I was seven years old when I first started my first business. It wasn’t a lemonade stand—that sounded really stupid: sitting out in the sun next to a slowly warming pitcher of lemonade when even I had been ordered not to accept food from strangers. Oh, no. Of course it had to do with cleaning because I am and always have been extremely particular about organization. I called it, “Ave’s Household Cleaning” (except it was my name not my pen name!) and it was essentially an elegantly designed effort to get my parents to pay me for doing my own chores. By age twelve I had invoices. I had a logo. I had some bizarre system where I’d look at a room and decide how expensive it was going to be—and for some reason I claimed I charged off of square footage when I had no real ability to eyeball such a thing at such a young age so I actually did what any seven-year-old would do: I made things up. It sounded official enough, and my parents thought I was cute so they actually paid me what I asked for…and when they didn’t I got to learn how to negotiate, a skill that would take me far in the modern world when I fast forwarded a few decades to the present date where I am furiously collecting my purse onto my arm and turning my back on a company that has finally snapped my very last straw.
I never thought I was going to be one of those people. I’ve never been as interested in having objects around me as I have been interested in being fully rich in skill and ability. I like being good at things. I work hard at being good at things. My lesser magic propelled me to the top of the company that I used to work for and I blinded myself to all consequence of it until suddenly I was getting MRIs, sleep disorder diagnoses, and all of the lovely things that came in between. I was hungry for it. It wasn’t only the money, it was wanting so badly to improve oneself to the extent that you really are the best of the best. The money was only a way for me to qualify my efforts and I will say I did a good job, especially when I compare my experience to the present-day lives of my friends and cousins.
It is critically important as a Satanist that you maintain self-awareness in all things. My job was a game for me and I won—but I may have broken my body to get there and thankfully I’m young enough that my body is healing. For a while I was blind to what I needed because I was addicted to success. I thought that if I were to give it up it would all be for nothing. In the end I realized that all I needed to do was to be happy with myself and have confidence in who I was as a person, and I didn’t need a fancy title to do that—my over-all happiness is more important than my compulsion to chase a solitary form of happiness that had been passed down to me through the generations in a pretty box called “The American Dream.” There are plenty of ways to be happy. If I had any single bit of advice to give to anyone, regardless of if they were Satanist or not, it would be this: maintain self-awareness. Maintain your perspective. It is a sin for a reason, and it’s a damned good one. If I could go back in time and take it back though? I'm not sure I would. That experience changed me as a person and enlightened me to a side of the world I was previously naïve toward, but I will say this: moving forward I am not stupid enough to repeat my mistakes and I hope you aren't either. Remember: indulgence, not compulsion, and always remember the 6th.