the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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A Blogger’s Journey: The beginning

I still have trouble believing it.

I think I realized how long it’s been when Aussa prompted comments with a “How long have you been blogging?” question, in one of her posts.

Then I was reading Rara’s blog and saw her mentions of being 29 years old.  Looking back, I slowly realized that I started blogging when I was 29, too.  I had tried to think of what was happy when I was 29.  I thought of my daughter, when she was born, but that was a year earlier.  She brought such joy, but 2003, the year I began blogging, was filled with sadness and sorrow.

 

I created my account at LiveJournal on the 12th of November, 2003.  My first public post was the next day, with this quiz meme (reconstructed as the original code has been taken down):

You are Morpheus, from “The Matrix.” You have strong faith in yourself and those around you. A true leader, you are relentless in your pursuit.

It was a time of fluff– lots of users did these quizzes, posting the result.  Although some users wrote about their lives in the old journal/diary style that was common for the time, others were writing in the same style, for fictional characters.  I’d been drawn into LiveJournal by LARPers (Live Action RolePlayers).  The organization they were part of was known as the Camarilla (at that time), and so users were writing diaries as development for their characters– usually vampires and mages, for a horror-based setting.

I will save tales of woe concerning them for another time.  Know simply this, dear readers, was that so very many of them blurred the line between fantasy melodramatics and drama in their own personal lives.  And it brought out some of the worst in me.  I’d already been with them for about three years, if I remember right.

Anyways, I continued on with the meme fluff at LiveJournal until November 18th:

I got a job for the holidays! It’s work with Noerr Programs (www.noerrprograms.com) working as a Santa at the Columbia Center Mall. It’s full-time hours, Monday-Thursday, 10-8, $10/hour. My final interview included two hours on the floor playing the actual role and I got a photo of my daughter on my lap, which was actually sent to the regional manager, which I’m sure sealed the deal. I’m very excited.

Not to mention I can get off the dole for December and be rid of my case manager at DSHS for a little while…

This is the picture in question.  Smarty-pants here later figured out too much about the Santa myth, so we used it to reveal the reality of it all.

This is the picture in question. Smarty-pants here later figured out too much about the Santa myth, so we used it to reveal the reality of it all.

This was the first time I gave a hint to the ugly reality of that year.  The year previous, we had been homeless and bankrupt, and so we had stayed with a friend, whose marriage was ending while we were there.  We had moved to a fourplex, which brought horrors detailed in the 5 Truths, 1 Lie meme.  Both Cimmy and I were in welfare-to-work, because we were valiantly trying to be self-sufficient.  This dragged on until Cimmy had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the DSHS office, and Rhenda Stewart (the “battleaxe” of a case manager I mentioned in the quote) wormed it out of me that I was on psychiatric medicines, and then they pushed us to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

I had worked as a mall Santa before, but I didn’t get the job that year.  I had been walking the mall and an employee at the Pepperidge Farm kiosk tried to give me a sample, and I just couldn’t manage with that fake beard.  Noerr normally insists Santas have real beards, bleached white, but I did not have a long enough, full enough beard at that time.  This was my post on December 5:

Well, I found out the Santa gig won’t pan out… I got grounded because of a background check, and they just kept me hanging forever. I had to play phone tag between my case manager and the set until I finally found out the background check would take too long (and my case manager called me to tell me this… no, my employer couldn’t tell me that. Meanwhile, I was five days without money). I wish they would have just been straight with me. I had to reapply for benefits today, and the whole thing just rather cheesed me off.

By the way, Princess was only a year old in that photo.  Cimmy was worried she might freak out, as young children that age sometimes do, but she was fairly calm and serene.  She told me today that she knew it was me with my kind, smiling eyes.  (Tell me, how many of you are saying “Awww…” right now?)

Now what does this have to with the Hero’s Journey?  Well, this time I started blogging– I was already past The Ordinary World (outer), and the Limited Awareness of the Problem (inner).  This was well into the Call to Adventure, with its increased awareness of the need for change, but also the Refusal of the Call, with fear and resistance to that change.

Inner steps: 2. Increased awareness of need for change 3. Fear; Resistance to Change (from Christopher Vogler)

Inner steps:
2. Increased awareness of need for change
3. Fear; Resistance to Change
(from Christopher Vogler)

Next post in the series: A 10-year blogging journey: The hidden beginning


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Santa Unmasked.

For a proper introduction, you need to read What Do You Have To Say? – Do You Believe?

Quick excerpt for the lazy:

I patiently await the day when Cimmy and I decide to reveal the secret and I can say, “Yes, my daughter, *I* was Santa Claus.”

Cimmy and I actually talked about this before, and at some length.  Christmas Eve we decided to spring it– mostly because my daughter is pretty intellectually sharp for her age, and because she just wouldn’t go to sleep without seeing Santa (i.e. meet him)– neither my father-in-law nor a recorded message was going to provide a solution.

I knew Cimmy wasn’t going to like it too much– while we had discussed whether or not to deploy the myth before we had children, she decided we’d practice the tradition, and I of course, accepted.  But I could see that it wasn’t going to last too much longer.

So we dug out the picture and we explained that the person dressed as Santa was me– for quite literally, it was.

This is the picture in question.  Smarty-pants here later figured out too much about the Santa myth, so we used it to reveal the reality of it all.

This is the picture in question. Smarty-pants here later figured out too much about the Santa myth, so we used it to reveal the reality of it all.

It was then that I learned she already knew about the Tooth Fairy.  Apparently, Cimmy decided to spill the beans already on that one.  (I’m sure she will comment with what she is telling me right now, so you all understand where she’s coming from.)

While I didn’t utter the quote, I couldn’t help but feel all fuzzy inside when I explained to her that for a time, I was the only Santa she’d sit for.  What a wonderful little girl.  She accepted it all with grace and love, and she understands not to spoil the magic for others.  She doesn’t need magic, though– I was so pleased to let her know that Santa is another expression of our love for her.

[EDIT December 2nd, 2014: When I talked with her recently, she said she realized it was me, because something was different.  Clever girl.]