human after all

Well, it’s been a minute.

I owe you, and me, three blog posts.

Today, I finished writing this fantastically long post for my $10+/month patrons on Patreon. It took days, throwing away drafts, revising–what I call real writing. So I’m glad. It’s about some really good things that have happened to me last month, which explains some of my absence.

What I can say about that is holding space for something that may or may never happen is never as good as letting go and opening up space for greater opportunities.

Unfortunately, you get the really bad things that have happened to me story. But there’s still a lot of growth, and it won’t be as down in the mouth as I have been historically.

And, for once, I will make this short.

Last month was really busy with a client doing work I used to do back in the day in my research days.

But since June, I had been consistently screwing up with data fidelity. I’m a recovering perfectionist, but this was becoming an expensive issue for my client and a perplexing situation for me.

I’m used to not only doing a good job–I’m used to excelling. I didn’t go through living in a hypercritical household with two narcissists as parents for nothing.

So when I kept trying to correct this problem, but getting the same result, I was in a state of insanity.

Admittedly, my client threw me in the deep end of their operation, and I thought I was swimming well, with some instruction, but not that much.

I thought I didn’t need it, and I didn’t even know what to ask to solve the problem.

As I started to sinking under continual screw-ups, including one that they didn’t catch for weeks, I realized that this wasn’t entirely my fault. And I’m used to taking on too much blame.

The client is super smart, the kind of smart that will skip over steps because they assume everyone knows what they know.

Last week, after I screwed up for umpteenth time, we had a terse conversation which I was still so confused why things were still a mess.

I was told that they would be in touch.

It took me two hours of my own time to figure out why things were a mess. It was something that would have taken less than 2 minutes to explain.

I told the client what I had discovered, apologized for the frustration, appreciated their patience and understanding.

I believe that phrase “I appreciate your patience and understanding” is what set them off, because it seemed like this wasn’t a big deal.

The ultimate consequences was hours and hours of work I did had to be redone (this was an error that my client didn’t catch after spending weeks with the data) and that I was constantly pinging people twice.

And that was spelled out in an email in reply to mine, 8 days ago, as if I didn’t know those things. That felt a bit insulting because I had spent the weekend before feeling terrible about the errors because of those very things listed.

I left the email laying there until last night. I knew I needed to sleep on it when I read it, because I felt like the client emotionally vomited all over me.

You’re to blame, you’re to blame, you’re to blame.

But I knew this wasn’t completely true.

I also knew I didn’t want to work with someone who couldn’t rightly see their own fault in the matter, that they were too busy to be bothered to look over my work, that they wanted me to take on more responsibility than I had been trained to take.

I talked to a friend about what to do, and he wisely advised me not to burn bridges–which I was ready to do.

He gently told me about how football (soccer) coaches will bring on some hotshot player for millions of dollars, but then he doesn’t perform. And then that player is sold to another team for less than what they had originally purchased.

I don’t think I’ve ever screwed up, knowingly or unknowingly, for so long and cost people time and money.

But it’s not unusual. It happens all the time, just like that football example. It just doesn’t happen to me–until this summer. First time for everything, right?

And I had been relying on that income to help as I grow my own writing business.

I then talked to my business coach who told me to not even address all the heated emotions.

She told me to offer a solution which I would be paid to create: a standard operation procedure manual (SOP) for what I had to do.

So going back and forth between my friend and my coach, I came up with a pithy email that was sent at midnight last night. I know it was read, but it hasn’t been responded to.

Whether I get a reply or not,  wheter the I know I did the right thing.

  • I took responsibility for my part.
  • I didn’t reply immediately with a blowtorch email.
  • I consulted wise counsel.
  • I offered a solution.

While writing this post, the client emailed their reply. They said thanks for the offer, they were trying to get a report out which has gone through some changes, but it doesn’t make sense to them at this point.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

iTried.

I haven’t worked with that client going on two weeks, and I feel a lot better. And more writing work has started to trickle in.

