the pushback

pushing through fear SOM

This is going to be a bit of an astrological post, but one that has been seven years in the making.

Today, I texted the owner of this house with a bit of exasperation. I have sent her daily texts, as I promised I would, about the creep who is smoking inside his room.

Currently, I have taped a towel over the vent, which thankfully isn’t blowing air because it’s too cold for the a/c. I have a towel under the door. My air filtration system sits by the door.

My first text to her, after she asked me about rent, was detailing how the creep was lowkey stalking me in my own house. That was on Sunday.

No response.

So I told her on Thursday about the smoke I was smelling and have probably been smelling for a while. This guy is just lazy and doesn’t want to go outside, which is why he was stalking me in the backyard in the first place.

I’ve texted daily about this smoking situation, as promised. So this is text #4 with no response. I’m using her millennial methods, and yet!

Maybe I’ll need to switch to Gen X methods. Right now, I don’t smell anything, so maybe she did get to him? He has no phone, so I don’t know how she would have contacted him. Maybe through the other tenant?

The stalking, actually, has stopped (at least for now). I’ve been using protective magic (yes, magic) every day and now even if I see him, neither of us shudder in fear. I just go about my business. But I rarely see him.

I bring all this up because it takes so long for me to get to a point of righteous anger, and it was bothering me. I didn’t know what to say to this woman to get her to act.

Should I just keep pestering her? Should I start insulting her? What is going to move her? I don’t like spending my precious time fighting over this, or pondering what to say.

But then I recall what was basically my first astrological reading from my friend–and this was back when I still used AIM!

It takes others trampling on your needs and boundaries to get you to stand up for them! That’s part of what’s been going on with your relationships. These conflicts are pushing you to a place where you will hopefully respect your own emotional needs.

This was about my sun and rising signs being in Capricorn, but my moon being in Cancer. They are opposite on the zodiac wheel. Capricorns are quite confident and competent, but on the inside, I’m a mushy, yet still kinda tough, crabby Cancer.

One things about Capricorns–they are very patient people. But once you have taken advantage of their graces, they are done with you, forever. I’d say that it’s same for Cancers as well. So my home situation is definitely reflective of this phenomenon. I’m patient until I’m not. And when I’m not, you will have hell to pay.

But it takes a lot for me to get there.

So here comes even more astrology. Uranus, the planet of disruption, innovation, instability, and sudden insights, has been impulsive and innovative Aries since March 11, 2011 (as of this writing, that will be seven years ago tomorrow!).

And honestly, until I had written the owner about how insane it was to live here, I didn’t really understand what Uranus was trying to do.

It’s been a nightmare.

I’ve called this transit, in my 4th house of home and family, a thug. Uranus in Aries has been bodying me this whole fucking time.

And why? Just to torture me?

I had so many people take advantage of me when I had to leave my apartment going on 5 years ago.

The classmate and her awful roommates.

The crazy Pisces lady with her ridiculously spoiled Capricorn daughter.

The paranoid, Capricorn attorney from church

And now here I am with these lazy, greedy owners.

Granted, I tried to stand up for myself (feebly?) in each occurrence, but it always seemed in vain. And that was triggering, and I talked about that in my last post.

wait that's it

But maybe Uranus in Aries in the 4th house–maybe that was part of the point. A lot of this instability has to do with poverty, so I don’t want to overspiritualize the financial, emotional, and social sacrifices to get my master’s degree.

But part of the point may very well have been to have been triggered. And in this case, I don’t think triggering is something to resist or avoid, but to lean into to obtain some overdue healing.

This goes back to being a highly competent Capricorn. Uranus really checked me about that. My needs to be respected and valued always seemed to take a backseat to others’ needs.

And this is a theme.

I don’t know if my parents really planned on being like this towards me, but sometime this month, it really dawned on me how I deserved to have parents who stuck up for me emotionally–and the sorrow and grief that comes with not having that.

My being tough all the time has been an effective but dated coping mechanism, and Uranus brought me low, to shameful levels of abasement.

I really needed help, a lot. And it’s been a journey to ask and accept that help.

And ironically, this need for help made me feel more isolated. It’s only been recently (*coughs* This past fall when Jupiter, the planet of expansion and MORE, moving into deeply intense Scorpio, which is in my 11th house of friends and community *coughs*) that I have felt like I am not my problems, that there isn’t this massive wall of poverty keeping me away from the life that I want.

