Speaking of spirituality and religion, here’s some original thoughts of mine from May 2009.

Note from me, 12.13.2019: Getting in the spirit of Hanukkah and my need to talk about Judaism reminded me of something I wrote 10 years ago, and so I wanted to share it. I think this list had been snowballing since the Columbine Shooting when I started really discussing and picking apart my faith in my journal at the time. I wanted to understand the way that I felt and come to some understanding. The below notes were originally written in 2009, the only editing I’m doing is if I repeat myself a thousand times. This is actually the first time I’ve re-read through this in many, many, many years since posting it online at some point, so I might have to give an updated note at the end.

2009:

If you’ve read me a while, you would totally know I’m not anywhere near RELIGIOUS in a certain denomination. I’m only spiritual. I wasn’t exactly born in a religious atmosphere (as in the home). My relatives, however, has introduced me to all kinds of religions [pilgrim holiness, nazerine, baptist, free methodist, christianity]. While I’ve appreciated all of the religious experiences I have had going to several different churches and learning in classes about several religions, I still have to come to a conclusion about what I personally believe in. I think I’ve always longed to learn about reglions but always have settled (happily, that is) in being just spiritual especially with the impact of taking Native American Literature in 1st year college of where we discussed the jest of believing in spirit AND of spirit of one soul to nature. That’s about where it all began for me. In absolutely no order, I will explain what I believe in with describing situations with main words.

FAITH: Standing up for what [you] believe in and standing strong to those morals and not letting someone change your mind. Faith is about believing in what you believe in, regardless of what happens. Faith, for me, is not letting go of the fact that I have hope – and sometimes it is hard… even along the road of wanting to give up, I still believe that everything happens for a reason. Faith is me standing ground for all of this below that I believe in and will continue to believe in until my dying day.

HOPE: Hope is hoping for the best, believing positive things will happen and will happen for a reason as it was supposed to… HOPE is living life — rather it be a rollercoaster ride or not, you’re up or you’re down, but you’re still positive for the majority of the time and find the glass clearer at the end. HOPE is living each and every day knowing soul purpose and reason why you’re hoping and having hope.

LOVE: Even from way back when, I knew this was the best gift in the world. Love is free, love is absolutely amazing when you find the right person, love is loving and being able to accept all of the personal flaws in another human being and loving them for who they are…. Love is doing stuff you’ve never done before, love is getting butterflies even after being with someone for a long time, love is holding hands, laughing… etc. Love is a big great adventure… if you are with the right one.

KARMA: When someone does something really bad to someone or makes fun of that person, I totally believe they’re going to get it back twice as bad when it comes back around and bites them. This is also for the ones who lie and steal, too. I also believe that possibly in a past life, those people that walk in and out of our lives (for reasons of bad) & needed to fulfill some requirement of karma… this goes for ex-bfs and ex-gfs… they just served a sole purpose of & you learning some kind of a lesson to move on with life, then that karma is over and life moves on.

DREAMS [telepathy thru dreams]: The dreams that completely have to do with a situation and then that situation happens. I believe are to be dreams that are made to make you prepare to hear the news and to be extra cautious of something in case it does happen. It’s the reality in dreams prior to whats going to happen. Take for instance, back when we first got Peaches (lhasa apso dog that passed away in 2008), I had a dream that she ran away from us when we were out walking her. A couple days later, we really did go walking, she really did get loose from her collar and she was running out in the road. Luckily there wasn’t a car coming, I took off running after her and finally caught her. She was ok. The other dream I had was about being in E’s old classroom and the teacher replacement telling the class that E wasn’t coming back to school. I was screaming YES SHE IS, SHE IS COMING BACK! That very morning Momma pulled me aside in her media class and told me that E was retiring. Since those situations, I have still had numerous dreams that gave me prefeelings before a situation. Usually, spot on.