I feel supported and I feel at peace.

The growth of accepting when I’m wrong, but consistently wrong–it was such a huge, painful growth spurt for me.

And my identity as some perfect android shattered. I couldn’t get myself out of this mess that I had help in creating. I found the limits to my alleged perfection.

I became human last month. And I’m grateful.

I feel emboldened to ask even more questions than usual.

I feel freed, period. I am free to be fallible, to be imperfect, to not ace it at first try.

I’ve always been the reliable one, the smart one, the strong one, the resilient one.

But this summer, I became pretty ordinary. And the humility was so necessary.

Who can live under such pressure to perform flawlessly every day? I thought I thrived under pressure, but not sorta kinda set up to fail pressure.

At the very least, I learned that although I did gain some pleasure from doing work I used to do years ago, I’m much happier writing and reading astrology and tarot.

It was and is so great to have two people in my life support me, take the flamethrower out of my hands, and give me some options that didn’t involve tearing myself or my client down.

I don’t have to villainize myself into a complete failure. I can forgive myself instead.

So now, I think of my inner child who has gotten so much succor and strength from being “the one,” the star, the leader, the brain, the local Old Faithful. But now, she can finally find her rest and comfort in being her full and fallible self.

She doesn’t had to be it all and do it all for anyone, and especially for herself.

 

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Five Ways to Get from Here to There

harmony and peace SOM

I’ve written a lot in the past week, and if you’re a patron of my blog, then you read about the adventure I took last week. That’s all to say, I’m a little written out (and yet, I’m sure I’ll find the words for this week’s blog post!).

The original goal of this blog was to chronicle all the supernatural and spiritual phenomena that happens to me. That would have been a daily blog, honestly–it’s been too much to keep up with. And I feel very fortunate to say that. I was telling a friend the other day that I’ve gotten used to daily signs, so I’d be afraid if I suddenly wasn’t getting any signs.

One thing I’ve been learning while I’ve been seemingly stuck in a house with two older white men who are not in the best health, mentally or otherwise, is how to healthily detach from unhealthy situations.

That wasn’t really the goal, though.

Usually, my goal in a tough circumstance, is to get out of it ASAP. I think that’s how most people are. But a lot of times, we can’t, for whatever reasons.

A lot of times, we’re in transition from an undesirable place to a more desirable place.

So what should you do while you make this journey from here to there?

The very first thing to do is to accept where you’re at. And maybe this is where the somewhat annoying and inaccurate adage, “Suffering is optional” actually makes sense.

So much of life is really undefined, and lived on the way to somewhere. We get a glimpse ahead, and that’s about it. Only a step or two is illuminated ahead.

As you journey through life, trying to get to a more palatable place, there’s a point that complaining about where you’re currently at only drains and further depresses you. It only makes you feel more stuck.

Wishing you were somewhere else doesn’t get you to somewhere else any quicker.

Accepting where you’re at is also a way to assess things more rationally.

Sometimes acceptance involves a lot of investigation.

Have I done all I can within these circumstances? Are these barriers systemic? Is it worth the energy to pursue this path?

While I was away, I had a convo with my friend about my housing situation, and it just dawned on me how white culture of keeping up appearances is why things haven’t changed around here, after months of complaints.

The landlady and the other guy I call the shut-in–they both have told me that they want the creep gone. But if you saw their interactions with him, you’d never know it. They are chipper and cheerful, accommodating and welcoming.

Ultimately, they enable someone who is a narcissist, with poor boundaries and entitlement issues, actively psychotic, and, ultimately–just an unkind and selfish person.

So really, that’s really something I can’t fight against–at least by myself. Really, the only remedy is to leave–which is exactly what I was working on last week, and for the past few months.

Once you accept where you’re at, then you can make plans for change.

Now that you have a better sense of where you’re at, what you’re capable of, what your resources are, then planning for change is a lot easier. But even then, there could be bigger things going on than you can see or perceive.

