Very well, then I contradict myself.
I am large. I contain multitudes.
-- Walt Whitman; "Song of Myself"
I was born on May 3, 1983 at 3:35 in the morning. Making me 32, at the time I am writing this in the summer of 2015. I am Taurus, with Capricorn Moon and Aquarius Rising, and I know what all those mean and how they show up in my life. It will amuse you, perhaps, I identify as both American and Texan. Both of which are completely different, and recognize (jabbed and seen) differently across the globe.
Alas, I was not issued a ten gallon hat or a horse at my birth. I still haven't figured out who to address my complaint paperwork, too. I do own a lovely set of boots and hat, though, and I can ride a mean horse, and it's on the high list of things that make my heart soar. If you come to visit me I will probably use it as an excuse to have even more horseback riding.
I, currently, live alone in a four-plex housing unit with a wrap around porch, in a neighborhood of those and more, that is old as my parents at least, originally made for military families. It's nice and small and I love it, having just signed my second year lease.
Parents & Family
I, and my younger sister, were, jokingly as my mother put it in my childhood, "issued [to my Air Force parents] with their combat boots" in Texas of all places because this is where the Air Force had them stationed at the time.
My mother, now retired, was a Senior-Master Srgt and a microbiologist. She hails from Michigan and the kind of drastically upper crust family wherein you will hear me mention or not-menton large amounts of money, and well-known names of both family-owned pharmaceutical companies and relationships to people like Dr. Kellog, even before he was famous for 'breakfast cereal.'
My mother's family, is multifaceted and well-off mostly. Or they were through my childhood, while I was having Christmas's in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire every other year, with snowing and skiing, vast hotels where they actually shipped their own trees in. I have one uncle, two cousins (both newly married in 2012), and my grandmother is still alive (and she is, and has been since I was five, the one true idol and ideal for my life).
My father, passed away this spring. He'd long since been out of service in my early childhood, was involved in Civil Air Patrol. Then, involved heavily in computers. Then, teaching technology. He stepped out my life about five years ago and never looked back (of, which I am the third child he's done that to). He hails from California and a family with more emotional-physical-sexual abuse stories than you can shake a stick at. All posts on this are heavily locked and filtered.
My father's family, is full of people I did not meet until I was in my early twenties. Because my mother refused to let these people be in my life until I was an adult and could take care of myself. I don't know them much. Some of them are amazingly religious, but most of my memories either have to with massive boxes at Christmas reeking of cigarettes, or of the funeral for my grandmother when I got to meet this family for the first time in my twenties.
My sibling are complicated. I have two half-brothers from my father's marriage before my mother, whom I met once when I was four, and then again in my twenties. One of whom I get on like a house fire with, and one of whom I assume I wants nothing to do with me. I had one younger sister, who was my angel, whom you'll hear about now and then, more often, and who was born with/passed away at thirteen (when I was fifteen) from brain cancer among several other things.
At times I will, also, talk about married-siblings. My father married after my mother to another woman whom came on the scene with four other children, who sometimes still brush against my life, as siblings are won't to do when you've spent over a decade growing up together. They have since divorced, but I do keep track of her children/my step-brothers and sisters and we see a lot more of each other in person now because we're adults and no one else can make those decisions but us.
My mother also remarried in my teens, and thus you'll hear now and then about my Step-Father (from Minnesota), too. We are a work in progress, I think like a art collage being made slowly over two decades, from the worst combination of oils and water to a slowly positive thing. He, also, comes with one grown daughter, her husband, and my three nieces that you'll see me comment around from time to time. (Whom also own/board horses, because Texas!)
Which is, also, why you'll hear me throw around the quote "I'm an only child with eight siblings," and it is relatively true all across the board. It's, also, a great ice breaker.
Spirituality & Religion
My direct spirituality is Unconditional Love, which was then renamed, or sort of given a description by sage, another one of my longest and best friends, in my early twenties, who decided the way I love people was as "wherein forgiveness is inherent & compassion infinite," and it stuck like someone had rung a bell in my heart, naming my soul.
I was dedicated to The Moon are three days old by my father, and the first thirteen years of my spiritual-religious life were definitely interesting. I was raised Episcopalian by my Mother (her family, her community) and Pagan by my Father (my best friend, her parents, their community). I have three god parents, one of whom was a rector/pastor of my furthest back church (and his church is where my sisters columbarium is).
