Updates and excitement

Hello dear readers.

Last month, I did the short social media (Facebook) break I spoke about in my last post, and let me tell you, I am so glad that I did.
I recently reactivated Facebook (just yesterday) and I’m already sick of it.


In the couple of weeks that I was off Facebook, I found myself spending more time face to face with my husband, walking the dogs more, and more time actually paying attention to movies.

I’ve reactivated for a couple of reasons, and I think that I will not completely delete my profile for these very few reasons:
1.  Birthdays.  Until I write down my friends’ birthdays in a place that I will not lose them, I want to have a reminder of when they are.
2.  Sharing photos of the upcoming trip to San Francisco with my love.  Lots of my Facebook friends aren’t on Instagram, and I am SO excited about this trip, I can’t wait to share photos with everyone.  More on the trip in a minute.
3.  Dance related information.  I don’t want to be completely out of the loop when it comes to the local community.  Even though I’m not dancing as much as before, I am homing to remedy that soon, and even if I’m not performing, I do want to support the community, and go to see shows.


So while you will still see me on FB, I am definitely significantly reducing the amount of time I spend on there.  I’d rather read books or play games with my friends…go outside.  Watch a movie and pay attention.  All of those things.

Please keep in mind, if you’re super active on social media, I’m in no way shaming you for how often you are on there.  I just noticed for my own mental health, I definitely do better with limited time.

I’ve also learned that I don’t really know how to, nor do I care to learn how to Twitter.  It’s just confusing to me.  I still try, a bit, but I think I’m going to stick to Instagram for most of my Social Media interactions.


So now, on to the fun topic!!  Morgan and I are taking a short vacation this weekend!!!  I’m so unbelievably excited I can hardly focus.
This is the first trip to somewhere that we’ve never been together that we’ve been on since 2012, and that was solely for the VNV Nation Concert in Tempe, AZ.

We’ve gone to LA and San Diego together lots of times.  I’ve never been to San Francisco, and its been over a decade since Morgan has been there.

Morgan is going to show me the iconic spots that he used to frequent when he lived up there, and we’re going to eat a ton of amazing food.  We’re staying at an AirBnB that looks like a little gingerbread house!!  I’m so stoked.  It’s supposed to be kind of like “glamping” (glamorous camping) which is also something I’ve never done.

Sunday night, we are going to An Evening with Neil Gaiman, which is a dream come true for me.  I’ve been a fan for 18+ years…although I think it might actually be 20 years this year.  At any rate…he’s my favorite author of all time, and I’m just SO stoked to finally see him give readings, tell stories…and the super slim chance of meeting him has me beyond excited.  I know that it’s a super slim chance, but it would be a dream come true to be able to shake his hand, thank him for his work, which has been an enormous influence in my life, and maybe take a quick picture.  I’d probably cry.  In fact…I definitely would cry super happy tears.  😀


I’m so looking forward to the whole trip.  We’re going to spend some time down on pier 39, eating seafood, checking out the aquarium, walking around being together…we also have 10 hours in the car both ways, so there will be a ton of singing going on. I love our road trips, and this one will be the longest one we’ve taken together.  Morgan also pointed out that as we drive in to San Francisco, that I’ll be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge…this excited me more than I can say.  It hadn’t even occurred to me that I’d be seeing such an iconic landmark.

Two more days till we’re packing, dropping the pups off with my parents, and getting all the essentials:  snacks, water, energy drinks.  On that note, I think I’m going to hit the “post” button and start doing what I do best: making a check list of things we need to do before we go.

Until next time dear readers!!


39 years old this Friday

Hello dear readers.
Its been a while, and I apologize for that.  I need to start being able to carve out more time for updates.

My birthday is coming up this weekend.  I’m looking forward to a very relaxing weekend.  I’ve spent this week finishing up on chores (laundry, picking up the room, etc) so that I don’t have to do anything on Friday but read and sleep, and maybe knit a little, and then we can have our wine/couch/movie marathon on Saturday with pizza.

This is the first year that I haven’t posted any type of birthday list or request for tattoo funds, etc.  Not that I wouldn’t love to get some things off my Amazon wish list (shameless plug,) or money for my tattoo, but this year, I decided that I would start a Facebook fundraiser.

