Ekunyi's Embers

Returning in a New Year

After a two week jaunt that saw me visiting friends and family in four separate cities, I’ve finally returned home to my apartment and guys? I am worn out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be back in my familiar space, with my familiar cat and partner, my familiar local haunts, and yet it’s simultaneously challenging. I am certainly ready for a bit of rest: that I slept for eleven hours on my first day back was proof enough of this. Yet the past two weeks were full to bursting with lessons and exhilarating moments of confirmation. They raised ten questions for every answer solved, leaving my mind full of ideas and concepts I want to tear into while they’re still fresh.¬†Such is often the way of a good adventure, I think.

Yet all adventures eventually come to an end, our valiant heroes must set down their swords, put away the spell scrolls, and take off the mystic armor to go back to the day to day lives of tending castles, farming fields, and maybe even teaching the next generation to go out and seek a new quest.

I’m struggling to settle back into the normal time, the usual life of daily necessities. I don’t feel ready to go back to the job that eats away at my energy and emotions, nor do I feel ready to give up the summer which granted me time to sit in shrine on a daily basis, to make art in music and clay, and to lose myself in the woods for a few hours at a time. I’m missing the people, some newly met, some known for years, with whom I could shut off the filters of “normalcy” and just be myself. Particularly after sundown, the time of day that has been giving me the greatest emotional difficulty for the better part of a year, I feel the gaping loss of these amazing people from my present reality, and am filled with frustration that I am once again limited to text on a screen when it comes to our interaction.

This is not a good or healthy way to be starting the New Year, my new beginning.

I have returned, but I need to forge it into a joyous homecoming, rather than passively let my life continue on its previous course. I need to sort out what I will achieve in the new year. I am not a creature of habit, I am someone who needs projects to be working on, needs to be affecting the world in some way, needs to have goals to fight for, people to help. My return must be one that, overdramatic though I know it sounds, heralds new beginnings and new triumphs.

So what will I do in this new year?

1.) I will establish relationships with at least four new gods: Heru-sa-Aset, the god of this year in Kemetic Orthodoxy; Heqat, as a goddess of ¬†resurrection should, as I suspect, part of my identity die this year and need to be reborn as something new; Wesir, with whom I have talked of death and who understands those concerns more than any other deity I’ve yet met; and either Khnum or Khonsu, both of whom I have interacted with briefly, but as of yet I remain uncertain as to which would be willing to work with me in the long term.

2.) I will get to know my akhu. There have been signs all over the place (signs enough that even “Bah humbug it’s just coincidence” me can’t ignore them) that my ancestors want to build a better relationship with me, and I have avoided them time and time again largely because of my own discomfort with the idea. It’s time to move past this hurdle and reach out, probably looking beyond my most recent relatives, whose firm Christian beliefs form the biggest concern of mine: that I am disrespecting them in my efforts to honor them in this fashion.

3.) I will find a way to balance my creative needs with my present academic requirements. Sculpting and making music are things that I must have in my life to be happy. I know this now and I will not let them go without a fight. Part of this balance will also include assessing my career path and conclusively making a decision about whether or not academia is right for me, or if another occupation merits exploration.

4.) I will continue to volunteer. I’ve been helping a discounted feline spay and neuter clinic for the past few months in Bast’s name, and I intend to start singing at nursing homes as well. I dearly miss singing for people, and this is a good way to offer something to others while also taking care of myself. There’s also another music project in the works, if all goes well.

5.) I will figure out what I can offer to the community and take pride in it. Sometimes I find it quite difficult, between the depressive episodes and the ongoing battle with self-doubt, to figure out how I could conceivably matter, both within the Kemetic community, with all its variant forms and subgroups, and in the world at large. I’m just not sure what I bring to the table: musicologist-me knows damn well that she has a lot more reading to do before her body of knowledge in egyptology allows her to contribute anything on the scholarly level and artist-me knows that she certainly isn’t ready to play in the big leagues of statuary or song. But best to just keep trying, writing, making things, rather than go on and on about my sensation of uselessness. If nothing else, those words are holding me back, making that “lack of purpose” feeling into my own reality. So no more of that.

To quote Avenue Q: “Purpose, it’s that little flame / that lights a fire under your ass.”

*lights flame*

Let’s do this, new year.

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