Deeper still, though, has been the wound of not being heard, which, again, if I had to go the astrological route, that can be shown with my Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius placement in my 12th house of healing, secrets, and endings. It’s like screaming into the void, many times over.

Can you hear me? Do you even want to hear me?

I won’t even go into how having this communication chip on my shoulder warps every relationship I have. This is really about how the wound was formed and how I’ve really not fully dealt with it.

There’s this Capricorn tendency to be conservative, to not do things unless the ROI is at least 100%. That can turn into laziness, but also it can turn into fear and inertia.

My Mars retrograde in Leo in the 8th house can also contribute to this–am I going to be willing to risk it all, or risk at all? My friend and I were talking about this yesterday. Lots of profound insights about that placement…

So, texting this owner every day seems pointless. I didn’t want to do it. It’s not even about my reputation or standing in this house.

I know she’s checked out and doesn’t care–because that’s what her lack of action shows. She just wants rent. She wants to see herself as a nice person, not as someone who ignored her own clinical training as a licensed clinical social worker to let someone completely inappropriate live in her home.

She’s in denial, and I am the wake-up call she doesn’t want to take.

But, I have to keep calling.

Why? Because, as my therapist told me, I deserve to be a fierce advocate for myself, just like I was with my clients when I was a social worker.

This may end up nowhere, the texting which may lead to calling and emailing. I promised I’d text every day until this resolved.

Beyond the promise to her, there’s a promise I made to myself to keep sticking up for myself, even if this is all for naught. It’s hard for me to understand to do something like this out of principle.

It just keeps bringing up inside of me some screaming little infant who is not being picked up.

So Uranus keeps pushing me in the chest, trying to pick a fight, so I can address this very old wound, the one where I seemingly didn’t feel safe and wanted as a baby. It’s something that keeps coming up for me when I think of my relationship to my mother and how I still don’t feel bonded to her. I’ve been pondering about this lack of connection for years.

Me sticking up for myself is the needed pushback. And it takes so much. Yes, there’s the astrological explanation–people have to get through two layers of Capricorn for that emotionally deep Cancer gooey center.

But, there’s also just how I grew up. I’m a firstborn girl with two narcissists as parents–one of which is mentally ill–who had a younger child who is developmentally delayed. As another friend stated so eloquently, from an old saying: the cobbler’s children have no shoes.

Every day that I’m here in this house, I feel like Uranus is pushing, asking me–“Are you going to take this shit? You think you deserve this? You just want to keep the peace, huh? Can you hold still with this shit? Do you want to?”

No, no, no, no, no.

This is so painful, but it’s not debilitating. It’s just…frustrating, even when I know what part of the purpose is. It’s to toughen me up in the right way.

I shouldn’t be concerned about anyone’s feelings in this house except mine.

Out of frustration, I called out the owner’s lack of responsiveness today. It felt good, but it also was perplexing.

Why is she not taking care of this? Why is she slow with everything?

Why doesn’t she care about me?

And that question echoes back to my birth. It’s a nagging, rhetorical question that I have asked my whole life. And it’s a very sad one that no child, young or old, should ever ask.

I care about me. And that matters, a lot.

Back to the shame and abasement, though…I keep forgetting that I don’t have to stay there, that I can ask for and deserve divine assistance. The protection work I do every day has made me happier, so I am already tapping into it.

But I can do more, and I will.

I just keep forgetting to ask for help. This is a common Capricorn’s plight–helping others without thinking of ourselves enough.

Our own inner children are barefoot.

So that’s my call now–to continue to seek guidance and assistance from on high, as well as from within. To tend to my barefoot inner child. To make her some shoes.

Uranus in Aries, thankfully, isn’t going to last forever. It’ll leave Aries for luxurious, sensual Taurus on May 15th. But until then, I’ll try to learn whatever is left to learn in these last two months before the head-butting ram turns into the resting bull.

I’ll keep pushing back.

 

scooped out

clean up SOM

I’m not sure if I forgot to write last week, or if I didn’t have much to say, or both.

I’ve been writing a lot for work, which is a good thing, but it also short circuits my creative spark.

The only thing on my mind worth to talk about right now is that lingering fear that I’m not doing enough to make my life better.

Heavy weather, heavy shit.

I just talked this out with a friend today, and between that conversation and another conversation we had earlier this week, I feel like I’ve been emotionally scooped out, empty and clean.