I feel a bit better doing this, and less like a selfish twat.  (I say this in jest, mostly.  An experience a couple of years ago has left me extremely worried about people perceiving me as greedy or selfish, so I’m always a bit gun shy.)  Besides, we did get my tax return back and I’m able to get some work done on the tattoo using some of this money.  I won’t be able to finish it yet, but I’m happy that I get to have any work done at all this year.

I’ve gone back and forth on posting this, but it feels like something that I need to do.

This year, I’m focusing on my health:  mental and physical.  I know that I say this a lot, but I’ve gotten some blood work back that has me mildly concerned (Nothing bad, but I’m creeping up to pre-diabetic numbers, so I need to take action now.), and so i’m actually going to be taking action.  My mental health has been getting a bit better over the last 6 months, and I’m focused on taking good care of myself, including taking down time when I need it.  I’m also trying to make sure that I get moving, that I make healthier choices with my food and drink, and that I take my vitamins regularly.

I want to put more focus into the relationships with the people who I love dearly…Things got a little crazy this last year, and I feel like Morgan and I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with some of the people we really want to spend time with, or we’ve ended up having to cancel plans, etc.

Our circle has gotten smaller…and that’s not a bad thing.  I want to live a simpler life, with more love and understanding, more dance, more good food, and people who contribute to a healthier me, not people or things that add to my anxiety.

That being said…I’m resolving to spend WAY less time on Facebook.  I don’t want to give it up completely, because it is a good way for me to connect with friends, and see what is going on in the dance world, however, as Morgan has pointed out to me on several occasions, it doesn’t help my anxiety.  I will keep my Instagram active, as I simply love taking and sharing photos, but I’m hoping to spend less time on the book of faces.

I know that my goals are achievable.  I just have to focus and take baby steps, and I can do it all.

39 years on this planet, and I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it.

Until next time..



2018 In Review

Oh my dear readers, what a roller coaster it has been this year.

I can honestly say, with 100% certainty, that I will not miss 2018. There have been some awesome moments, and some great outcomes, but all in all, 2018 has been rough. I am definitely looking forward to the coming year.

Similarly to last year, I began my “new year” after the solstice, so I’ve already created my goals for the new year.

Most noticeably, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that this year has been a particularly difficult struggle with depression and anxiety for me. I’ve been seeing an incredible counselor who is helping me, not only with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but also with EMDR treatment to help me process some of the more difficult things I’ve encountered in my life that have caused some of the problems I still struggle with.

I’ve had panic attacks in my sleep, where I wake up shaking. I’ve had attacks so bad that I hyperventilate and feel like I’m going to pass out. I’ve also had attacks where I simply rock back and forth, or fidget really badly. Over the last month or so, things have been getting a little better, even with my depression rearing its ugly head again.

I’ve been given the tools to help myself through bouts of depression and anxiety attacks, and while I still struggle, its an invaluable asset to me.

My relationship with Morgan is stronger than ever. We’ve been through our own ups and downs this year, but we’re both in a better place now than we were last year, or even a few months ago. He’s my rock, and I’m so grateful for where we are today. I’m proud of him and the progress and self improvement he’s done this year, and I can’t wait for the coming year to see how much further we both can go. We are stronger together.

Another huge milestone for me this year was that I shaved my head for charity! I’d been wanting to cut my hair for a long time, but in February, I got the idea to participate in St. Baldrick’s yearly event at McMullen’s. I shaved 34 inches of hair and raised $400 for children’s cancer research. It was definitely an experience I’d love to do again.