Like, you know…your spiritual growth. No, really.

Financially, I always have just enough to stay here and pay my bills. It’s madness, because my expenses are very low. Like I know how to make money…or so I thought.

I don’t want to get into the woo-woo/metaphysics about why I’m a bit stuck, because that involves, in my opinion, a lot of self-blame. And I think a lot of it just doesn’t take into consideration societal influences. It assumes a lot of white privilege.

Some of the stuckness has happened because that freelancing is hard, period. I keep kind of saying this plaintively (it’s pretty whiny), that I didn’t sign up for the freelance life. But I’ve realized that whether I signed up for it or not, I need to start treating it as something that isn’t going to go away for a while.

So I may as well make the best of it.

Making the best of it involves ridding myself of ignorance. Freelancing is a business. I have my own business now. So I’ve been learning the business side more in the past few weeks. I’ve had to be patient with myself because I want to rush ahead and get to the better place–not only because I learn quickly, but because–well, poverty sucks.

And some of it is just bad luck–I lost a major client a few weeks ago, and things haven’t improved since then, which brings me back to the first point: freelancing is hard.

And there’s just the obvious barriers that I don’t even think about–race and gender. I don’t think about them much at all since they aren’t things I can change. But I know they play into this mess a lot.

Because of the stuckness and a real lack of momentum, I’ve had to dig deep spiritually. I hate to use the cliché, “grow where you’re planted,” but…ta da, that’s me.

I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten where I need to be spiritually. I’m closer, though…

When you accept where you’re at, you’re better able to see what you can push back against and what you need to work around.

When I came back from my adventure last week, I had already discovered that all my clothes reeked of cigarette smoke, so I wasn’t surprised that my room smelled terribly of cigarette smoke. It’s something I will eventually mention to this lazy landlady.

I was so disgusted that I also decided to investigate and see if legal action was an option. And as I had suspected, really, it’d be so much cheaper and easier to move.

Through all of that, I didn’t feel as anxious as I usually would. Even though absolutely nothing has changed circumstantially, I have some deep, (hopefully) lasting peace.

So when things don’t change circumstantially, after taking more traditional courses of actions, usually that means there’s something bigger here to learn or grow in/through/beyond. 

I’m not happy to be here, nor am I happy to learn these lessons in this way. But at the very least, knowing that there’s something bigger and better happening here, it makes it easier to not GAF about whatever the creep is doing or not doing.

It’s easier to not take this personally. It’s easier to focus on what makes me happy, right now.

And then it’s easier to use the energy I’d use fretting and internally raging to focus on where I want to go next.

As I make that shift in my perspective, I’m really tired emotionally. And I have to figure out what will fill me back up. I caught up TV shows like The Good Fight and The Americans. I haven’t had much space for emotionally intense dramas. TV really isn’t an escape when it only reminds you how hard your own life is.

It’s also shifting focus, from survival mode to…”You know what? I am capable of leaving here, with my sanity and dignity in tact.”

And that takes time.

Even what I’m listing out here, I wouldn’t call it a linear process. Acceptance is not a one-shot deal. It’s a daily practice. Assessing your situation happens on a continual basis.

Even if you’re in some unbearable holding pattern, you have to have faith that things will change. Whether it’s by your own hand, or divine intervention (it’s usually a combination of the two), change is coming.

Change is always coming.

It’s hard to keep the faith when you feel emotionally tapped, but you have to start to look at what’s going on around you. There are signs.

For example, the more spiritual practices that I do, it seemed like things actually got worse here. The worsening wasn’t some sign to stop doing what I was doing. To me, it was a sign to keep going.

It’s like in a video game, when you’re trying to beat the boss, and right before he dies, he gets really desperate and will try everything to stop you from beating him. It can be almost wildly dangerous right before they are beaten.

Things got worse here when I asserted boundaries. They continued to worsen as I kept asserting my boundaries.

But I’m not going to stop. Having healthy boundaries is great and necessary.