I made my choice to not say my Confirmation Vows when I was 12 for several different reasons, and when I was 13 was when I chose to be Pagan as a personal choice and not a parental one. I talk about the rockiness of that sometimes, too. But I've been wearing the same pentagram I was gifted that year for seventeen years now. I don't take it off for much of anything, ever.
I usually have at the very least one thing I dedicate to a year (something it ends upwards of three-ish). I have dedicated altars to my yearly dedications, and one for all sorts of main stuff. And a bedroom that looks like a witchy cottage on half of itself, because that's what happens when you're Pagan for your whole life basically.
I'm incredibly dedicated to my spiritual community. I have a camping event I attend in the spring and the fall. I have a very wide net of friends on live journal, dream width, and twitter who are all in my spiritual community, some of whom I never would have found and fallen in love with so deeply if it weren't for the internet. There are even trips we take to celebrate together.
I have a group I meet with three-to-four times a month (for classes, for ritual, for Council Meetings, for writing group, for planning meetings, 2-3 retreat events for them). I am presently in my third year of being both on the Council as a members, and presently sworn in as the acting Secretary of the Council, of this group (which official ranks a 501c3 Non-Profit organization). I, also, act as one of many facilitators of classes/rituals for this group.
I am both very open with my spirituality and very circumspect about how I present it. I like being able to write all of it out, and show pictures, 1) because my religious/spirituality is one constantly misrepresented by media, 2) because it's frequently a closed-book religion/spiritual corner of the world and 3) because it is an incredibly fulfilling thing for my heart and soul and person.
You won't often find names or pictures of the other people, though, because it is still something that requires deep secrecy and can endanger people's lives and employment. I will say, though, that I am very fortunate that I have lived a life without ever needing to be in the closet about my spirituality and without even having been taken to task for it. I am vastly inter-faith and I love to learn about all sorts of religions/spiritual ways of life (which is something my father instilled in me from a very young age and I refuse to let nothing take away).
Important things of note, hrm. I was trained for seventeen years as a high soprano. It was intended I would go to college, major in music, and then study opera. Instead I became a college drop-out, because I didn't want to be in college, took six months off to work at a Dillards (learning how to "fold jeans fluffy," I kid you not) before I hungered for a way to communicate on a higher level with more complicated subjects.
I went to community college and then a private catholic university. I never made less than B, except in math, which I managed to pass, which was good enough. I took history and english courses as my "candy classes" to keep me in school, and somewhere in my second year at undergrad a counselor told me I was two english credits short of majoring English, and one credit short of minoring History. So I did just that.
I, also, took part in the Undergraduate Symposium's, audited extra english classes for fun, and was published in university poetry magazines.
Then I went into my Masters for English three weeks later. I finished my Masters in English eighteen months later, on the Dean's Honor Roll list (even though I wouldn't realize that until years later, it's kind of a funny story). I've got a long Master's thesis called "Mind the Gap: The First and Second Generation Struggle for Post-Colonial Diasporic Hybridity in Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies and The Namesake".
Plus, in my last semester of my Masters, while studying my comps (4 20-pages papers, and my 100+ page thesis), I took an entire class (on Modernism) for an extra comp, with no teacher helping me and had to pass-fail it because the Dean taught it only the spring after I was going to graduate (to leave for Korea that spring). I passed it with flying color.
I'm still aimed at getting a PhD in English, too, someday in the future. But the places that offer that really are not in Texas, so we'll see how that goes, and went exactly.
Health & Body
On my mothers side we have slim, very short men and women, and my father's side we have drastically obese of both sexes and chest sizes that make me head hurt. I ended up somewhere right in the middle. I'm 5'2" and about twenty pounds over average, but frequently flip flop between 140 and 119 in any given set of years.
The biggest problem with my fluctuating weight/daily life is forgetting to eat. I eat insanely healthy, because of bad choices in my teens (wherein money went to books > food), but I literally almost never get hunger pains. Which means without social cues, a roommate, or my phone reminding g me, I can get busy and not realize I haven't eaten for 30+ hours. Which as you can guess is an incredibly dangerous thing and a large part of why I changed what I allow myself to eat entirely over a decade ago.
I don't eat starch (bread, rice, noodles, potatoes, etc) exempt for maybe 2% a month. I don't drink soda, coffee, eat or drink anything with any kind of syrup in it. I don't do candy or ice cream except in incredibly small (to year length) amounts. Mostly lately I am plodding a hard (often feels like I'm baby sitting myself) course to ensure I eat 1000-1200 calories (which I sometimes complain about a lot (at least on twitter or MyFitnessPal, because eating is a tireless, endless thing sometimes when you aren't hungry or interested at the time.)