GUT FEELINGS / FEELINGS AROUND SOMEONE: We all have our different feelings about if someone is creepy [bad vibes] or something’s going on with that person and we shouldn’t be friends with them [doing something shady]… then it usually is. I’ve dealt with that a lot working in retail. There had been several times when I and the managers talked about certain people being shady or if they were weird, and they usually were, and they eventually got caught doing something or weeded themselves out. I highly believe in vibes, too. I guess that part just comes with being human…. but it is also a gift because some people don’t have gut feelings or get vibes from the bad people.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON: I stroooonnnnggglyyyy believe in this! If it all falls into place and it happens out of good — it was meant to be and it was totally for a reason…. as if it was already pre-planned to happen but we just had to make it happen by taking risks. An example of everything happens for a reason would be when back in 2004 December there was this dog that just happened to be outside when my parents came home at night. We ended up putting Doggie Stares into the backyard, we kept it until the vet could come and get it. She was too wild for us but I grew attached to the idea of having a dog. Next thing we know, a week or so later, we were handed Peaches because a neighbor couldn’t take care of her anymore. Having Doggie Stares at our backyard and taking care of her prepared us to get Peaches.

DIVINE SPIRIT / POLAR OPPOSITES / TWIN FLAMES / SOUL MATES: I believe that everyone has a soul mate and, if it’s the right match, those two people will be inseparable. Those people will be completely polar opposites with some things in common so the two will get along. One mate will pick up on things that the other mate isn’t good at and vice-versa. These people will be greatly in love and feel like they’ve known each other forever. When united as one, it is a feeling so close to heaven that those two people that share this feeling will never forget… and will always be known to each other for future lives and past lives.

MAKING WISHES AT 11.11, FINDING CANADIAN COINS ON ACCIDENT, EVEN NUMBER TOTAL AT REGISTER CHECKOUT: These things are all good luck for me…. When I worked in retail, I’d find canadian coins and have good luck to last for a while after having found it. After not finding too many coins, I went to another conspiracy of mine that just came about… was having a customers total ring up completely even after tax. I knew it’d be a good day if I got one of those (and it would be).

STARS/ FORTUNE TELLERS /  FORTUNE COOKIES/HOROSCOPES: I believe all of these have significance to truth to it. I have a feeling that it has a lot to do with being closer with nature and the universe, feeling as one with world — unity of everyone and everything around. If the sun is in align with the planets (which is for astrology signs) – everything is fine. Also, I believe that mood rings (even though, yes, I realize this is fake) plays some role in the human body/emotions and feelings… and it is relevant to me because I believe in  the mood ring function. I believe on wishing on shooting stars.

LIFE LESSONS & PREDESTINED: I sooooooooo believe that each one of our lives has been written/predestined right before we’re born. Something somewhere or someone has written a plan IN THE STARS (the sky, universe) to be given to the world / to us as we are born and grow up. There are things that we do in our lives that brings us to the right path and serve us the life lessons that will guide us to who we really are and what we’re really supposed to be doing. It’s already in us – but we have to meet certain qualifications of life lessons before we really figure out life… and what we’re supposed to do. Or the big plan, that is… and then it is only up to us of how far we’re going to go.

PEOPLE YOU MEET: I believe that the people you meet in your life will help you among the way to becoming what you really are… sometimes they’re great, sometimes terrible, sometimes just people that came quickly in and out of your life… each serves a purpose in your life and then they’re gone. Old friends, people that have died, etc. Just like I believe I was meant to meet E just for the sole purpose of finding HOPE and starting to believe in that. I met Momma for the very reason of trust, to have my moment of ‘packing up the memories’ and to have someone that cared. I was meant to meet Sherrie online through OpenDiary several years ago, to have her to talk to me and help me when I’m struggling with something and to give me advice (since E passed away)… and she continued doing that until she passed away.

NATURE / WITCHERY: I’m all about nature, all about being connected outside with the world with the universe with the stars and everything… All of my life, I’ve felt sooooo alive when I’m around water and the ocean and sea. I just feel like it’s meant to be that way for me… calming, etc. Witchery has a lot to do with the outdoors and spiritual… I’m not a witch now (even though I strongly believe that I was in a past life), but I have dipped my toe into wicca/paganism several times.