My current housing situation is swirling down the drain of time. And that’s a good thing, even if looks scary and feels uncomfortable.

The creepy roommate that I didn’t think I’d write about again got creepier. All last week, as I was going out more and more for a number of reasons, he was always around on the porch, or lingering in the living room watching TV.

The climax was when I went outside to take pictures of the orange blossoms on the in the backyard. The scent is intoxicating, a heady perfume, and it’s amazing that this is the first time I’ve really smelled it.

I turned to go back to inside, and there he is, picking up cigarette butts from outside his open window.

(So this asshole is still smoking in his room. I’m sure I still smell it every once in a while. While looking outside my window one day, I saw smoke curl on the wind. We’re under a red flag advisory so I hope he doesn’t end up causing a fire with his errant ashes.)

When I walked back to the house, I said loudly, “You’re a CREEP!”

After the owner asked me for rent on Sunday, I told her about the stalking and that although I will give her the (undeserved) 30 days notice, living in this house was insane and that I would be looking for a new place to live.

That felt good and right to do. I needed to see myself say, this is insane. I need to leave.

I never heard back from her, just like last time, just like many times.

The effort to handhold someone to a path of decency and respect. Right now, I don’t have the strength. And I’m not sure if that’s conditioning or the conditions.

This old house has triggered so many old wounds I thought I had healed from childhood.

There’s something primal in me that didn’t get her needs met, something non-verbal, something like a newborn’s withering cry, still reverberating inside of me.

And then there’s the obvious parallel of living with someone who has an untreated mental illness, like I did for most of my childhood.

The repetition of being in the same old scary place of not being heeded and heard.

Why don’t I just leave? 

To where? And how?

There are some options that are popping up, and my finances are opening up.

But I’m still a bit stuck here.

I need a little more grease, a more monkey grease, a little more time…

A little more patience with myself, with the process, with the becoming…

I know that I have been called to call in my own power, to inculcate the idea in my being that I do have power, here. Now.

And surprisingly, that has helped.

The creeping has stopped…for now. I’ve had to improve my spiritual hygiene, do things on a daily basis that creates protection.

There are other things–well, really just one thing–forming that I wish I could publicly talking about. It’s been interesting to see how the Universe has been bodying me into this new place, a place that I don’t really want to go, but I am open to explore…

In the meantime, as I’m welcoming this new idea of place, I have been letting go of another idea, another one I really have wanted for over a year.

Or, at the very least, I’m putting it aside.

As things have improved in my life, I’m wondering if this was just a life preserver, not something permanent? I’d like for it to be permanent, but…so much in my life has not been permanent.

If I misunderstood things…well, I can’t take the disappointment right now.

Have you ever hedged your bets like this? Put off taking life-changing risks because the chance of failure is so great, you’re unsure you’ll be able to pick yourself up again? Or if you are able, it’ll take months to put yourself back together again, even with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men?

I’m strong in so many places, but I’m oh so fragile right here.

To have hopes dashed, again, in this desolate, barren place…

…now is not the time for a broken heart (is there really a good time for that? 🤣)

And it’s OK to wait until I’m OK to take the blow of defeat, or even to ride the waves fear and regret.

Although I was drowning in a lake of self-loathing over my loquaciousness, I’ve realized that I’m thinking more clearly lately.

It could just be that not being broke makes me less stressed out. But even when I was making more money, I was still stressed out. So as work satisfaction and financial stability are growing, my home life is soon to follow.

So as I ponder if I’m doing enough to improve my life, it seems easier to do, to examine myself more critically.

So here’s what I’ve come up with.

I haven’t left this house because there aren’t the right options open to me right now. And I’m trying to tie up things from my past which is tying up my money.

And all of that is OK. All of this is about getting to the life that I want.

It seems the climate and locale and people that life will be filled with–all of that is changing.

But there’s still a gap between what I am capable of, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and where I want and need to be.

And honestly, the bridge will be made of miracles.

‘Cause there’s only so much that I can do…

Here’s a song from Sia, from the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, “Deer in Headlights.”