Currently, I drink a green smoothie every morning for breakfast, workout three times a week and drink about 60-80 ounces of water a day.
Other things in short order?
I am ADHD. Minorly OCD. Have Acid Reflux. My skin is crazy hyper-sensitive, and by that I mean the clothes I'm wearing or sitting under a fan can irritate it at times. I have two compressed discs in my neck. I get A Typical migraines that with 40+ tests of types of medication, food recording, etc haven not been solved since my early teens. I have the kinds of joints to make people twice my age weep.
I was given my first pair of carpal tunnel typing gloves when I was fourteen. I have terrible ankles and knees. The latter, specifically, having tendonosis in them. I have gone through periods of my life where I've been under strict doctors orders not to walk more than an hour a day while healing from something as simple as a four-mile hike. Or from trying to do a workout video for nine days, and then not being able to walk without shooting pains for the next month.
I, also, have a heavy predilection for ignoring all of this and attacking the world head on. I love riding, running, hiking, exercise, play time, beaches, adventures, fun, etc. I play hard and a lot of the time until something knocks me down I'll forget that I should actually go softer on my knees, my head, more focused on what I'm eating, etc. But I'm working on it.
Sexuality & Politics
Personally, I usually identify myself as the following -- Bisexual, Demisexual, and occasionally Polyamorous. I have dated someone from almost every category you can think of. I am incredibly hard to date, because I don't 'date.' If there is no spark, there is no me there. The shortest romantic relationship in my life was a year and half, and it is the only one under two years.
The longest running quote having to do with me and those people who fill this space in my heart is:
"I fall in love with people's hearts, heads, passions, opinions.
I will deal with whatever is in their pants *if* we ever get *to* their pants.
Genitalia is skin and reproductive organs. It doesn't dictate a single thing about my heart."
I'm incredibly liberal and accepting of people, of all religions, of all sexuality. I try very hard to be open and receptive to hearing and supporting the speech of all opinions, even ones in conflict with mine. I am massively inter-faith. I am for gay marriage, gay adoption, and for gay/bisexual/transgender information being added to elementary-to-high school sexual education. More love is never the wrong answer. More honesty is never the wrong answer. More education is never the wrong answer.
I'm definitely a feminist, and think politics and government should take it hands off women's body parts and paychecks, plus teach men/boys as much about ownership/avoidances of rape because of respect as it does women/girls. I am very quiet and wordy depending on my thoughts and my wants to share them, but I'm incredibly authentic and I won't speak anyone else's words for them.
I, also, live -- admittedly -- in a state that will be the same color until it's a federal decision, likely. I'm aware. I love my state, even if it is 'The Old Boy's State' located in the middle of 'The Bible Belt' and 'The Old South,' running itself on guns, cattle, and old money. But It'll never stop me, or really jade my view point.
Strongest passions. Things you will see over and over and over and over, again, tirelessly no matter what format you follow me on.
I'm a voracious reader. I cannot even keep up with the number of books I want to read, the number of books I have unread in my house and on my shelves (both physical and kindle). My kindle as a note, is my second one in ownership now, and always in purse, for reading in all places. I always sign up to challenge myself to be part of GoodReads year in reading for 100 books a year.
I read 152 books in 2011, and 109 in 2012, and 120 in 2013, and 101 in 2014, and I'm at 57 already (mid-June 2015). I devour Young Adult lately, as well as spiritual books, as well as poetry, history, cooks books, and a little dabbling in non-fiction. I read a lot of cookbooks and cook a lot. I love novels, novelas, stories, poetry, prose, meta, you name it I probably have it somewhere in my year. I love stories. Putting them together and pulling them apart.
I write because I feel I would go blind and senseless if I did not. Whethere is journal posts, tumblr posts, fandom meta, fanfic, gaming, poetry, prose, about the world. I see the world with my eyes, but I express the world with my hands. I will always want a million words to explain to you, to the world the beauty of a word, of a feeling, of the things going on in my life that I want so share of the worlds that take me by the reigns and own me outright.