PAST LIFE: I believe in this, too, as stated about. In a way I also think that I was a renaissance woman… one of those women that didn’t want a family but wanted a lover and a career…. one of those girls that stirred it up back then when women didn’t really work. I don’t want kids… so that has to the be the only explanation is that about my absolute need to want to work.

What is luck when it’s common? Canadian coins if they’re close to the Canadian border, it’s not so uncommon. Good luck is definitely something that someone thinks up for themselves. Just like when I worked at Goodys, I’d ALWAYS find canadian coins in the register. When I moved to other stores, it was really uncommon… so I had to think of something else that would be good luck. Canadian coins were good luck for me at that period in my life because (it’s all about the mind) when I found them, I constantly had good luck. I probably have over $1 of pennies and numerous other change in Canadian Coins. I still have them all, tucked away, in a box… for safe keeping. Also, anytime my managers from Goodys & I would eat Chinese food together, they would tape the fortune cookie message on their desk at work (data office). When I still lived at my parents, I taped the fotune cookie message to my desk there as well (and then I carried out the tradition of just keeping the fortunes with me in my bag).

UPDATED 12.13.2019 NOTE: Despite the personal catered-to-me sort of thoughts because they happened to me and that’s what I experienced, almost everything about this is pure Judaism or a piece of it or something. It’s crazy to me… all along, the one religion I never even thought about looking into is the perfect one for me. I guess G-d didn’t want me to find mine until I was in my 30s… so it would be my own, on my own at the right time, not shoved down my throat at a young age, and where I could fully appreciate everything about it and all of my experiences that goes with it to happen at the time it was supposed to happen. Fate. Luck. Whatever you want to call it… destiny.

Re-embracing the religion of trust in the light.

Million dollar question of the day:
Q: Why is there a package of salmon/nova/lox in the fridge?
A: Because! It’s mine, and it’s my lunch for the week. I’m eating it with challah bread.
Q: Oh, well, I’ve never seen it in there before… that’s why I had to ask.
(They should have known, ha.)

My soul is so stirred up about what happened in New Jersey yesterday. I posted the original Chabad link on my FB page but then they updated a few more times with new information. We’ve got a number of things going on in this country that I just do not know what it’s going to take for the good to take over the bad. Anti-Semitism is on the rise at an alarming pace. There’s a local shooting here, there, everywhere every day happening about every other hour it seems. It’s getting to the point where I’m about to unfollow our local alert page just because there’s nothing but bad news on it. Then, there’s the mass shootings that we find out about right away. I just do not even understand. In one of the latest articles, it was written that the Kosher grocery store was a target. I don’t understand why Jews in New York are being attacked every time they go out. I don’t get any of the hate. At all.

Like I posted, Tikkun olam is the answer to the world’s problems…. but until everyone is on the same page, or the majority of us, nothing’ll ever happen. I dislike saying that, but say that only because–being the nerd I am–I have read books from the 1970s on all of the issues that they were having back then… and guess what? It’s 100% the same exact problem that we are having today. Nothing–at all–has changed. We’ve all aged, there are so many new things and new people helping better the world, but yet, NOTHING has changed. The closer we get into the future the further we fall into the past. How is that even possible? All I can suggest and push forward is that everyone becomes a part of the solution and not the problem. Only half of our souls are woken up to understanding this and the way the Universe works.

The last entry that I wrote on my JM blog before I shut it down was about how lonely it was beginning to be considering I didn’t really have family (like my aunt or grandma) to discuss my Jewishness with.. well, it’s gotten even more lonely. I really miss my safe place and some of my own traditions that I created for myself throughout the almost last two years. I miss all of the Jewish holidays (it seemed like we had like 50 of them together during our new year) and there was always something to do. I miss going to class on a regular basis (my intro class that ended in May) and discussing Judaism on a constant basis. Now that I’m back in rehearsal, I’m not able to attend anything through the week (the new classes that pop up), but–for now (until performances)–I can still attend Shabbat services. After I finish up some responsibilities for my commitments, I’m just going to have to start assigning myself some Judaism-based readings so I can learn and then discuss on here like I used to. Those two months that I stopped writing seemed to really hurt me in my growth, discussion and closeness to a lot of things… now that I’m (sort of, and only sort of) back writing something again I’m at least not so moody or feeling the need to explode inside. I wholeheartedly miss the Jewish portion of my life. There’s a gigantic piece missing and it’s a force to be reckoned with (is that how you say that? does that make sense?)...