It really sums up how I feel, especially since words are failing me now…

 

Hoping for a miracle
I’m not equipped for this
But I can’t move until I choose
I need a crystal ball
I’m falling apart
And I can’t take anymore
Standing at the crossroads
There’s no right answer
No one’s brain to pick
Under the spy
There’s no escaping, I’m a deer caught in headlights

I am hoping for a sign
Something bring me right here
Not in a drink, not in a drift
Please see me through metaphors in blue
I’m holding on for dear life

Ego, I am a slave to you
You’re running the show, my confidence is bruised
Dumbstruck, I’m falling for his act
Down a shame spiral, I am at the news

I am hoping for a sign
Something bring me right here
Not in a drink, not in a drift
Please see me through metaphors in blue
I’m holding on for dear life

Something bring me right here
I am dreaming, I’m in a drift
Please see me through metaphors in blue
I’m holding on for dear life

Spirit, please don’t abandon me

a frog’s life 🐸

So, last Friday, I needed to take out the trash because the bums I live with don’t do it often enough, causing this place to be overrun with stupid drain flies.

Every three months, it’s my turn to take out the trash and keep the kitchen and other common areas clean. The two bums barely do their part, but I’m not here to bitch about them.

I’m here to talk about what I found when I went out to take the very full and filthy trash on Friday.

I found this little guy:

2017-12-01 09.37.35

I’m not really into critters, but this is Florida, where there are plenty of them. But seeing this particular critter was strange since I don’t see frogs much around, ever. Lizards and skinks and birds and hawks and opossums and raccoons? Sure.

It has been incredibly humid for what should be our dry season, so maybe that’s why this frog was hanging out in the lid of the trash can.

So yeah–not a fan of critters. I just didn’t want this frog to jump on me. So I dropped my trash bag, took a pic of the frog, and then braced myself to open the lid. I was panicking a little, but I opened it quickly, tossed in the trash bag, and let the lid clatter shut.

And the frog stayed on!

I tweeted this photo and went on with my day, weekend, life. Just a one-off, weird sighting.

So trash day is tomorrow, so again, I took out the trash this afternoon. Pretty quotidian stuff.

Look who’s back?

2017-12-06 16.09.30

I’m actually shocked because I’m not expecting to see the same damn frog five days later. This time, I know it’ll stay put when I open the lid. So I open the lid, toss in the trash, and close the lid. And sure enough, the frog stays.

But this time, the frog and I have to take a trip to the curb. I roll the trash can down our driveway and the frog stays on for the ride.

I’m concerned, though. Our trash pick-up involves a mechanical arm that picks up the trash can, empties it, and puts it back down. Maybe the frog will hop away in time?

I’m not really an Earth Mama, but I probably should be. I do enjoy taking pictures of nature the most, more than people.

I’ve had encounters with hawks showing up in our backyard. I saw my first hummingbird hanging out by a camellia bush. I saw a black racer (a harmless snake) on the street and then in our yard.

Lately, I’ve befriended the squirrels in the backyard. They race back and forth on our wooden fence. And by befriend, I mean having staring contests.

It’s like Wild America! around here.

But to have a frog be in the exact same spot twice in five days–it’s a little weird.

There’s some symbolism and meaning related to the frog, but I’d rather just talk about what the frog means to me.

I look at this frog, with its big pale eyes, huddled in this trash can lid. Its front legs are tucked under its head. It’s not really in the mood to go anywhere. It seems settled. Anthropomorphically speaking, it looks contemplative and a little sad, like it’s almost sleeping with its eyes open.

The only message I got for me personally was that sometimes, we have to huddle in places that aren’t ideal, like inside a trash can lid, but we have to be patient. We have to hold on when our environments change (e.g., the lid opens and closes).

We have to hold on.

To see a frog near the end of fall in the dry season is strange for me, and honestly, unlike the squirrels and hawks and butterflies that almost accost me, I don’t even know if this frog was sent for me. He or she could be a sign of climate change, I don’t know.

But I do identify with the frog, so much, with its sad, melancholic eyes. My house feels like living in a trash can lid, and that my room has become that little crevice I can hide in and hold onto as circumstances change.

Seeing this frog is not that deep, and yet: it felt like an extension of myself, like some living allegory of my life in real-time. Maybe I’m just seeing and accepting the messages from the Universe more clearly and quickly.

Even today, the synchronicities have been crazy, like everything has become a self-referential loop–even more than usual. Repeated phrases and topics from unexpected places. The frog is a part of that divine loop now.

Maybe, just maybe, the frog could be a harbinger of needed positive change in my life.

Or maybe, just maybe, the frog is just trying to find a place to be left alone and is just trying to hold on.

All I can hope is that it, and I, hop away in time.