Music is the way I hear the world. After seventeen years of music training my life does not exist with music. I buy my computer each time with an stye toward how much music I'll have five years after buying it. Have an endless ongoing addition to my iTunes (buying and swapping with people). I constantly have music on, need at least nine channels set in my car, and if I love a show/book/character enough for fic or gaming expect that world/those people have upwards of at least 5+ playlists with around 100-200 songs on each one.
And poetry is the way I speak. Poetry owns parts of me I can never explain in other words. We undress a human figure to get to its roots. If you wanted me at my deepest truth I'd start speaking in poetry and never come back. I am much more careful about where i put my poetry on the internet though, with aims to continue getting published for it in the future.
What would a world be without tea & travel. Both of these will pop up often. I am an dyed-in-the-wool desiccant of both. I love tea, and probably drink between four and eight cups of it day. Travel. I have been to Mexico, Canada (twice), Australia, Alaska (three times), South Korea, North Korea (at least 20 feet in on Panmunjom/The DMZ), and The Lincourt Rocks/Dokto Islands. I usually do some kind of big trip a year if I can swing it.
In 2012 it was Weavezaplooza wherein we went to New York for a week, and then took a road trip to Kansas across a second week (hitting amazing road stops like Niagra Falls on the way down).
I, also, have a massive love for the arts. I love to attend all the museums in my city. The symphony, the opera, the ballet, musicals, concerts. I love movies and documentaries, both old and new, foreign and American. I go to all sorts of festivals that happen throughout my world, my city and massive state in a year.
Where it comes to media consumption (which I rank as poetry, stories, books, web series, tv shows, movies, music, and city events all together), I keep weekly posts of these all, and then at the end of the year I do full Master Lists and my Tops Tens of each.
Fandoms & Fannish
I think I believe medie answer here is best -- Oh, you people and your quaint categories
I'm totally a jack of all trades where it comes to fandom, and fanfic.
Fandoms, there is so little out there I haven't read or watched that you can think of. Almost all the massive fandom's you can name i'm watching their shows and I've read those books. And if i'm not, I'm constantly asking for rec's on twitter or goodreads for books, and I ask for show/movie rec's all the time. I'm, also, pretty up on comics books after working as a manager in a comic store as my first job and still loving them now.
(I would love all the rev's you could pass my way! Plus, I frequently love to get in on midnight showing for favorites as well.)
Fanfiction, I love gen, het, slash, femslash. I love to read it and I love to write it. I don't personally identify as only one of these things (het writer/fan, slash writer/fan, femslash writer/fan). I'm a writer, a reader, and a fan. I love stories. I love love. Really well done things of either of these can get me to read, write, or watch anything, of any (or even no) sexual-relationship variety.
I like crossovers, certain alternate universe, gender-benders, and will read them, and write them at times. You will never find blind agreement with me though. I am bitchy about details, complaining, screechy-squeally in joy and I will write extensively long meta's because canon is my favorite thing in the world. I am a canon-purist.
I 'ship. I 'ship whole bunches. I have a handful of One True Pairings, but that doesn't mean you won't see me ship a whole lot of other people with my (or your) OTP people, too. Life's have a lot of love, and timelines have a lot of different applications to different kinds of relationships in them. I like variety, but you'll find my designs (and wants to find) always fall closer to canon than fanon.
I don't bash ships and I will ask people not to bash fandoms and ships on my journal. I write a lot of meta (on shows, relationships, plots), not all of is positive or pretty. But I will never bash for bashing sake. You'll never hear me say I just hate someone or something. I will talk a whole lot about how canon evidence backs up all my opinions and thoughts. Also, I totally welcome opinions who agree and disagree!
Fandom is a gorgeous place and one of the best things about a respectful-opinions forum, is that a lot of people (with alike and not-alike) opinions bring me all sorts of view points, details, and ideas that i never would have thought of on my own. Which is massively how I see fandom itself. As this amazing collective of chances and combinations, where we are more together than we ever were before-apart.
As the best place it'll fit, too, as it was mentioned above. I game, a lot, too. I've gone from poem (play by e-mail), to chatroom (in chat house), and then on to threading-style in journals/journal-communities.
Places to Find Me
Archive of Our Own: Wanderlustlover [Recs here]
GoodReads:- Search under 'Wanderlustlover' for 'Amanda'
All others can be located on my profile under Other Services.
Filters You Can Opt Into or Out Of
My Father's Family - Seldom used, harder to get on when it is being
Ropes & Ribbons - Amanda's Occasional Adventures in "The Scene"
[This entry was originally posted at http://wanderlustlover.dreamwidth.org/22