The answer has always been Judaism and I don’t know why I allowed myself to be pushed away from it. I’m so ready for Hanukkah but it still seems like moons away. I’m waiting. Impatiently, it seems. Every day for the eight days earlier in the month, I had seen my FB memories of each day of Hanukkah. There was adopting Havali one of those nights, binge-watching Mrs. Maisel, attending our synagogue’s lighting and party, stage managing Coal two of the nights, and other things. I haven’t even brought my Betsey Johnson Dreidel purse out of the closet yet. I must do that before time is up. Oh and remembering how I had blue hair and fingernails for the holiday. (As much as I want the blue hair, it will not happen again. My bathroom looked like I murdered a Smurf. I actually like Smurfs, so I don’t want to do that.) This year I am actually going to be given the first day of Hanukkah off leading into Christmas Eve / Day as a celebratory / honoring holiday. It’s still so shocking how my journey only started in December 2017, studied Oct18-May19 and then converted in June. Hanukkah is the best. It’s when the light came into my life. I can’t wait to get lit. I am going to try to write a recap of the last two years. I need to actually get the story together for my book so I have only one really good written personal narrative and leave it alone instead of always having to re-write it… only adding on as each of the years go by. I have no idea what my Hanukkah schedule will look like, but a good portion of the days might be spent in rehearsals.

On what little downtime I have, I’ve been thinking about my writing, and how I’m going to be moving forward with that. The novels or short stories (that no one has seen because I don’t believe in posting those online because of copyright issues–aka I don’t want them stolen before I publish them) have always had some sort of life lesson attached to them. Always. Every single one. And most of them are 85% based up something narrative because we all know how much I have an issue with even reading fiction. But now that I’m Jewish, I want everything to have some sort of light attached to it. So I’m kind of glad everything happened as it did, because now I can strip everything down, and if it can’t have a bit of Judaism or light or something to do with it… maybe it’s not even worth keeping or publishing or anything. Same with my large poetry book. There will be a few with some exceptions but only a few. With all of the notes I have I am definitely not running out of ideas any time soon… I just need to take the time to do all of this.

As I listen to some of the lyrics and words out of the OBR, I keep applying it to my own life. Something like “Well, it’s the end of the line, boys” then they sing Goodbye Railroad. (And, for the love of everything, I need to stop dreaming about OBR and having these songs stuck in my head when I wake up in the morning!) How do you know you’re at the end of the line and it’s just time to move on? I should know the answer to this, since I’ve done it so many times before on different occasions in different situations. It should get easier with knowing but I’m all kinds of hesitant and scared. For someone who loves change so much, I don’t know why I’m afraid of changing…. it may have something to with failures from attempting change and it not working out, then I’m just disappointed and stuck further in a rut than I was before. Or I’m just afraid of the other side. But I do know the refreshing feeling of making the change and being so glad that I did. Each change I personally had the guts to go through with has only been for the better. Growth is stunted if one doesn’t change. It doesn’t allow learning or trying something new or a possibility to rise to the next level in life… following the ultimate destiny….

Either way, that’s what I’m feeling right now: the end of the line. I feel like I’ve exhausted all I can exhaust at this time where I am now and it’s time to wrap up all the loose ends and move on. We’ll see how soon I can make it happen, but it’s really seriously about that time.

One more round, let’s go.

