't hungry), and get myself ready for the interview. Then I expended my entire day's worth of sociability in one 20 minute interview.

I put on my interrogator face.* The one where I shut out all my self-doubts, all awareness of my actual mood, and paint myself with a veneer of whatever mood will best suit my purposes. In this case, it was cheerful exuberance.

And now I'm done. Done for the day. Back in my comfy clothes.


*My previous occupation: Interrogator, US Army; a lifetime ago.


These are the days I could spend entirely in meditation. Or painting. Today, I have contemplated ...nothing. Not nothing, but... hm... I felt like my subconscious was in overdrive, while my conscious mind was numb and nearly blank. I just... breathe.

I don't really know what to do with these days, but it feels like a great time for divination.

I use a Druid Animal Oracle Deck, mostly. I have runes too, which I love, but lately I've been drawn more toward the cards.

I drew one card: the Bull, reversed... indicative of a lack of motivation.

Huh. Well, there ya have it.

The power of my cards to state the obvious is astounding.

Is there a deity of "duh"?

It's now much later in the evening. I decided to do another drawing, and it seemed worth updating the post to include it. This time I drew three cards:

Earth Dragon, reversed
Adder, reversed
Ram, reversed

Ok, first of all, I have never drawn the Earth Dragon before, nor have I ever drawn all three cards reversed. I've been using this deck consistently since ...2006? Or so. Anyway, a long damn time to have never drawn something before. And today, it comes up reversed. With two other reversed cards.

(Incidently, I love my deck. It's so blunt.)

Here's my take on this:

The Earth Dragon guards treasure; that treasure is our potential, our talents, maybe even our souls. And, the Earth Dragon is an aspect of our selves. So reversed, I consider this an indication that I'm not protecting myself - my soul - in a way that promotes my well-being. Now, in general, that could mean either that I was being too protective, or that I'm not being protective enough. I know: I'm laid bare, and vulnerable. As the first card in the draw, this represents the cause of my current state.

The Adder indicates healing through transformation; the Adder is symbolic of our spiritual energy. Reversed, it means I'm doing it wrong. The Adder is both poisonous and transformative; it is life, via death. Ah... sound familiar? I've been talking a lot about Hela lately. I am half-rotted, and parts of my soul have died, but I'm on a path of self-healing, and transformation. I'm becoming the person I always was, but never allowed myself to be. I've taken some steps, but have many more to go. Today, I think the Adder is telling me that I have allowed my depression to poison me, halting my progress. As the second card in the draw, this represents the emotional aspect of my current state.

The Ram, to me, means Home. But the Ram also tells a story of coming home through adversity, and of persevering despite obstacles. Reversed: I've allowed myself to stagnate. I stopped fighting, stopped working my way back home. As the third card in the draw, this represents the 'reality' of my current state.

As I said: this deck is quite blunt. No silk gloves on this one.

I thanked my cards, and put them away.
Tonight, my first step is to just breathe.
Today was a step backward;
tomorrow will be a step forward.
Just breathe, and put one foot in front of the other.

08 May 2012

hello again, rock bottom

"The sun never says to the earth,
'You owe me.'
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky."
-Hafiz the Poet

That's for Archer.


I've been away.

I've had highs and lows - very low - since I last posted.

Many things on my mind... Saturday was a wonderful day spent with Archer. We spent that evening celebrating with friends, and I got to spend some... uh, quality time with my amazing, body-of-a-goddess girlfriend. Overall, it was really as close to a 'perfect day' as we humans could reasonably expect. Maybe closer. But, happy as I was by the time Archer and I fell asleep, all cuddled and snuggled up, there was something...

Something which can probably be attributed (entirely? almost entirely?) to me forgetting to bring my medication with me, and thus being a full day's dose behind. At the time, it felt like a disconnectedness; I snuggled closer to Archer, trying to feel more connected, trying not to be frightened, and I let myself fall asleep by stubbornly believing in him, in our connection.

But that feeling nagged, and grew. Sunday morning, I lashed out at Archer. I was afraid of becoming disconnected, of feeling alone, so I saw my fears manifest where there were no shadows. He was trying so hard to help me cope, and all I saw was him trying to get rid of me; I had no solid ground but I hadn't realized that yet, and the more I tried to explain why I was "angry," the more confused and frightened I made myself - and because he's actually human, Archer became angry with me. It escalated until he yelled, I mean really yelled at me; my brain shut down then. I think I was sobbing. I might have screamed, I'm not sure. I was terrified, and completely irrational. I think he kept talking for a while, but I'm not sure. I remember him yelling, then the hurricane in my head that drowned out everything and seemed to go on for an eternity, then he was saying my name, asking something mundane and practical. He had to drop me off, or something, so he could go visit his child. I asked him to drop me off at the hospital; I was so scared. We conversed; he wondered why he keeps getting involved with women who suffer from depression (I'm not the first). That's the only part of the conversation I really remember. I remember that vividly, though. He was so frustrated.

Eventually, we somehow decided I would stay at his house while he went to visit his child. I don't remember how we came to that decision, but it was mutually decided. The local emergency room is almost more harmful than helpful, and by the time we got to his house he was speaking more kindly, and I felt confident that I was past the point of crisis. I just needed time to recover. I have always made it through these times alone, and I knew that if I could just sit and think - or not, as needed - and be alone, that I would be ok. He held me, told me he wasn't angry anymore (and he wasn't - I could hear it in his voice), that he wasn't going anywhere (in terms of our relationship), that he loved me, and not to worry about us, just worry about doing whatever I needed to feel better.

Gradually, over the course of that day's remainder, I did begin to recover. I'm doing much better today. Maybe later this week I'll catch up on all the blogging I've missed over the past few days. (Don't hold your breath.)