In terms of dance, this year was a busy one!
I had the opportunity to perform several times this year, in many different venues, in addition to taking a handful of workshops.
I studied with Karim Nagi when he was here in Las Vegas, and again at the Arab Dance Seminar in LA. In LA, I also got to study with Amel Tafsout and Kay Hardy Campbell for the second time, and Nashwa for the first time. I just adore all of these women, and the incredible group of dancers that I was lucky enough to study with over the ADS weekend. I learned so much from all of the teachers I studied with this year, and I am entering the coming year with a desire to grow, to respectfully represent Arab Dance, and to expand my fusion performances while maintaining respect for the culture.
In addition, my lady love Nina and I debuted our duet troupe Dualitas. We performed twice at the Dark Arts market, where we presented not only the performance of Ghost by VNV Nation that we’ve been working on for 2 years, but we also created a new piece that blew the crowd away!
I performed a few solos this year as well, and look forward to performing many more in the coming year, and pushing myself to be a better dancer. One big highlight was being asked to do a short improvised drum solo with Karim back in February. In 16 years, this was only my second time performing to live music in a performance setting, (not in class) and I had a blast.

My work life has also been pretty amazing: Last December I accepted a promotion at work, and have worked as a Development Coach since January 1. I’ve learned so much from my team, the supervisors I work with, and the agents I support. Every day is a learning opportunity, not only about my job, but about myself as a person.

There have been some developments in other important relationships for Morgan and I this year….but that will likely be a topic for another time.

Finally, to round out the year, Morgan and I have moved away from the apartment, and have moved in with our dear friend Liz. We moved in at the end of August, and have been having an absolute blast. Liz has two awesome dogs, Drew and Peanut, and our puppers have been getting along with everyone very nicely…in fact Drew and Phèdra have become fast friends, and play together ALL the time. I love the side of town that we are on, I am only 12 minutes from work instead of 30-50 depending on the time of day. Most of all, I love that we are living with Liz, who is one of our best friends. We have all kinds of catchphrases and inside jokes that make me laugh like a maniac. JULIEN!!

In the coming year, I’m wanting to continue to work on my self love, my self care, and my personal growth. Without further ado, I present my 2019 goals (my CDFs will come at a later time, I have to find my Desire Map book.)

Personal goals:
1. Walk every day. If possible, take more than one walk per day. Minimum of 10 minutes.
2. Increase water intake.
3. Continue to form healthier eating habits: More veggies, less sugar.
4. Journaling/Morning pages time 3-4 times a week for mental health.
5. One down day/down evening per week: No plans, No chores, No TV, No Electronics (exception: eReader, meditation app, or writing, but no web surfing). Days like this can be used for game days with Morgan, relaxing bubble bath, focusing on the pups, reading, etc.
6. More weight lifting/Highland Games training.
7. Set up and adhere to chore schedule for myself and Morgan.

Relationship Goals:
1. Minimum 2 date nights with Morgan one on one per month.
2. Friend dates once per month.
3. Less phone time, more face to face time.
4. Host a fancy dress cocktail party

Dance Goals:
1. Minimum of 2 practice sessions of 1 hour or more per week.
2. 1 private lesson or workshop.
3. Perform 3-5 times this year
4. Utilize practice DVDs.
5. Fix sagat elastic and start practicing again.
6. Work on and perform classic Egyptian, Folkloric, and Fusion pieces this year.

And finally, my gratitude.

First and foremost: Morgan. I am so grateful to you for everything. Thank you for standing by me, for being my partner, and for helping me when I chase the rabbit. I love you.  I look forward to growing more with you this coming year, and to the fun ideas and plans that we’re scheming.

To my blood family: I love you all so much. Thank you for your constant support, help, and all the laughter.

To my chosen family: You know who you are. You’re the ones that are constantly at our place, inviting us over, going out places with us. You’re the ones orchestrating game nights, dance practices, holiday celebrations. The ones I can count on for help, for an ear, for a laugh. The ones I can vent to. The ones we cook for, and that cook for us. The ones we may not see as frequently as we’d like, but we love just the same.  The ones we only know online, who provide an awesome support system… I can’t ever express my love for you all. Thank you for all you do.

To Sandi, Erin, and Phil: Thank you for giving me a space to perform. Every performance helps me to grow as an artist, and I am always grateful.  I look forward to more collaborations in 2019.

To everyone who has been a part of my dance journey this year, I am grateful to you.  Whether we danced together in a workshop, performed in the same show/hafla, if you were one of my teachers this year, or if you are a Facebook friend who I only get to see online…you all inspire me every day.  I’m grateful to you all.

And so, my dearest readers, I wish every one of you a very happy new year.  Be safe.  Be kind.