 

 

A glass of orange juice

glass-with-juice-1321839

Photo credit: Razmi Hashisho

I went on a lyrical rampage yesterday, and I don’t write like that professionally. I’m a little more concise, but the lyrical fire hose is one that whips around and around–sometimes it’s not very direct (like right now). So, I wondered if in all that orange/cherry talk, if the main message got lost.

 

So, here’s a glass of orange juice, with no pulp, in the form of a listicle. I feel like I need to offer it especially after the Senate GOP decided to start gutting the Affordable Care Act as I slept earlier this morning, i.e., give a bigger context to my own journey.

  • There’s always the season for enough. Poverty is unacceptable at all times. So is the lack of affordable health care. I’m dancing on the edge of both. Although the worst thing happening to my health right now is that I look like the before picture of a Clearsil commercial, I’m OK. I hope I can find alternative ways to deal with my stuff. But the season of enough looks like this–enough to eat, enough to get around, enough to be clothed, enough to have fun, enough to pay your bills on time and without dread.We all deserve enough.
  • My season of oranges will look differently from yours. I’ve been here before, although I’ve arrived in different vehicles or at different times in my life. The waiting for things to get better as you do all you can while you work towards that place of “enough.” I know that I am in a clear, open space to receive good things–good things that we all deserve as human beings, no matter the race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or lack thereof, ableness. I know that I’m doing my best and that the good is on the way–as rote and unconvincing as it sounds.This season is years and years long. It’s way bigger than just being unemployed for months. Your season may be shorter, longer, more or less intense, and with a different fruit altogether. But we all go through seasons where we’re doing the best we can and we still have things to learn, or we still have things to grow into, or we still have things that need to be revealed to us (like our own personal power) before we move onto the next season.
  • Human history has its seasons, too. That’s what’s cool about astrology. You can see the human drama play out in the transits of the planets through signs. I’m a part of that bigger human drama, too. I can point to transits that can say “That’s over. It’s canceled.” (a la Joanne the Scammer) for this period in my life. This season in American history is growing darker and darker still. We look to people of faith, to mystics, to spiritualists, to public intellectual, to activists to figure out what to do next, of how to band together and find the light (again? Was it ever really lit in America?).

That’s enough listicleness for now, but I wanted to emphasize both how esoteric and yet how universal my journey is. I didn’t want it to sound like I was spiritually bypassing the hard things in my life. I’ve just gotten to a place where I can float a bit. Maybe I can look up at the stars and dream and ponder for a momen. But this float is also from a place of sheer exhaustion, of possibly trying too hard. This is all 100% mystery to me. I know what I’m doing, and I know the results I want. But I have no idea how they will show up in my life, nor when. For now–that’s scary, that’s tiring, and that’s life.

One big thing I’ve been working on is my own sense of worthiness when it comes to the good things in life. I was thinking today that I need to read more about deservedness, and then I found this Ask Polly column that posted last night. Someone heard my little cry, eh?

As a Capricorn, wealth and money are things I feel like I definitely deserve. I deserve the corner office. I deserve the closest parking space. I deserve, I deserve, I deserve–because I busted my ass for it. I try to translate that work ethic to relationships and it gets murky. My track record is awful since I got here, and it’s upsetting–I don’t like failing at anything. I have less control over people and how they show up in my life.

So, let’s see. I deserve less shitty people in my life? Um, sure, yes. I agree. And, I deserve dudes who won’t ghost on me or freeze me out? Yes? Yes. Of course I do. I think.

One thing I absolutely believe is that I definitely deserve respect. I can start here, live here, breathe here. I can breathe that in and feel good, and feel all of that spill into all areas of my life–if I let it. I can ask myself these questions more and more:

How am I respecting myself? Is this action self-honoring? Does it honor others? Is this relationship full of mutual respect? How do I show up in other people’s lives, even when my own life seems to be slowly collapsing on myself?

(that’s also about integrity, too, but that’s a whole other post)

Self-worth, in long seasons of waiting, can get weeded and choked out. You start to connect the time you’ve waited and worked on things to your personal value as a human being. If  you lack the results, then surely you’re not deserving. You’re doing it wrong. And that’s not life–at least not a good life.

Look: I’m really writing to myself because desperately need to hear this.

Sure, I could be blocking myself with limiting beliefs–blah blah blah personal development words that end up victim blaming instead of addressing the society that fixed it that some would go without no matter what they did cough cough cough–but that’s all a part of the journey, a part of living in life’s waiting room–you figure all of that stuff out. You love yourself more, and hopefully in turn, you love others more.