As I 'came to,' the depth of what I had done that morning sunk in. I hate that I lashed out at Archer, that I ruined our morning together, that I utterly failed to monitor and rein in my depression.

I'm so very, very sorry.

And in the midst of me accusing him of not caring, he still kept me safe.

That's love.


In my more petty, naive moments, I can look back and think that he should have known my behavior was out of character, and was a symptom of depression rather than my actual feelings. I can think that he should have seen that, and addressed my depression directly rather than reacting defensively.

That's foolish, of course. He is human, after all (though I sometimes forget that), and he can't read my mind. And if I'm truly trying to be rational, I have to acknowledge that he did attempt exactly that - to address my unhappiness directly - but I was too far gone already to see that.

Every day, I find a new reason to be grateful that Archer is the person he is.


'I will marry you every day for the rest of my life, and never diminish you by making you a mere wife.'

03 May 2012

c is for calendars

The following was first posted as a comment on someone else's blog, but the topic really interested me, so I'd like to continue my internal discussion without cluttering up that person's blog.

Here is the post I responded to. It's really quite insightful.


I think that the holidays we (pagans) place on certain days of the year were probably not originally relegated to those certain days. I mean, I would bet that the ancient peoples who practiced the spiritualities we base modern paganism on, probably celebrated the seasons in the way you described. For example, I bet Imbolc was celebrated as the first ewes began to show signs of milk, not on February 2nd.

In the euro-pagan community (I'm referring to pagans who base their beliefs on European ancestry/traditions), we talk a lot about how Christianity usurped our holidays. Yet, for our 'wheel of the year,' we use specific dates on the Julian calendar, which is Roman and was arguably propagated by the Christian church way back when. Granted, this is like comparing a genocidal massacre to a single natural death, but the point is that we are in fact trying to base a natural rhythm on an unnatural time table. And, we probably have simply not yet moved back to a time when we can collectively celebrate a season without setting a specific date.

This touches on your point about holidays being greater with numbers. With the globalization of human culture, we often would like to celebrate things simultaneously with our loved ones, who might very well be on the other side of the planet, and thus not experiencing the same seasonal changes that we are (hello, Beltane and Samhain on the same day). But we want to celebrate together, so we pick a day that's close. Thus we have the wheel of the year, with specific dates.

Personally, I think the connection between following a Shamanic path and wanting to avoid an unnatural correlation between the actual seasons and a synthetic calendar is both obvious and in practice, healthy.


(Ok, I admit to fixing a typo, but otherwise the above is my comment, exactly.)

As somebody who is wandering down a vaguely heathen, somewhat shamanistic, mostly-led-by-visceral-input sort of path, and who is a member of a mostly-Wiccan coven, I could totally relate to the original post. If it's snowing on Ostara, it's not going to feel like Ostara. But, living in southern Arizona, I actually do get a relatively high level of synchronicity between the calendar and the actual wheel of the year (just don't expect snow on Yule). This year, the first buds of my flowers actually bloomed the morning of Imbolc. On Ostara, my whole town was washed in color by the blooms, and we had a beautiful spring day - immediately preceded by several very cold days.

I do celebrate the wheel of the year with my coven. But, I also have some personal holidays: the first day of monsoon season; my anniversary with Archer; and some of the other secular holidays, like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, and Christmas - which I don't actually celebrate, but it's "Santa's Day" for my child. I also observe a Day of Remembrance for my cat Naanaa (pronounced "Nah-nah"), who passed away suddenly and tragically two years ago, on 21 March (making the days surrounding every following Ostara somewhat bitter; I'm trying very hard to turn it into a day to honor Naanaa, rather than just a day of grief and guilt... I'll tell his story in another post).

Mostly, I'm content to celebrate some of my holidays alone - certainly Naanaa's Day is better without a crowd, and the first day of the monsoon I celebrate mostly just by dancing in the rain like a crazy person and being in a very pleasant mood all day. Monsoon season is also my favorite time to go walking at night. The nights are still, with the faintest breeze, just cool enough to be comfortable, and everywhere there's green and flowers and wet life. We don't get that the rest of the year, here. Of course, by the end of monsoon season, I'm ready for that dry Sonoran air to come back. Humidity is my fair weather friend.

Of course the secular holidays are easy to celebrate with a crowd - every shopping center in this country gets all decked out, past the point of aggrevation. Maybe when my child's old enough to honor Naanaa with me I'll have some company for that, but I honestly can't imagine having anyone else there, except perhaps the dear friend who first gave me that cheeky little kitten. Nobody else was there when Naanaa died, just me.


It's time to end this post. Otherwise, I'll end up telling Naanaa's story here, instead of talking about calendars. And Naanaa deserves to have his story stand alone.

b is for barriers

I find it sad and disappointing when people erect barriers to their own growth:
"I can't do this."
"It's impossible for me to learn this."

No, it's difficult. It's challenging. And if it's the most challenging topic ever, maybe it's just what you need. Especially when that topic is something which is specifically designed to teach people critical thinking skills.

Maybe I'm biased, as the daughter of a philosophy professor and someone whose career once depended on making practical use of critical thinking and logic. Maybe, as a person who adores the very specific articulation which is only possible with correct grammar, I'm just bristling at the idea of correctly-worded converse statement being called poor grammar. It's perfect grammar; it says exactly what it's supposed to say. It does not say what you think it should say - that doesn't mean it's mistaken.

But really, if you tell yourself you can't, then guess what - you're right!
If your brain doesn't "work that way," it's only because you haven't learned how yet.
If you give up, you'll never learn it. And you won't be able to do it.


To the dear friend who inspired this post rant: Give yourself some credit - you're more capable than you think. When you make it through this lesson, you'll see how much more awesome you are than you ever thought. <3