P101 – L1

Posted: November 18, 2012 in IJRS Courses

Telling my Story
By: Amelia Long
Assignment 1 // Personal 101
Instructor: Jax

I Dream in Windmills

The title that I used for this specific assignment is actually one that is very dear to me. It is actually the title that I used for my epitaph…the story of my life that I had begun writing so that one day I might pass it down to my children and they could see a side of me that maybe they never got to know. So, I figured, what better way to start an assignment on my story than with a very pretty title?
I will say now that, I always felt that, in my family, I was the odd-child-out. I was the middle of three (my older brother, myself, and my little sister) and my Mother will openly admit to this day that I have always been overly-complicated and wise-beyond-my-years. My first living memory takes me back to 1993. I was two years old and was sleeping on the couch because I had been ill. I was standing up on the couch, leaning against the back of it to peer out the window into the night sky. It was a full moon, and I was waiting for the sun to rise.
At this age…I was trying to figure out the workings of the world. I wondered why lettuce and leaves looked so similar but tasted nothing alike. I was wondering why people said the sky was black at night when it was actually a really dark blue…and, on this specific night, I was wondering how the sun appeared in the morning. My original thought was that the sun and the moon were actually the same entity and that, when the sun became tired, it shut off it’s yellow light and went to sleep, and that was how it became the moon.
But, because I was not sure of this…here I was, forcing my tiny body to stay awake so that when 7am rolled around, I could sit there and watch as the moon went into hiding, and the sun came up to take its place in the sky. That was just the beginning of more overly complicated thoughts and series of processes I would go through as I grew up.
But on to the more specific questions….
Mentally, I have always had multiple interests. As mentioned above, I love breaking things down to figure out how they work, how they function, and why. That’s why in college I loved studying psychology and sociology. It was fascinating taking the brain apart and figuring out why people did certain things, and how one small alteration in the brain could cause drastic effects whether good or bad. Even before college and the courses I was always studying human behavior…running small, social experiments to try and figure things out on my own. For example: I would go on different games and make a male character and a female character…and interact with the same person to see how they reacted to each character. And though the characters I made had the same personality, people took differently to them because of their gender. Sometimes I would make two male characters and make one of them straight and one of them gay, then I would do the same thing stated above to see how different people (technically) reacted to the same person only in a different body.
Mentally, I also like deep conversations on religion, religious theory, and other complex things. I like looking into some history, but science and music were always my favorite subjects in school. That’s why I eventually took my love of the human-mind and my love for music and decided to major in Music Therapy for a short amount of time.
But more than what I like to study…I like to fantasize. I used to be so lost in fantasy that I could not tell what was fantasy and what was reality. Granted, this was during a rather dark time in my life…but it happened, and I felt like a lost child when I finally shook free from that dreamy haze I had been locked in.
While I normally fantasize about wacky adventures and novel-plots, what I fantasize about most is power over myself. Control of myself, and glory. I always dreamed of doing something important so that my name was instantly categorized with strength, with honor, with sacrifice, with pride. That was why my dream job was to be a Marine or a soldier in general. That’s why I was so drawn to the JEDI lifestyle because it offered the discipline I wanted, the ultimate goal of doing good for the world, strengthening ones body so that you are mentally and physically able to harness The Force, and it was a modern-day knighthood and honor-system that brought with it thoughts of glory. I know it seems silly…but it’s just something that I have always wanted.
So that can then lead us into what I aspire to physically.
Physically, I have not been very active. In middle-school and high-school I let myself go and gained a lot of weight. That caused for a loss of confidence in myself, lack of self-esteem, and a lot of other problems that were associated with obesity. I developed activity-induced-asthma though I had never been anywhere near asthmatic in my life, and I developed a problem controlling my blood-sugars. But that’s when I found the marines, and started training so that right after high-school was over with, I could go off to BMT. I lost 80 pounds…started working out twice-a-day every day (even when I had work)…but then I lost sight of my goal. Emotions from a terrible breakup (a relationship of 5 years and I was engaged) as well as a huge scholarship from my dream school gave me an excuse to be lazy. I gained a ton of weight back…and when my recruiter called, I told him that I did not have what it took and that if he tried to convince me otherwise then he was just wasting his time.
That was then…
But, nowadays, I have realized what a fool I was for letting myself go. Seeing my partner become an Army soldier awakened in my jealousy and sadness over my pathetic appearance. So, I started playing Airsoft to relieve some of the jealousy over never becoming a soldier. I started running, started lifting weights, and doing other small exercises to get my extra weight off. Even now, I just bought 8 Krav Maga classes for $30 off of Amazon, and I am getting a Krav Maga DVD-set for Christmas to take with me to Germany. physically I believe that the body can be strong, but it also very fragile. It needs to be taken care of and as it is the one thing giving you life, it deserves to be treated as a Temple rather than destroyed by drugs, by laziness, and by other things that can be deemed more harmful than good.
Finally, spiritually, my ideals have never really changed, they have just become more ‘defined’ over the years. As mentioned before in the introductory course, I was raised as a mixture between Catholic and Baptist (because my parents were divorced). While I wanted to be a good Christian because I wanted to be with my family in Heaven, I did not believe in the ‘God’ that the Church was always preaching about. I did not understand how a religion based off of ‘donations’ and ‘fear of being damned to hell’ could be something that was wholly-good as stated in the Bible. I also did not understand why a Holy Book was allowed to be changed, revised, was only written by men, and yet was supposed to be the direct word of this so-called “God”.
I have studied religion off-and-on since I was thirteen. I left the Baptist Church after being threatened to have my personal possessions burned, and that’s when I decided that I needed to find my own path…something that I could really feel and could really believe in. Wicca was my first attempt at another religion and spiritual guidance after leaving the Church. their beliefs reflected my own in certain areas (everything has a spirit, the karmatic belief, and reincarnation), but overall, the ceremonies, prayers, and rituals did not click with me. They left me feeling silly, uncomfortable, and farther from The Divine (as it is called in Pagan beliefs) than what I had originally felt. I became a “Three-Day-Monk” (referring to a wonderful blog entry on IJRS).
When my interest in Wicca started to fade, I decided to try Nocturnal Wicca thinking that might help, then I tried other Pagan divinations, then tried to join a Coven, then tried to make my own Coven instead, but nothing seemed to stick with me for more than a week. I slipped away from religion for 4-years after that…then I found the JEDI Path, and so far (considering that I am currently taking this course) it has stuck with me. As a religion and a lifestyle, I consider it wholly good…I consider it a lawful good association, a very understanding community, something that will keep my desire to commune with nature, teach me to take control over myself and gain power over my darker sides, and something that will bring me that pride, glory, and strength that I have always wanted…all the while helping the world become a better place.

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