“One more round, girls… let the boy scouts hear you!” ~ Bette Midler

This is literally my final attempt at having a blog. If I don’t get it right this time, it’s never going to happen. More than anything in this life, I have always wanted to be a writer—and here I am once again—trying (even after going through all extreme mood battles of saying I was never going to write again). I am more than determined to become successful this final round, and get noticed as a true writer, my life’s destined goal. That’s all. I want to inspire people and also give them some of the best entertainment they’ve ever had….and maybe win some awards in there somewhere…and earn some money… and possibly make some movies in Hollywood…but mostly entertain and make people smile, laugh, happy, and feel all the emotions because there’s nothing better than that, really.

For the past almost 15ish years, I have had a thousand different websites under a million different names. Why? The only reason is because I get super bored and want to try to separate my thousands of interests to specialize in a few things gearing towards those who are interested in that subject, but it got to be way too much and close to stressful…even with all the cute names I’ve come up with over time. I am just interested in too many subjects and hobbies and work to ever really separate it. I can’t anymore. It’s virtually impossible. I guess trying to divide myself up just isn’t real or being real to myself or anyone else. And, if I continued the way that I was, I would have continued to drive myself crazy and everyone else insane (if you’re even attempting to keep up with me anymore). I am Karen Maeby, curiosity is my game, and it has not killed me… yet. But I’m sure it will. Eventually.

For many years I used to be what you would call a die-hard Pirate Girl living out the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle in St Pete Florida. I used to have a “Florida blue” 1993 Mercedes 190e and I would cruise down the beaches like I was hot stuff. Those were the days where I wrote stories and poetry from the beaches–spending a lot of time in Pass-a-Grille, Clearwater (for a year I lived across from Kristie Alley), and Indian Rocks Beach before I discovered St Pete and Gulfport. I published a book called “In Love With a Sailor” in 2013. In 2014 I published “The Captain in Me” and smashed them together to make two hundred poems of beach bum inspiration. 

But now, at almost 8 years later, I have fully exhausted those feelings and the beach bum life has lost its luster, I have aspirations to run away to live in the city that never sleeps or turns off its lights (Vegas) to possibly become (some kind of) a show girl, work in hospitality, improve my theatre/writing/art skills, and do things I’ve never done before so I can return home to St Pete with experience from the big city and prove my worth to work and live out my destiny. 

I’ve had many jobs starting out as management in various retail stores (fashion), administrative/office, and the last eight years have been in the marine industry. I have done everything from management to marketing to social media to billing to selling online to customer service and everything else in between. When I had my own business, I worked with mom & pop companies and helped out in industries I never thought I’d work. I have helped start a business from ground up (the first few years of living in FL), as well as helping close down a business (my very first paying job). I have to mention my first volunteer job was being a teacher’s aide from 7th grade to 12th grade. I took it very seriously, and gained so much office experience as well as experience for my future hobbies. So technically, I’ve been doing a lot of things that I still do now for almost 20 years. Ouch. …no wonder I’m so bored and I need change! 

For me, almost every day is like an episode out of The Office, and I often break out into song (in my head) like I’m on Glee or something. There’s always a song for everything, especially if you’re a music person like I am. I have the attention span of a gnat, so the majority of my writing is usually poetry, one act plays (15 pages or less) or blog entries. In 2010–one of my biggest accomplishments–I finished NaNoWriMo all the way through… 50,000 words in 30 days. However, that novel has not been looked at in 9 years. Luckily, I wrote an outline of what was going to happen in book 2 & 3, but I don’t know how I would ever be able to return to that collective frame of mind. I have a ton of unfinished novels, several poetry books and plays that have been completed but yet to move from the computer or paper. I am hoping that in the next year I will be publishing some of my unpublished work and completely redoing what I had published before to re-publish again. 

At least twenty times a day I find myself inspired by something and I have to write down notes for a future whatever-it-may-turn-out-to-be. I have over one hundred email drafts to myself, 300 iPhone notes, handwritten notes scattered in about 20 different notebooks and on random papers laying around. It’s amazing when I write something down, forget it about, release it (the butterfly story!) then have another thought months later about something else and it links right back to one of my previous thoughts making it whole. I am one of those people who is notorious for being a notebook hoarder and having to separate my many thoughts between ten thousand notebooks. I just can’t do simple, apparently. I am too much for some people, including myself, at times. Oh and not to mention the weirdness of how many pens/pencils make me write differently, so my handwriting is as sporadic as anything.