That’s what we’re here to do. That’s life.

Under this full moon in “feel all the feels” Cancer, I really want to release the inner pressure to force anything to happen that isn’t ready to happen. It borders on self-hatred, and in tight times like these, I need a lot more love and compassion–not less.

I also want to release the ingratitude that sometimes encases and hardens my heart when I’ve been rejected over and over. I’ve had people help me with job leads and money (shout out to my one patron on Patreon) during this season of constraint and I would have gone hungry or lost my car or lost my belongings if it were for those people (shameless plug, if you want to help me out financially, click here!). I’ll be forever grateful to them, to the people who showed up when everyone else left.

Even as I wait and seek and search and become dismayed, I can feel the positive shift in my life happening. I do feel supported–even if it’s in new and unexpected ways–like angels and guides and a dead friend who was an atheist. I’m on my way to feeling like I deserve the love and support that I give to others.

Sidenote: It makes me wonder how I can find those sorts of treasures and gifts if everything is going well. Is it possible to be grateful when it’s Christmas morning and the room is brimming with gifts and it’s always that way? Is that a story that I made up, that gratitude can only walk hand in hand with humility? Is this my story?

Between the oranges and cherries, the tangelos and berries, I may not know all the reasons why it’s taking so long to find work, to find my own family and community, to find true stability–but all of that is on the way. That hope, that annoyingly persistent hope that hops around my heart like a cute, fluffy bunny, is all I have for now. And all I’m really wanting, and needing, is to get to the season of enough.

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.

 

when there’s nothing else left to say

silence-1401486

Winter in Switzerland – tomtown

My birthday was yesterday. It was uneventful–fortunately, and a little unfortunately. I did want to go to the beach, but there was fog and rain in the forecast. The beach is about an hour away, which is wonderful, but it’s still a little out of reach. If I’m going to drive out an hour, I’d better stay more than two hours.

So,  I stayed home, watched movies (Frozen and the music doc oasis: supersonic), drank sparkling rose, ate chocolate cake, and then learned George Michael died in his sleep. A double Cancer with a Leo moon. I’m still gutted about his death about how much I took his immaculate talent for granted, how he was so easily vulnerable in his music.

I have a job interview tomorrow at the old gig, but with different people. I feel alright about it, not too nervous, but not too confident. It’s going on 3 months of unemployment (and hey, if you want to donate to my fundraiser, click here). It’s hard to feel anything besides that I just need to do the best I can and leave it up to the Universe to say yay or nay. A sigh of a resignation is all I can give as I try to surrender a little more, resist a little less.

Having some freelance work on the side has brought a little sense of normalcy, but then I hear that godawful cough of my old ass roomie, and then I know there can be more. There must be more.

Right now, spiritually, I’m beyond tapped out. Maybe it’s more like low tide. Not much new is being brought it. There’s plenty of shit to send out, shit I don’t need anymore, mostly emotional shit.

This lack of activity and aliveness reminds me of when I left church years ago. I had heard all I needed to hear. If I was ever to return, I would need to find people who were more open to acting upon what they had heard vs. just consuming yet another meal.

This time, I’ve heard all I’ve needed to hear. The oracle cards keep repeating themselves.

One card that I have been repeatedly, and hilariously, pulling has been about music. Three times recently, I pull the card, I promptly forget about it, and then listen to music for hours. Besides the fact that noise-canceling headphones prevent me from hearing the death rattling cough of the somewhat middle-aged, somewhat senior roomie, it’s been healing to get lost in music again. I don’t know anything beyond that, whether I should find some band or be my own band. I don’t feel that compulsion. It seems more linear–music plugging into sooth my ragged emotional state. Today, I got lost in a Twitter thread about JoJo. I listened to her and got teary. That Sag lady is gifted.

I’ve heard all I’ve needed to hear, and, I’ve done all I can do. The only thing to do is patiently wait for the relief that I’ve worked hard to obtain.

This year, I’ve been lead to keep taking leaps of faith, where ultimately, I land on face–hard. And that’s life. Even for a very cautious double Capricorn that needs to calculate risk like the best actuary. This is life. The road burn on my face, on my heart, is my life, are signs of life. It doesn’t soothe me, hearing that just now, but it justifies the injuries. These are the occupational hazards of a human, living.

