Introducing: My DBH Shop!

Yes. This is a shill post. A woman’s gotta eat.

There’s not a huge backstory to this. I applied and was accepted, and now I have my own official AdorkableMe Design By Humans store! It’s a place for me to turn some of my design work into products — shirts, hoodies, stickers. I’ve also commissioned some art by friends that I’m looking forward to turning into products as well!

Most of the products related more to Twitch than anything else. However, I do have one with my blog branding. And will be including more jokes and random designs as time goes on.

So if you’re interested in supporting me, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Ok. Enough shilling — go do stuff!

October Updates: Rediscovery

I haven’t thought about or tried to set goals — big or small — lately. I’ve been feeling lost lately. Going through the motions, with no real direction. Unsure of who I am, what makes me me. What I should be doing with my life.

Sometimes I wonder if I could just get myself back into my thesis research, things would be ok again. I know I need to do it, I know I know this information, yet I freeze every time I pull out my binder of sources and research. Am I terrified of finishing this degree and — what? Realize maybe I’m not a good anthropologist. That I won’t actually find a job in my chosen field. Then what? I put myself in all this debt for what reason?

I wonder if I could maybe find someone locally to hang out with, maybe this feeling of overwhelming loneliness will dissipate. Maybe, somewhere out there, there’s someone who will understand my awkwardness. Someone who will work with me, and be patient, as I try to be a better friend. To be more present. Fuck, maybe I just actually need to spend more time and figure out why I think I’m a terrible friend? How long have I been living with this narrative?

If we’re reaching back into the witchy-woo woo stuff, this is called Shadow Work. Your shadow self is that sometimes darker, unconscious self. It’s impulsive, emotional, raw. Shadow work called on the individual to honor and acknowledge these darker sides of ourself. These hurt, broken, damaged, scarred parts that too often society has taught us should be hidden away. I’ve put on my protective armor so often that I’ve kind of forgotten who the real me, the real Rini, is.

I’m trying to slow down. Rediscover myself. Rediscover what brought me joy. Find my path again. I’m journaling through it. Trying to recognize the small things. To focus more on being.

So that’s my October. That’s my now. Tell me about yours.

Season of the Witch

My interest in “witchy” things hasn’t been that big of a secret, at least not with those close to me (outside of family, though). It’s an interest that has waxed and waned over the years, but recently has definitely growing. There are some compelling reason as to why witches, the archetype of The Witch, and witchcraft have drawn me in recently.

For the sake of this, I’m using “witchcraft,” unless otherwise specified, to represent that threefold aspect of the practice, the archetype, and the aesthetic.

Witchcraft is intention. Moving, being, acting with intention.

This is something that has resonated with my Quaker roots (and yes, I’m still an active and practicing Quaker). We speak of doing all things in the Spirit. It’s why Quakers do not do sacraments or rituals, typically, because everything is to be done in remembrance and at the level of “ritual” or an act of worship. It’s not something that I do or remember all the time, but this idea that no one thing is higher in God/The Divine’s eyes than another.

Acting with intention means being cognizant not just of what I am doing, but why am I doing something. It invites me to look beyond myself and consider that ripple effect of how my choices, behaviors, and actions flow from me. It’s a process of mindfulness that has been missing in this day to day trudge of just getting through.

Witchcraft is about power. Reclaiming, creating, honoring that personal empowerment.

You can, and people have, write whole books on the reclamation of power associated with witchcraft and The Witch. This is especially true when you look at The Witch through a feminist lens. She is the person in the margins, too often demonized because she does not conform to the patriarchal societal norms. Often she represents “forbidden” knowledge (the midwife was seen as a witch because of her knowledge of the woman’s body).

The Witch often attracts those who feel abandoned by mainstream society — from The Craft’s famous line, “We are the weirdos, mister!” The archetype of the witch becomes the champion for the outcast. For me, it means not only accepting my “weirdness” or my “brokenness” but also honoring it as a piece that makes me whole. In a society that is actively criminalizing bodies, saying that people’s mere existence is wrong and in some cases illegal — it’s actually a little terrifying. Who wouldn’t want to fight back, maybe strike some fear into the oppressive system and its leaders?

To me, there is nothing antithetical of witchcraft and my personal faith and beliefs. If anything, I feel more connected to my faith. This hands-on aspect helps me slow down and, again, be more intentional about my actions and prayers. (To me, I see no difference, in their fundamental structure and intention, between prayers and spells.) I use tarot for reflection. Correspondences of stones are physical reminders of mindfulness. A lot of my books have the same recipes as you’ll find out there for a lot of DIY home and self-care. They have face scrums, floor cleaner, wines, soups, incense, shampoos — all using herbs and oils that are fairly easy to come by (thank you internet).

It may have taken me a while to come to accept and actually be ok with the label of “witch.” Yet, looking at the history, the sociocultural implications — yes, hello, I’m a witch.

11 Year Blogiversary + Some Reflections

It’s late into the evening, I’m relaxing on my bed, listening to a twitch stream after a kind of emotional discussion with a friend about our upcoming travel plans this week to San Diego.

And suddenly I notice on my phone’s calendar: It’s my blogiversary.

While I may have been blogging for 18 years, I’ve spent 11 of those years here. And while my post frequency has definitely waned a lot of over these last few years, this space still means something to me. It’s something I do really see me not doing. It’s kind of weird to think about all of the people that I’ve met, friends that I have made, opportunities that I’ve had — all because of this blog. I’m still friends with some of the people from those early years, which for someone who’s kind of a hermit and feels like they’re bad at friendships, means a lot to me.

July 2012 – Nintendo’s WiiU Experience in Chicago (I’m holding the Goomba in the back)

Blogging had it’s hayday, and I jumped in full force back then. It’s something where I wonder now, “has my life actually gotten that boring that I have nothing to write?” Which, I wouldn’t say that. I spent almost a month this summer in England. In two days I fly off to spend a long weekend at a beach house with 14 other people for TwitchCon. Has most of my life been grad school these last few years? Yes. But there’s been some amazing times. I guess the thing that has changed is me. (Which, duh, of course I have.) Rather than share everything here, it’s been mostly on Instagram. I’m sharing my life in different ways — and as a personal blogger, it’s felt weird to essentially reiterate what I’ve already put out there.

So where does that leave me?

Well, not leaving this blog, of course. I’ve already stated that. But I definitely do want to find my “thing.” In other early days, 10+ years ago, it felt like personal blogging was easier. Granted, we were also almost all in our young to mid-20s, which is a massively transformative time in one’s life. Now that I’ve promptly settled into adulthood and my 30s, maybe my life is a little boring in that sense? It feels like those who have stuck around in the personal blogging sphere ended up focusing or mildly niche-ing a bit.

Kate has Cleveland. Stephany has books. Abby has writing. Terra has travel. Erin‘s always been about food. And me? I guess I never really knew what my thing was. Fail dates? Being awkward? Now, you could say it was grad school — but that’s almost done.

I’ve been contemplating a rebrand for a little while now. Even bought the URL. If I can get twitch to make the change, I think I’ll flip the switch. It’s not a huge change, and I’ll likely keep the design and new colors that are currently in place. But a new name that maybe fits more with how I feel about everything.