See you next year.

“We Were Born to be Powerful!”

One week ago, I was leaving work about this time to go home and nap before an EPIC weekend of sisterhood.

Many of you have heard me talk about GRRRL Clothing before.  For those that aren’t aware, GRRRL clothing does not use standard sizing for their clothes.  Everything is based on your measurements, and named after a BAD ASS female athlete.  Sizes are bullshit.  GRRRL also seeks to unite women as sisters, and allow us to realize that we do not need to be in competition with one another , but rather, to encourage and build each other up to change the world.

I posted last year about GRRRL Live, and how life changing it was.

Well.  We just finished #GL18, and it was every bit as amazing as last year.  If its possible, it was more so.

This year, we talked about so many important issues…sisterhood, intersectional feminism (with the BEST. PANEL. DISCUSSION. EVER.), white privilege, overcoming food addiction, breaking through what is holding you back from achieving your dreams, writing your story/loving yourself where you’re at,  and so many more amazing topics.

There were also INCREDIBLE workshops available, like dead lifting and Strong GRRRL, self defense, ultimate body confidence, MMA with ROSE NAMAJUNAS!!!, plant based living,  and the Nurtured Heart Approach.

Let me start with Friday night’s pool party.

I’m not a bathing suit fan, or rather, I never used to be.  But being surrounded by so many amazing women, knowing that they weren’t there to judge my thighs or scars, or body hair, I was so comfortable.  In fact, they’ve made me feel so comfortable, that I’m planning to buy a bikini for this summer.

We danced.  We sang.  We ate cheese.  We jumped into the pool (I say “we”, I mostly mean “they.”  I kind of hopped into the super shallow end, with my water phobia.  lol) I got to hug and reconnect with some of the AMAZING GRRRLS I met last year, and then met some AMAZING new friends…who are local to Las Vegas!!!!  It was an awesome night, despite the ridiculous wind that tried to blow us all away.

Saturday was amazing.  We heard from 2 of the Next Gen GRRRL models, who are still in school, but are learning important lessons in life about supporting your sisters, dealing with bullies, and finding something you’re passionate about (I’m looking at you, Ava!  You were amazing with your presentation) and doing it to the best of your ability.

Talking about intersectional feminism was one of the Saturday highlights for me.  As a white woman, I need to make sure that I am using my privilege for GOOD (and not being a trash bag about it).  This talk and the following panel opened my eyes to so many things, and reaffirmed so many other things that I had already thought about.  We spoke briefly about cultural appropriation, a topic that always concerns me, as a student of Arab Dance.  It was eye opening, and I’m looking forward to learning all that I can.   I desperately want to be helpful, but not in a “the white girl is here to take over” kind of a way.  I want to find an organization or cause dealing specifically with issues for POC, and see if they’ll let me help out in the background…stuffing envelopes, etc.  I don’t need to be a mouthpiece, I just want to help.

Saturday I also tried dead lifting for the first time, and I am HOOKED.  I am currently searching for places/people to train with, because I just loved it.  The world of power lifting is beckoning me!!!

Sunday was emotional.  We had a talk about freedom from food addiction, and I resonated SO much with what our speaker was saying…I am extremely excited to have some one on one time next week with her so we can discuss steps I can take to be truly free.  So much of what she said hit me…things I can’t really get into here, but lets just say, she could have been talking about my life.

We also had a talk about breaking through barriers…quite literally.  Our speaker brought enough boards for all of us to write down what we wanted on one side, what was standing in our way on the other side…and we broke the boards with our fists!!  Talk about empowering.  I’ve never felt so amazing.

The highlight for me, however, was being asked to co-teach the ultimate body confidence workshop with 2 other amazing women.

We taught body confidence through dance.  There was twerking, chair dancing, and of course…belly dance/Arab Dance.

This was the largest group I’ve ever taught in a workshop setting, and I loved every last second of it.  Even with the 30 minute time constraints, every participant was able to grasp the basics of the moves that I showed, and they learned a short combination to dance to.

Being able to share my passion for dance, while imparting how amazing they all were was incredible.  Dancing has bolstered my confidence so much, and even though I still have days where I feel a little like “Oh, I don’t know…my scars will be showing,” etc…if you love what you do, the confidence will come.

