(Where the magic happens, so to speak. And, of course, by “magic” I mean lots of pacing, yelling and tears. Lots of swearing, too. Teasingly, though, something infinitely small and beautiful happens here just enough to keep me in that uncomfortable chair.)

Hello there. Remember me? Yes, we here at A Red State Mystic have been busy writing away — just not for the ole’ blog. I’m working on a couple of short stories, and, rather futilely, I’m trying to finagle my little series on the question of suffering into an essay. I’ll keep you posted if any publishers start biting. Sadly, though, I haven’t had much to write apart from these projects, hence the lack of posts for this month. I am sorry. I heartily repent these my misdoings.

Those of you who know me in real life (or, “RL”, as we used to write in the parentless age of a Facebookless internet) know I had a major . . . shall we say . . . directional change — yes, directional change! — about a year ago. My life had been moving along merrily with the wind in my back, only to find all that wind was propelling me — smack! — right into a closed door. A window hasn’t opened yet, either. But, my nose is broken all the same.

Awful metaphors aside, here’s twenty-five things I’ve learned in this last year:

  1. I don’t do bullshit very well.
  2. My job is to live.
  3. No one’s happiness is dependent on me.
  4. I am not responsible for how anyone feels about me.
  5. I will always choose to feel rather than not feel.
  6. Nothing is happening that hasn’t happened before to better people.
  7. Or worse people, for that matter.
  8. Usually, my gifts are bigger than my dreams (and my abilities).
  9. I’ve learned how to respond, “Sounds great! Let me know when you’re free!”
  10. My type is the half-saint/half-whore. But my life is not a Dostoevsky novel.
  11. And I’m not Hosea. And you’re definitely not Gomer.
  12. Being used emotionally (or otherwise) is not love.
  13. Let someone else be the bigger person for once.
  14. Those who say they live without regrets are lying.
  15. If you really want to be counter-cultural, hate your life.
  16. Keep a memento mori close by. Always be aware of your end.
  17. I can’t be unaware of my body when, all the time, I’m incredibly horny.
  18. You’re really counter-cultural when nobody will make room for you.
  19. The way to be “real” is to lie; inauthentic authenticity is a virtue.
  20. Don’t listen to what anyone says, watch what they do.
  21. You can love Jesus and hate the world.
  22. I’ve learned more about God from Atheists than from most Christians.
  23. I’ve been liberated from having to score points.
  24. I only write what I hear, what I see.
  25. When God closes a door and refuses to open a window, dismantle the roof.