And that part, to me, is done. There’s not much else that is going to change unless the creep decides to leave out of his own free will.

There’s no more reason to push, to be attached to these people.

Now I have to look forward.

Maybe the deliverance will be conventional–I’ll find a client that pays more than the former one. Or I’ll find a new full-time job.

Or maybe it’ll be unconventional. I’ll get an invitation to do something or to go somewhere.

Or it could a mix of both. Who knows?

What helps here is to get curious about what happens next.

Doom and despair can leave you feeling like the road stretched out before you never ends, never changes. It’s the seemingly never-ending hellscape scenery.

But, it’s not really true. And this isn’t even me talking about having some gratitude exercise or appreciate every good thing in life.

Sometimes, we just don’t have the space for that. So, maybe, you can just think: I wonder how tomorrow will be different. Who will I talk to? What will I learn? What will I experience?

This practice of curiosity has kept me alive. As a writer, I see myself in this story, as the main character, and I want to know what happens next to me.

When will she finally get out of this house? What job lead is going to pan out? Will she ever get her HEA? Who is she going to meet this year?

How will she be different a month from now? Six months? A year? Five years?

I keep picturing myself like some spiritual Houdini, like I’ve put myself in a straitjacket, hung myself upside down, in a water tank. The water is rising and I’m just wriggling, wriggling, wriggling, trying to free myself.

No pressure. ALL PRESSURE.

So. I’m here, with three people, including the grandmother who lives in the mother-in-law suite next door.

They are all living the twilight of their lives. Probably the next place they will live is in a nursing home…or hospice.

And that’s when I feel the doom and the hopelessness starting to rise. It’s scary to think that nothing will change, that I will be stuck here in this de facto old folks’ home, barely scraping by. They are so much closer to the end of it all. And I feel like I just started, at age 40.

Spiritually, I feel like I have endured and fought so much fucking nonsense to get to this space of…I get it. I finally get it.

I know what matters to me. I know what I’m about. I know what kind of people I want around me. I know what I’d want my family to look like. I know where I want to live and grow and thrive.  I know how to keep better boundaries.

I know. I know. I know. And life is so short. I feel like I’ve wasted so much time…waiting, fighting, longing…

And I’m ready to apply this knowledge, to leave what so many call “God’s Waiting Room.”

My time has not yet come.

So sometimes, the suffering comes from feeling like there is so much more out there for me, and that these old folks are somehow in the way of my happiness.

It’s so easy to be angry, hurt, and sad–for very practical reasons. This housing situation is frighteningly and unreasonably absurd.

But then again, it’s also just the way it is. I can accept and even embrace the absurdity of living with someone who looks like the grim reaper.

Ultimately, the real question is this: do I want to give these people any power over me?

And the real answer is: no.

Eventually, I just have to say, and repeatedly say to myself, these people don’t matter, at all. What matters is me and my happiness.

The only harmony and peace found here will be within my own heart.

And that journey, even before I leave here, is the most important one I need to take right now.

So acceptance, assessment, allowing growth, planning, and curiosity…those are the things that are finally sustaining me as I journey to a better place. And I hope they will sustain you, as you travel from here to there.

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“I accept that”/the lost tribe

acceptance1_SOM

Lately I’ve been binge-watching the outlaw biker show, Sons of Anarchy, and one of the minor characters, Chucky, says the title a lot. He’s got…some issues. If you’ve watched the show, then you know what I mean. It’s clear that he’s been in a lot of therapy that had some Eastern/Buddhist leanings. As a sidenote, I find it really intriguing how new age/spiritualist messaging has filtered through pop culture.

I woke up this morning thinking about that phrase: “I accept that.” As the new moon in Aries starts a new lunar cycle, I definitely feel the urge to start again, to leave the past behind.

What am I actually accepting today? That, in this Venus retrograde season, where we’re reviewing what we value, and that includes relationships, there’s no going back to the glory days of my relational life–and that would be college, where I found my people, people who valued a rich interior life, people who were really thought, really snarky, and really there for me.

