My life has changed a lot since I first started down my pagan path. It was ten years ago on Imbolc that I dedicated myself to the triple goddess and the horned god and I'm only just now realizing how far I've progressed. Or, rather, I'm only just now accepting the latest changes that were set in motion when my current incarnation began. The phases of the moon really do apply to the life of a woman; I'm living proof of that. Up until a couple of years ago I really was a maiden: youthful, full of hope with few cares and worries. Oh I still had plenty of work to do, lots of responsibilities and required medication to keep me relatively sane. But a lot of things were different then. I didn't have addicts doing everything they could to ruin my family financially and psychologically. I didn't have a slowly deteriorating parent to worry over and do for. I didn't have but a fraction of the workload I have now. In short: the weight on my shoulders was much lighter than that which weighs upon me now.
I look back on those days of getting my work done and then settling back with my pipe and exhaling all my worries away as some kind of deceptive heaven. It was heaven in that once I took care of business I could relax and forget my worries. It was deceptive because it made me feel, even if for only a small time, that my worries and problems couldn't touch me and if I just kept smoking I'd be okay. And, of course, that wasn't and isn't true. Smoking what I still consider the sacred herb helped me get over some serious pain but it eventually became a crutch. And now that I don't have it I feel like I deserve its benefits much more than I did then. Not because I wasn't suffering hurt that it couldn't help me with but because the stress I'm under now is so much greater than what I experienced back then.
The Maiden is gone. She spent most of her time worrying only about herself, what she wanted, what she needed or what she thought she needed. She had high in the sky hopes of getting back to school and she still thought she was an intellectual. And while she cared for her loved ones she only sometimes put their needs ahead of her own. Most of the time she was more worried about what people thought of her as opposed to whether or not others came up to her own standards. She was neurotic, insecure and self-conscious to a fault much of the time. And while I miss her hopefulness and her energy-and her weed-I don't miss her gullibility or her naivete. I don't miss her dependence on other people or her blinding adherence to their ways.
The Maiden is gone; farewell.