My main interests have followed me since middle school: music, theatre, photography, graphic design, reading, writing, any computer work basically, everything art. I’ve been an NPR nerd all my life, and I heard on one of the shows once, that the things you do around the middle school years will influence your entire life. That is very true, or at least in my case. I was that weird kid–obsessed with Mozart, taking notes about performance while watching award shows on TV, a severe book worm, diarist and listening to opera while everyone else my age was listening to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys and NSync. I didn’t find out about the Spice Girls until several years later, and now, it’s like…. BAM! Spice up your life! And going back to NPR, I would get home from school around 4pm and listen to Fresh Air; on the weekends, it was This American Life, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion, Splendid Table and who knows what else. I still live for those radio shows. I’ve also moved on to podcasts (another terrible hoarding addiction of mine… other than books, bags, notebooks and glitter)

I’ve recently fallen back in the groove of reading constantly by finishing a book every other night it seems. To be a writer, you have to be a reader. Or at least that’s what I’ve always been told. My reading habits are mostly true stories like true crime or history or auto/biographies/memoirs, essays, non-fictional sort of things. I do have some favorite subjects that I constantly read books about: Mozart, jazz era, Salem Witch Trials, anything music / theatre / some TV shows, city of Philly, Native American, Judaism, true crime. Things like that. I can tolerate some fiction (mysteries mostly). I’m super duper picky about reading poetry. I hate those stupid Harlequin Romances….It’s like being excited for the holiday movies on Hallmark, even though, you know the predictable outcome of each one. My most favorite author is Leslea Newman. I was excited to have found her, as I’ve never loved anyone’s work as much I do hers. Growing up, my favorite author was RL Stine. 

So all in all, you may think I’m very chatty by my writing, but I’m really a (very, very, very moody & pick-up-on-all-feelings/energy) introverted extrovert. If that’s even a thing. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Working in theatre has lifted me about 85% out of the shadows, but I still retreat very quickly to my shell like a hermit crab when I feel threatened or shy or just need a break from the world. I do sit back and watch and listen. Everyone is my inspiration… of who I want to become like and not. So behave nicely, as you’ll be an example of mine. And, even if it may seem I share a lot or very open when I get to know you, I am still a very, very, very private person. If you don’t believe me, start asking around. When you think you’ve figured me out, I go and change yet again. One more thing: I am slightly psychic…. so I have a ton of dreams that predict things before it happens, and my intuition is very strong. When I say something is completely meant to be, trust me on this one, it is…even if it doesn’t happen right away. I have enough proof. 

My life is filled with lots and lots of love from friends and family and the things I do in my life. I am excited to be writing again because I have missed discussing my Jewish journey which is the most important thing to me. If you don’t know it already, I converted to Judaism on Anne Frank’s birthday (6/12/2019) and it’s one of my best/proudest/happiest moments… and it feels like I’ve started a brand new life, as I’m trying to tie up the last bit of the loose ends from my previous one. Other things that are going to show up in my writing: animals (especially my hermit crabs), lgbtq rights/etc (and all of the events I participate in), events I work or attend, all things art-ish, updates on hobbies or interests, experiences, previous trips, and so much more….. I’m going to try to stick with a schedule of writing this time around so you know what to expect on certain days… and I am hoping to start promoting some of my work that I’ll be publishing/republishing eventually. We’ll see. All you need to know, really, is that I’m a lot of random tossed in a gigantic pile of chaos and I use a lot of sarcasm (see this comic sans font?) that’s why my AIM name was illegalsarcasm. Is AIM even still a thing?… Last but not least, I’m fighting very badly with technology right now, so this may be the death of me. Maybe I’ll even write about it and haunt you from my how-to-become-less-technical grave.

Until next time, 
Karen Maeby (Ahava)