I accept that most if not all of them miss me the way I have missed them. I’ve been living in mourning since I left and returned to college to finish. That’s at least 17 years of sorrow. Life happened the way it did, and even though I’m friends with people from college on Facebook, it’s not the same. We’ve all gone on with our lives–without each other.

Case in point: I noticed that my first year roomie, a fellow Capricorn, was in town on vacation while I was in grad school. I reached out to her, met her son–it was fun. But, it wasn’t the same. Later, I reached out to her during one of my many hard times down here, and I got some kind, almost condescending “there there” words, but no real help. Whatever real friendship we had dissolved in the seas of time.

Currently, she’s doing really well, working in municipal government. I’m torn between being proud of her, being insanely jealous of how her life has been so stable and rewarding, and just being tired of putting any emotional thought or concern into her or her seemingly fabulous life whatsoever. I’m pretty sure it’s all of the above.

Multiply that times a few people, and it’s a constant emotional drain, like a pipe that’s been leaking for a while, and then all of a sudden, a pipe bursts. I wistfully look back on these relationships that were supposed to matter–that’s the bill of goods you’re sold as you go into college and graduate school, that these will be lifetime friends. I don’t really have any.

Add to it that it’s very hard to make friends post-college, then I wonder if finding a lost tribe is possible, or worth it. Adulting is hard enough, but it does help to have some semblance of support.

Earlier last week, I thought of how school past junior high was always full of conflict. All these lifelong friends I was supposed to have do not exist. What I have instead are boring acquaintances. I get to see their babies and their spouses and their vacations and all the curated happiness they allow to filter through their Facebook feeds. No tinges of intimacy.

Another story: a friend of mine and I connected on Facebook a few years ago, and I spilled my guts about a mutual friend who basically cut me out of her life because I was a little too Mercury in Sagittarius-blunt about the death of her father. I said she must be glad about it. Maybe she had come up in conversation–I’m not sure why I brought it up. Usually, I don’t disclose things without a reason.

That other friend and I had seemingly parallel lives, and we bonded on that. Friend #1 reacted like I had uncorked bad wine–she was compassionate, but it just seemed like time had rolled on, and that I had spewed some irrelevant vinegar all over her. I had apologized to Friend #2, but it’s definitely up to her to accept, or to not accept, my apology, or to forgive, or to not forgive me. I did the best I could with my antidepressant-addled brain, making my way on my own painful journey. When ours intersected at her father’s death, we abruptly parted ways. And all I can do now is shrug. I’m done mourning what can’t be undone.

I don’t think I won’t meet people like the ones I met in college again, but there won’t be the same shared sense of mission, of collective awakening that seems to happen only in college. We were all writing our own bildungsromans, together, being the major and minor characters in our life stories. And with my family’s drama dragging me down, I missed out on the final chapters that my friends were writing. I had faded into an apathetic background, into obsolescence.

But this is what I accept: if my story was meant to be any other way, it would have been so. I fought hard to stay in school and get back into school, and most of those friends fell out of touch during that time. I did the best that I could with the resources that I had. And, if I had mattered more, people would have stayed in touch. The only person that kind of kept in touch years after I had left is dead. So, that’s that.

I’m frowning as I write this because acceptance isn’t necessarily some pain-free experience. I’m sad that a lot of the human condition I’ve experience involves losing a lot of people–or maybe never really having them at all. So much of my time was recovering from familial wounds. So maybe the better term is acquiesce. I reluctantly, but without protest, accept that I’ve lost way more people than I have kept.

I’ve been ruminating about how I had been framing my life here as an isolated one, as someone who is completely emotionally destitute. This support group I’ve been attending for the past few weeks at first seemed to be my local only lifeline. Now I’m not so sure.