The other awesome part for me was being able to educate these women (albeit a bit briefly) about the origins of the dance, and to impart that this is someone’s culture, not just a super fun “shake your butt” activity.  (Although it is super fun, but its also a cultural dance.)

There were other events that I wasn’t able to stay for, like an AMAZING WEDDING!!!!  2 incredible GRRRLS that met through the Facebook group got married on Sunday night! There was also a movie premier, which I wish I could have been able to attend, but we had other things going on that night.

All in all, after the weekend, I feel much better about some of the things that I’ve been wanting to do, but putting off.  I have new ideas,  and although they will take time, I know that I have some amazing things to do that will help me achieve some of my commitments, and make an impact in the lives of GRRRLS everywhere.

I’m going to leave you with some photos from the weekend.  I can’t wait for GRRRL Live 2019.  It promises to be an even more incredible weekend.  To all my GRRRLS who I met/reconnected with this weekend, thank you so much for everything you do, and everything you are.  We were born to be powerful.  We are warriors!  We are sisters!  We are going to change the world!!!!!



If I had a heart…

Good morning my dear readers.
I hope this post finds you all well.
I am feeling a little better since my last update, although it has taken quite the roller coaster to get here.

Its been a trying couple of weeks, culminating in the week from absolute hell this week.  But, I feel as though I’ve come out the other side a bit stronger, and a bit more grounded, with many things that I want to work on.

Tonight, however…I dance.

Tonight, I’m excited to say, my friend Nina and I are debuting our new dark fusion dance troupe, Dualitas.  We will be performing at the Dark Arts market tonight, and have a brand new duet, custom made for this event.  Its spooky and creepy, and amazing, and I cannot wait to dance it tonight.

Its amazing how dance and music can bring you through things.  I’ve found so much solace in music lately, I’m building myself a playlist on YouTube right now that is serving to inspire me, in a more primal way.  I can’t really explain it.  Many of the songs are either by Native Throat singers, or Pagan “folk/rock” groups.  The music stirs something in me, that is just…primal.  And beautiful.


My dear readers, I thank you for your love and support.  It makes me smile any time I see that someone has “liked” or followed my blog.  I’m just a woman sharing her innermost thoughts for the sake of writing them down.  I appreciate you all.  Thank you.

Until next time, when I will most definitely have more things to say, and more substance to write about.


Change is coming from my Shadow

Its been a while, my dear readers.   I have to apologize, I’ve been super busy of late.  I got a promotion at work, and while previously most of my writing was done at work (along with all my reading and knitting), I have tasks that keep me focused pretty much all day, so I struggle to find time to write.

Perhaps that is part of why I wanted to write this blog…

You see…I’ve been in a bit of a depressive state for a few months.
Most of you know that I’ve struggled with depression my entire life.  Over the last few years, I’ve found more of a balance, and I’ve found ways of coping that are healthy, but the last few months, I’ve been struggling.

I have a little bit of a reputation these days for being very strong, and being very grounded.  Today I feel out of control and confused.  I feel very weak.  I want to give in to my depression and go home early from work, and just sleep.  But I can’t.

And so, enter the functional depressed person.

Depression isn’t necessarily a red eyed person crying their eyes out all the time.  Its not the person who calls in from work all the time.  It can be, but not always.

Today, depression looks like a woman who got up and put on her “relaxed/casual Friday clothes” because she couldn’t stand the thought of putting anything other than a HUGE baggy sweatshirt on, because her self image is in the tank.

Today, depression went to pick up my free 8″ birthday pizza, and ate the entire thing in one sitting, within about 10 minutes.  Its overeating.  Its not eating later tonight because I overate at lunch.  Its indulging in my last day of eating carbs before I go strictly back on my low carb diet.

Today, depression hasn’t gotten much accomplished at work.  She’s looked busy, but she’s not doing much.  And next week, she’ll be overwhelmed.  But today, I just can’t.  I don’t care right now.  I just want to go home, but I can’t.  I have to be responsible.

