Monday, July 29, 2013

Shopping, sweating, sugar, and unexpected sharing.

Yesterday after posting, I thought to myself, "self, you sound like a lazy blob." So putting my blahs out there on the intarwebs got me motivated to get off my butt and do stuff. Yay! Nothing really important though, just puttering around town window shopping (and a little actual shopping, I admit - those $2.50 family-size bags of Twizzlers at Target were not going to pass me by! I'm a glutton, too, by the way). But I left the house and walked around stores enough that my feet hurt by the end of the day, so I'd consider it a success!

It felt good to get out and about, and I realized that yes, indeed, it is summer. I bought some sodas at the Dollar Tree and then went to a store next door, and once I got back in my car to take a drink of said soda, it was hot. HOT. Ughhh, gross! I realize I've written about drinking soda both yesterday and today. Huh. It makes me feel like a soda-chugging fiend! But I really don't drink soda much, mostly as a treat here and there. Coffee and tea are my teeth-ruining vices of choice. ;) 

I have been trying to stop impulse buying, and admittedly, I've been much, much better about that (Twizzlers aside). But the silver-y stickers at the dollar store were calling me. I think stickers will forever be one of those "who care that I'm almost 30, these are SHINY" things that coerce me into exchanging money for their happy-making factor. These were packaged as stickers for your wall, but I know if they don't make it onto my walls, I will definitely use them in my art journaling. I have a "thing" for silver as a color, along with pretty much any other metallic. Shiny shiny shiny. Maybe that's why I also have a thing for nail polish..?

Another impulse buy: An ice cream treat, one of those cake-covered double-layer chocolate and vanilla doodads on a stick. *Jeff Dunham joke* On a steeeek! I devoured that thing in my car like I hadn't eaten ice cream in weeks. Oh wait, I hadn't. ;)

While I was enjoying the heck out of that delicious cold sugary goodness, a lady waved at me while I was sitting in my car. "Oh no, I made eye contact! Oh no, she's coming over here! Oh no, what if she's trying to rob me?!" screamed my brain, as I assume it would for any other sane American living in our era. I opened the door and she started on about a pamphlet she was holding regarding God and the like, and as I skimmed it and listened to her voice I asked what denomination she was from. Jehovah's Witnesses. (I had a feeling, but I wasn't about to assume.) "Oh yes, I have gone to the Kingdom Hall many times, I am familiar with your religion!," I explained. "But I am pagan so I have already chosen my religion."

The exchange was surprisingly pleasant. She asked me a couple things about my beliefs and I found them both easy and challenging to describe - easy to talk about my own practices, but challenging because paganism is so eclectic, I didn't want to say anything that made sweeping generalizations about all pagans to give her any kind of wrong ideas if she came across any pagans in the future. Her questions that struck me as interesting were: "So it's science-based?" and "Do you believe that's all there is in this life?" Now, I'm assuming she had zero interaction with, or knowledge about, pagans. Maybe she does. But if not, those being the questions someone would ask about it, I found interesting. Truth is, you could ask everyone who considers themselves pagan those questions and get a different answer each time! (For those reading this who have no idea what I'm talking about, consider "pagan" similar to "Christian" in the way that it's a term that encompasses many, many different ways of thought under a general similar idea.) She thanked me for being honest about my own beliefs (I guess many people let them babble instead of engaging in discussion? or are plain ol' rude?) which I wasn't expecting. It made me appreciate kindness and openness, even if she got back in her car and drove off thinking, "wow, that hippie girl was farkin' crazy and is totally going to hell." ...or so I imagine!

Now, part of my telling her I am pagan comes from that being the label I generally use when describing my beliefs to others. But I admit, part of it comes from someone else saying that in their experience, using the word "pagan" put a stop to the proselytizing quite quickly. Not that I wanted her to go away, but I didn't want to waste her time! Lately I have even been pondering if I should even still consider myself pagan, because I follow the writings of a whole lot of New Thought style teachers these days as well as kind of floating along the spiritual wave of incorporating whatever I come across that resonates with me into my own life philosophy. But today I learned: the quickest way to realize what your own beliefs are is to have to describe them to someone on a hot day with a melting popsicle in your hand.

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