I skipped two times in a row because of allergies and because of writing deadlines. I didn’t miss the group, and yet I made myself go last week and it was canceled when I was just 10 minutes away. I didn’t miss the group because the last two times I shared about my life, it just seemed to not land on any place of understanding. And it hurt, doubly. Sharing with strangers isn’t easy, but the lack of response is a sort of rejection. Yet I was definitely missed. I received text messages from a couple of people wondering where I was. It was nice, but there wasn’t a mutual sense of being missed.

I don’t know what that group will mean to me in the future, if I will go this week or ever again. And that’s 100% completely fine with whatever outcome comes to being (yes, I’m saying that more for my own edification). I probably needed this group to realize that I’m not as bad off as I think I am, even if these people will definitely not be the lost tribe that I am looking for.

And that’s why I have gone back to my college years, in my mind, when I was able to share deeply and intensely, for hours, and not get blank stares in return. It was a special time, but I live in a different time now. I accept that.

Also: I am finally learning some fucking discretion about who I share my life to. Those recent heartbreaking and honestly embarrassing group experiences reminded me that most people will not care about the quotidian details of my life. There’s something I’m currently going through that only one person knows about–which is not really normal for me, but it feels mature and normal now, to value myself, my life, my desires, my passions, and to share them with people who do the same.

Maybe, most of all, it’s that I do have good relationships with people online. It’s not the same as being in the flesh with folks, but it has been enough for a while. I kept making my life wrong and empty and less than by valuing in-person relationships over just relationships in general.

I accept that this is the path I’m on. It’s not the one I’d actively choose for myself, and many times it’s unpleasant and soul-crushing. But I’m doing the absolute best that I can. I accept that no other relationships are going to rise from the dead and be as awesome and as close and as meaningful as the relationships I have in my life right now. I’ve tried, and it’s just…never the same.

Having a tenderhearted Cancer moon that really values relationships and the past-I’ve wasted that precious emotional side of me exerting a lot of effort into dead things, like my past. As alive as it can be in my life, it’s so very, very dead. All of it. It got me to where I am now, but I’ve been living in the cemetery of my youth for such a long time. I accept that my life still looks like the remnants of a forest fire, still smoldering, still raining ash. I also accept that through all that fire, fertile soil is underfoot. Seeds have been planted. Sprouts are appearing and will continue to appear.

So, with the newness of Spring, of Aries season, and of this new moon in Aries tomorrow, I welcome more new life, new chances to be understood and seen and heard, and new chances to not waste time on trying to revive dead things. I can instead use the rich organic matter of pain and loss as the fertilizer for new dreams and a new life. I don’t have to wait. It can start right now. I’m not dead: only my past is.

P.S. I am baking apples because I hate Gala apples and I accidentally picked some up. I saw the number 55 (which means big changes coming) right before I returned my cinnamon onto a shelf. While I did that, I brushed passed a favorite mug of mine. It crashed and broke into a musical explosion. Holding onto my past is like holding onto a shattered mug. Instead of holding onto those broken pieces, or trying to glue them back together, I swept them up and threw them away.

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A Season for Oranges

orange-tree-1057334

Orange tree by Herman Brinkman

I would put an epigraph of Ecclesiastes 3 up here, to be all dramatic and pensive, but I’ll just link it here. How’s that for anti-dramatic?

This little, or not-so-little, meditation stems from a convo I had with an astrologer about another topic that I desperately want to write about–the prosperity gospel–but I need to write that like it’s an actual for real essay–research stuff. Ironically, being underemployed makes it tough to have a focused amount of time to do that. Less time = more focused time? I guess so.

So, oranges. It’s wintertime in Florida, so since November, the citrus season has been well underway. I have an 8lb bag of navel oranges…from California. Before, I had some ruby red grapefruit and navels from Florida–for once! Usually, our state gives the rest of you our good stuff; and we get, I guess, California’s good stuff. I never understood that, but that’s commerce!

