I was doing a Journey with the Fool meditation, and I had an epiphany (which was great, because usually during meditations I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat when it’s over).
What I realised it that I need to have a goal (or goals), or a project of some sort. I’ve always set goals and had several projects on the go, but for the past year or so, I haven’t. Why?
Well, the biggest, longest-running goal I had was to leave a very long, unhappy marriage.
It took me several years to figure out the best way to do that — I was a stay-at-home mum, had never had a job in the UK, and didn’t have a degree. When my son was 2, I became a student nurse, but it wasn’t for me. I later set up a soap-making business, which was fun, but unprofitable. Eventually, I enrolled with the Open University and spent 5 years getting my degree (First Class! Almost quit eleventy times before I did it, though!) in Humanities with a specialism in creative writing. I also took a proofreading course and started doing freelance work, which was profitable, but I knew it would take years to make enough to support myself, and even then, the income from freelancing can be unreliable.
So, I got a full-time, 8:30 to 5:30 job as a copywriter/proofreader in company sales. It’s corporate. It’s often
fucking awful not fun. But it allowed me to get out of my unhappy situation. A few months after starting work, I rented a house and left.
That was a huge goal to accomplish. I went from zero job prospects to earning enough to support myself with a smidge left over each month. I got a house, furniture, and appliances. I learned to pay for utilities and bleed the radiators. I’d never lived on my own. Nearly 40 years old, and I’d never had to deal with council tax.
Once I left, I was so busy with work and new friends and adulting that I stopped doing a lot of the things that made me me, and I stopped setting goals.
I had (have) loads of hobbies: reading, writing, drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, crochet…and shortly before leaving, I’d gotten into tarot and the occult, which has always attracted me, but I couldn’t pursue it, because my spouse was deeply religious (and controlling af). Towards the end of our marriage, I bought a pack of tarot cards, some crystals, and books, but I had to hide them. (You can imagine how excited and free I felt when I left and was able to have everything out in the open, pentacles blazing.)
I’ve been plodding along, feeling like something was missing. Worse, my need for goals was causing me to sabotage my new romantic relationship. I kept ‘breaking’ things, or taking small problems and blowing them up, so that I could fix them again. This was my epiphany during that meditation, and I decided to do something about it.
The idea of setting money- or career-oriented goals didn’t appeal. But what did appeal was developing a spiritual practice and setting learning goals. It’s more of an ongoing, lifelong project, or setting upon a path (hence the trite photo), but that works. So far, the only tangible goal I have is:
Learn a new tarot card each week.
(I’ll talk about how I’m going about this in another post — one with more pictures.)
Yes, that means it will take me 78 weeks to ‘learn’ the cards (and I know you never stop learning about the cards), but it’s a realistic goal.
I’m also going to blog about my experiences, ruminations, and insights, because it helps me to organise my thoughts and strengthen my learning. Not saying it’ll be interesting to read, but whatever. You can read it or not; I don’t really care. I mean, I do, but like, I’m going to pretend I don’t.