Even though my Cancer moon may work overtime to connect the dots of everything, this time, felt like the outcome I wanted would be immediate and apparent. It’s been neither of those things. It’s been exhausting and humiliating. Yet I got to a point yesterday that I didn’t care what happened anymore. Caring is heavy. Caring is tiring. Caring can be so Sisyphean. I was going to be fine. I’ve always been fine.

I just glossed over this feat, this accomplishment. It’s a big deal to say that I’ll be fine no matter what. It’s true. And that’s why apathy can creep in and protect me. Is this zen or a collapse? Or both? Or both.

All I know is that I did my part. That’s what comforts me, like a cozy blanket to fall asleep under.

I did my part. I did what I was told. I followed the guidance. I took the whistling kettle off the stove. I did my part. I heard you. Clearly.

Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but either way, I wish I were brave or wise enough to say that it was worth it. I can’t say that now–it’s too soon to tell. Even though that this is life, that this is my life, that the hurt is a vigorous shoot pushing through the soil  of life, I still feel like I’ve been reckless, with myself. But I haven’t had any choice in it.

Even still, I’m already putting on my warm coat of disinterest and heading out the door.

I’ve got to get out of here.

As a Capricorn, I crave material security. I seemed to have only experienced it in fleeting moments this year. I haven’t been able to pin it down and really own it. It’s been crazy making the past three months. The uncertainty and the vulnerability tag team me and try to choke me out. But as I am slowly provided for, I don’t want to get all crazy with things like hope and faith, but maybe things are turning around. I’ll break out a noisemaker of cautious optimism, and then I’ll put it back under lock and key.

I can maybe trust in the pattern of change. Maybe.

As 2016 is hobbling towards its final exit on Saturday night, I feel that I’m being shrouded in a resolute, defiant silence.

I know what I want. I know what I need. They are all one in the same this time. And I know I deserve all this and more.

What else is left to say?

The roller coaster mystery

rollercoaster-1441996

I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions, mainly in and out of despair.

This season of my life has been about trusting the Universe, and I suck at it. It’s OK that I suck at it because eventually, I’ll get better at it, and maybe teach others how to do it without sounding sanctimonious and shrill.

The despair corkscrew turns, though, have been quicker and easier to get through. I don’t spend that much time in them, catastrophizing the worst because I’ve already been through the worst. And if the worst happens again, berating myself for not being positive enough is not going to help me, period. Ironically, and thankfully, I use that hostile energy and transmute it to some desperately needed self-compassion.

know where I’ve been. I know my scars. I know how to love me best.

Even if I think outside of the need to be right, the intention of wanting better for others can sound really…not like that. Spirituality is not as formulaic and easy as we Westerners make it out to be. I’ll write about this another time, but the mystery of faith and spirituality cannot be found in some pithy sayings or programs.

I usually have some semblance of a map for my life. I like seeing the whole forest of my life. I know the paths I should take, and even with obstacles, eventually I will get there. On this leg of my journey, I have to go step by step. It’s a theme in my life down here, of wanting to know 10 steps ahead but only being able to see the step head.

The trees for the forest. Only one piece of a map. Fog rolling in and out. The trees start to morph into different trees. The path becomes impassable. You keep going anyway.

The frenetic pace of life slows to walking speed, even with the internal cries of “How will this bill be paid?” start to drown out the hope and strength I’ve grown into and have fought for. I can’t go any faster than–apply for this job. Talk to this person. Read this. Meditate. Pray. Continue to ask for help. Be patient, be patient, for fuck’s sake–be patient.

Even as I get sick from being dunked in the pits of despairs while being brought up to the mountaintops of hope, this is how it goes. The mucking about, figuring it out, the stumbling, the clawing, the crawling, and even sometimes the running…the up and down on the roller coaster–you don’t escape it. You embrace it, as much as you can.

I suck at embracing the roller coaster mystery, too. But eventually, the exhaustion of being vigilant, of trying to figure it out all at once so I can feel safe, of trying to pick the outcomes I want–it’s all caught up to me and laid me out.

It’s not upsetting, though–I’m relieved. I have a little smidgen of peace that I can hold. In this moment, all is well. My mind wants to list all the things in my life and in the world that are not well, but it’s really true–even if my mind doesn’t want to agree. Like the well-meaning naysayers, my mind wants me to be safe. But we can’t control (for) everything. Your best is good enough and my best is good enough. You can’t quit the ride. You hang on.

The ride never ends. You just get better at handling the turns.