This weekend, depression will dutifully get up and clean the house, because she knows that she has to help out. She doesn’t want her husband to know that she’s depressed, because he’s struggling with his own depression.  He needs me to be the strong one.  I don’t have the heart to tell him that I can’t be strong right now.  I need to go to sleep, and I need to rest, and regain my strength.  So, she will force herself to get up and do what needs to be done.  She wants to feel like she has accomplished something this week, when she knows that she has done so little.

Depression has been nagging at me to sell the workshops I’m supposed to attend in July.  No particular reason, she just doesn’t want to go, even though she knows that its going to be a great learning experience.

Depression today, looks like a girl who is just a little tired, when inside, she’s so exhausted she can barely sit here to type.  She’s feeling sad, and confused, and anxious, and desperate, and lost.  But if asked, she’ll say “I’m fine, just tired.”

I’m functioning.   I know I’ll get better.  But today…there is no light at the end of the tunnel…or there is, but its a train headed right for me.

I try not to post negativity here, or on my social media accounts anymore, because positivity begets positivity.  But sometimes…sometimes I just have to let it out.

I don’t want any of you to worry about me, my dear readers.  I’m going to be fine.  In fact, I’m looking up the practical Self Love things I can do to help me feel better soon.  OOOOH  I found it.  I found the one I wanted.  Look Here.  This post is amazing, and doesn’t trivialize self care down to bubble baths and mani/pedis.  (The post has not been altered at all.)

I know I feel weak, but let me tell you, it takes strength to admit that you’re not ok.
And right now, I’m not ok.

But I will be.

Blessed Solstice, Merry Yule

and so, dear readers, the end of the year is upon us.
This year, I’m doing things a little differently than I have in the past.  My new year is beginning on the Solstice, with the longest night.  The following day marks the returning of the light, and I’d like to begin my new year with the promise of bright days to follow.

As I do every year, I like to recap what goals I’ve met, and set goals for the new year.

Personal Goals Met:
*Observed and celebrated Samhain, Mabon, and Yule (this week)
*Read 1 book per month
*Read over 52 books this year
*Kept up with household chores
*Started memorial tattoo

Dance Goals Met:
*Took 1 workshop with OOT dancer
*Performed 3+ times

This past year, my CDFs were:

Cultivated:  grounded, rooted, earthy, and immersed in culture.
Magical: witchy, observant of magic all around
Connected: closer relationships
Stong: physically, mentally, emotionally
Cozy: comfortable, relaxed
Playful: playful with friends and family

I feel  like I embodied a lot of these this year, particularly Cozy, Cultivated, and Magical.  I spent quite a lot of time drinking tea, cuddled in bed or in the bath with a good book.

This year has been interesting.   It hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t been spectacular either.  This year has definitely been one of growth.  Outgrowing practices, people, bad behaviors.  Losing people.  Gaining others.  Connecting with different people.   I danced quite a bit.  I spent quite a lot of time with the love of my life, and with my family.  I feel as though I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge and perspective this year too.

I’m looking forward to the new year.   2017 wasn’t spectacular, but it was a pretty good year.  Lots of learning experiences.  I feel that 2018 is going to be amazing.

So, without further ado, my goals for 2018:

Personal Goals:
*Finish editing Morgan’s book
*Get fit, strong, and healthy
*write my own stories, 1 day per week
*Read 104 books
*Start language study again
*Cook more
*Fit into costumes again
*More planning time
*Monthly date nights
*Monthly friend dates

Dance Goals:
*1 workshop/private lesson with local dancer
*1 workshop with OOT dancer/musician
*1 OOT workshop
*Perform 3+ times
*2-3 times a week practice/drilling
*Purchase Karim’s sagat DVD

My CDFs for 2018 are:

Limitless: without limits in every aspect of my life.
Pure joy.  Playfulness.  Magic.
Wise, and powerful as fuck.
Intelligence, wit, conversation, sex
filled with passion for life and my loved ones
witchy, filled with wonder at the real, every day magic in the world.

Life is what you make it.  With the returning of the light, may this year be bright and full of promise, and goodness.

I want to wish my readers, my loved ones, very happy holidays, whatever you celebrate or don’t.  Have a safe and happy new year, and may 2018 be full of joy and love for you.