I remember being in junior high at my Christian school, selling boxes of grapefruit and oranges. I hated going door-to-door selling anything–it has never been my bag. But I had always wondered why we did this in the fall. Now I know. It’s the season.

Maybe it’s through some wicked marketing that I’m too lazy to research, but I always associate oranges with the summer. But citrus time is really wintertime. After May, we’re kinda done here, and then we get dusty oranges from South America that taste funny and not ripe. We’re also kinda addicted to having orange juice 24/7, so you’ll see oranges around all year long.

And it’s weird and unnatural. And you can taste it.

My favorite fruit of all time is the Rainier cherry. Named after Mount Rainier in Washington State, these hybridized cherries–a combo of Bing cherries and Van cherries–are sweeter than a typical cherry, and are red and yellow in color.

I actually got into Ranier cherries because of some slick marketing. I was shopping in a Jewel grocery store in Chicago years ago, and in the produce section, there was a video playing about these delectable delights–about how if you see them go brown a little bit, that’s the sugar. Ever since then, I buy them every summer. I can easily eat a pound of them in one sitting.

This fruit, though, has a very short season. Even that site says that the season lasts from May – August (May for California, June-early August for Washington), but it seems like just one random month and then they are gone. It’s a true summer fruit. You’ll see other types of cherries out for longer periods, but this one is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it phenomenon. So, I buy them every chance I can. You’ll never see Rainier cherries outside of the summer months. You rarely see stone fruits like plums and peaches, as well as other berries, outside of the summer months as well.

As Americans, we sometimes have fallen out of step with the earth’s calendar, of what the earth can yield to us at what times. If you see orange juice on the shelf all the time, you’ll forget that oranges are really a wintertime fruit. Wintertime is also a root vegetable season, but we usually see them all the time, too.

Because we now live in a global economy, we can take advantage of the Southern Hemisphere’s wintertime, along with shipping methods, and feed our orange juice addiction all year round. That goes for oranges, too.

But still. It doesn’t taste right. It doesn’t taste like the sweetness of a Florida winter.

This was one long preamble to how I’ve been feeling lately about my own life, and how out of step I’ve been with what I’ve been able to yield from my own earth. It also ties into that prosperity gospel mess, too, but I’ll touch on that a little bit.

As a child of the winter, being a Capricorn, I feel like I’ve lived through a very long winter of the soul, where everything looks seemingly dead, fallow, quiet.

I may have realized, through exhaustion, that I’m not in the season of Rainier cherries just yet. I have oranges. And tangerines. And tangelos. And grapefruit. But no cherries or any sort from any location.

It’s the same story I’ve been telling for months and months and years and years. It’s the same story that ends up in my dreams.

I want to be there, but I am here. I can’t get from here to there. I keep getting lost or stalled or abandoned.

There’s been a bit of shame with this. I feel like I should be in some certain place in my life. I should be having Rainier cherries right now. And that gets into the abundance mindset a bit, that you should have money and wealth all the time. There are no seasons of saving and harvesting and planting. It’s just harvest all day every day. Even astrology can show you that there are times to plant (new moons) and times to release (full moons).

You can’t have good oranges all year and you can’t have Rainier cherries all year, let alone all summer. It’s weird. It’s unnatural. And you can taste it.

Yesterday, I saw news that my Capricorn college roomie got a huge promotion in her job in municipal government. Not to blow up her spot (although this was in the news), but it’s a six-figure position. She’s been working in public service for at least over a decade. She’s made her steady sea goat way up the mountain as her former boss has gone onto another position at the state level.

The comparison game is a scary one, and I have been trying not to play it. I don’t want her job. I know I’m a writer. And, I know what I do want–stability: in relationships, in finances, in housing, in everything. I want to be a happy Cappy, not a sullen, bitter one.

But summer isn’t here yet. Even if I get some sort of heat wave, even if I get to feel the stirring of the earth within me, waiting to sprout new and exciting things in my life–it’s still winter. And I have oranges. And clementines. And tangelos. And grapefruit. Even though all I really and truly want are Rainier cherries.

