Until now I have never minded being on my own. I always presumed that that was just my lot. That there weren't any pagans around for me to join. So I'd go about things in my half arsed kind of way.
I also presumed that I'd carry on being happy this way, I don't really want to join a coven, the thought of that terrifies me. But over the last couple of years that has changed.
I went to my first fully fledged pagan event in November 2011. Witchfest. And I loved it. There were so many things to see and do, people to meet, talks to go to. I had a great time and discovered some things about myself I'd never even considered. I didn't feel pangs of being alone then. I did eventually, probably a couple of months later. It was after all only a one day event, and it all happened so fast, but I loved being with others like me.
In the meantime I stepped up my online presence a bit, chatting to people, some I'd met at Witchfest. It helped me feel less lonely and I became good friends with a couple of people who I now meet up with at real life events.
I went to the Gathering for the first time August 2013. This was a full 3 day event and I had no idea what to expect. Turns out I had a ball, and again I had so many experiences there I would have never had on my own. Not just fire walking either! But I met more people and had some great discussions and didn't feel all lonely again.
When I got home I was alone again. I missed everyone,the friends I'd made, even the annoying drunk folk. I would have given anything there and then to go back not just because of my friends but because I felt like I belonged. I felt like I was a part of something, something bigger than I felt at home.
Until recently I had only really been aware of one pagan locally. Which is an insane thing to think. I knew there was a moot, I'd seen people wearing pagan jewellery but it all seemed out of reach, as if I was lacking the secret password to gain access to this knowledge. Especially as my friend had seen someone out and about wearing a Children of Artemis T-shirt! So I'm going to have to hunt them down at some point at the Gathering this year.
My luck is changing a bit, I have managed to meet one of the members of the local Moot and hopefully I'll be going to that next month. I know they have a trip to the Rollright Stones in August so I would love to be a part of them properly for that! Will be nice to be out and about doing pagan things without having to rely on other people. Unfortunately most pagan sites aren't accessible by public transport or if they are they take hours to get there just for you to turn back once you get there so that you can actually get home. I really need to learn to drive, then I'll never be home!
There are other issues, not just being lonely. I don't feel that I have anywhere outside where I can do ritual as my back "garden" is an open driveway pretty much with lots of houses looking over it. I've done one bit of magic outside but I felt so conspicuous I've never done it again. Likewise, inside, there are lots of things I can't do, burn loose incense, burn paper. Mainly because my husband will come up the stairs in a shot wondering what is burning and ruin everything. Whereas if I had more of a pagan community they might have somewhere I could go or do stuff as a group.
Anyway, with joining a moot next month, and Artemis Gathering the following, hopefully I'll not feel lonely for a long time :)