Two Mantras for 28

Twenty-seven was a bad year for me. There’s no way around it, it’s quantifiable. Twenty-eight was also hard, but it was the year I started to make sense out of twenty-seven. It’s been a slog, and I know I am not done yet. I wrote these two mantras, named after tarot cards I pulled over and over throughout the year, to reflect on the lessons I’ve started to learn.

One: Eight of Swords

The institution you work for or in isn’t shit.

But you will survive and your work will survive, even if it looks different. We are feminists and queers, we do things different.

These institutions were never made for us anyway, so fuck it.

You will learn the art of the stern email. You will learn to say, “please advise” instead of, “what the fuck is going on?” You will learn to say, “All the Best” instead of, “We Are Fucking Done Here.”

You will build alliances. Strategic alliances. You will benefit from the small network built by the generation that hacked it before you. They will help you or you will find your own way or you will find a way out.

Your work will survive. You will survive. Institutions ain’t shit.

Two: Wheel of Fortune 

You can do whatever you want. That’s important to remember.

It’s going to be hard. That’s important to remember.

It’s going to be hard, but you can do it. That’s important to remember.

There’s going to be good days and there’s going to be bad days. Anxiety makes these more extreme.

On the good days, lean into it. Feel loved, give love, laugh, feel lightness in your heart, feel your ribs open up, cry because everything is beautiful.

Take pictures.

The bad days will seem impossible: your relationship will feel doomed, you will feel foolish. You will believe all of this to be true.

You will question every happy moment. You will want to rescind your trust. You will regret every sweetness you extended; indeed, you will regret extending yourself. Your finger will hover over the little trash can icon.

But don’t delete your pictures.

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