I’ve been in a citrus season for a while. I haven’t been grateful for it, either. I’m tired of trying to create new ways to eat all these types of citrus fruits.

But, this is the energy I have to work with. I can’t necessarily extend this metaphor into what my oranges are–

  • Freelance gigs that pay horribly, maybe?
  • Online friendships that I rely on a lot.

But I do know that if things aren’t changing as quickly as I want them to, then it really is a season.

I can’t “manifest” cherries out of season, no matter how much I positively think about it. I can’t plant azaleas in alkaline soil. I can’t plant bougainvillea in Chicago.

Like with my job search. I was lucky to have gotten a couple of phone interviews in the fall as I did. I met with a recruiter on Monday who told me that his clients were in a wait-and-see mode because of the presidential elections.

Now January is starting to pick up. He feels like he should get me something within the month. It feels promising, but I only have known oranges for so long. It’s hard to think that the seasons do change.

With the Mercury retrograde energy, which is now in a shadow period since Mercury went back direct on January 8th, I had been thinking about that engineer I met back at my last full-time gig. I never got to say thank you for his kindness towards me. As a Capricorn, I usually like to cut to the chase and just ask people out–why waste time with games? But that can be perceived as being pushy (especially as a woman).

My real agenda was to express gratitude, something I should have done before I left, but whatever–gender role confusion, etc etc etc. Although I didn’t even say, “I hope to see you soon” or “let’s hang out sometime”–I’m not stupid: I did slip my business card in there. Whatever happens, though–at least writing that thank you note and mailing it off yesterday feels like a push towards summer, let alone springtime.

The energy, though, still feels like I should be waiting. And I have cabin fever.

Also–sidenote: I’ve gotten a little more used to rejection. I’m surprised that I’m not taking it as personally anymore. I think they call that growth. I’m realizing that I do have to be like everyone else and painstakingly, but respectfully, weed through people.

An adage I’ve been using with love and with money: whatever is meant for me will not pass me by. I’ve had to cling to that this month as the circumstances in my life look bleak and shaky.

Things are slow, period. There are no flash-bang episodes of brilliance or help or connection. I’m not used to the pace–yes, even as a Capricorn who took extra time to graduate from college and grad school. And maybe that’s why–everything feels late, almost like an out-of-season orange. But it’s what’s on the calendar of my life.

At the same time, the urgency there isn’t necessarily bad. Things are maybe starting to thaw out. Maybe seeds are sprouting underground and I can’t see them yet. Still, fighting against the orange tree, shaking it and hoping cherries will fall from it, is stupid and desperate. And that’s part of my exhaustion right there.

How can I be thankful for the season I’ve been in for years? What fruits have I been enjoying? What have I been ignoring that can still provide me nourishment and comfort? Am I ready for summer? Is summer ready for me?

These questions need answers, and as I look at today’s unyielding medium grey skies–I don’t know all the answers yet. Maybe with time and distance, I’ll appreciate what seems to be a rather fallow period in my life.

The impatience of 39 years and counting is valid, but it needs to be harnessed and channeled into something a little more productive than trying to change the season.

Maybe it can be cultivated into a joyful anticipation instead of hate and derision and shame. But even that process takes time–the process to realize that good things take time to grow and mature. It’s a time to meta-wait.

Spirit is still speaking, still supporting, still guiding. I pull tarot and oracle cards and see my journey reflected back to me. It’s comforting as I take a deep breath and try to see my circumstances as temporary.

The urgency may be the energy of the changing seasons itself. Things are already changing, but not as quickly as I would like. It’s OK for me to want to leave the orange groves of Florida and head up to Washington for a cherry festival. It’s also OK that it’s not yet time to take that cross-continental trip.

It’s OK to say “yay, you!”  and celebrate successes of my friends. But it’s also OK to say, “I’ve got next.” and wait for my bowl of Rainier cherries.

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