mercurial swag

I have been gifted, or cursed, with the gift of gab.

But I don’t automatically start talking someone’s head off. That comes with a little more intimacy. The Effin Birds picture above does show how I feel others think of me when I’m talking to them.

Way harsh, Tai.

The point of this post is to put on some kid gloves and give this most loathed part of myself some love (yes, even on Valentine’s Day!)–to reclaim my mercurial swag, on Mercury’s day (aka Wednesday).

Star Lessons on the Trickster Messenger

Astrologically, this incessant chattering comes from the planet of communication and self-expression in my natal chart–Mercury.

Planets have places (or zodiac signs) that they prefer to be, or domiciled. With Mercury, it likes to be in Gemini and Virgo.

On the zodiac wheel, Gemini is opposite Sagittarius and Virgo is opposite Pisces. Sagittarius and Pisces are both ruled by Jupiter, a planet that tends to amplify and expand things.

These oppositions mean that Mercury in Sagittarius or Pisces means that it doesn’t really feel comfortable here, also known as detriment.

My Mercury is in Sagittarius. And you probably know some Sags who are chatty as hell and you wish they would shut up, right? I say that with all love and affection.

Mercury likes getting to the point and being exact, and Gemini and Virgo are much better at that than the Jupiterian planets who are about exploring. In my opinion, Sag would be about exploring knowledge and wisdom, and Pisces would be exploring spirituality and emotion.

The point of language, then, is not to get to the point. It’s a tool of exploration. This is an important point that I’ll get back to.

You can learn more about Mercury in Sagittarius here and here. (There’s actually good things about this placement!)

Mercury’s in the Lemonade or Gatorade?

So on top of Mercury being in its detriment in Sag, it’s also retrograde.

So you’ve probably hear of Mercury retrograde–and don’t worry, you won’t have to worry about this for at least another month–when communication runs amok.

Travel gets hampered. Emails get lost. Computers and cars break down. Exes pop out of nowhere. This happens for a few weeks every year.

And that’s what I have natally. Not necessarily all that phenomena, but more of the communication hiccups. And last Christmastime, Mercury retrograde happened in my sign, close to the degree, too.

It was really overwhelming. It was really great, because I could just see everything so clearly. But it also meant that I wanted to communicate it all.

Sag energy can get very didactic and sanctimonious, so I actually logged off from Twitter for about a month until the entire Mercury retrograde transit had been completed. I was so sick of hearing myself talk!

Mercury in the 12th House

So on top of that, my Mercury is in the 12th house.

In your natal chart, there are 12 houses where your planets reside, covering different areas of your life:

  1. Self-concept
  2. Money and possessions
  3. Communication
  4. Home and family
  5. Creativity
  6. Routines and health
  7. Partnerships
  8. Death,
  9. Higher ed and travel
  10. Career and fame
  11. Friendships and community
  12. The subconscious

As you can imagine, it’d be great if you had Mercury in Gemini in the 3rd house vs. Mercury retrograde in Sag in the 12th house.

Here’s what The Dark Pixie Astrology has to say about Mercury in the 12th house:

Mercury is the planet of communication and how you express yourself and learn, and so those of you born with Mercury retrograde tend to feel very misunderstood. The energy of Mercury retrograde in the natal chart is actually very similar to that of Mercury in the 12th house (and how misunderstood you must be if you have natal Mercury retrograde in your 12th house!). You have difficulty communicating clearly with others, with being heard, with understanding others as well, and with using your mental energy properly. You can be someone who has a ton of mental energy and is far more intelligent than people realize. You just don’t know the right way to show it.

Oof. Yes.

So how does this show up for me?

My mom said that as a child, my mind went faster than my mouth. I believe it!

More recently, I was writing some affirmations out and I kept making mistakes because my mind was two to three words ahead of my hand. I cannot tell you how much I was happy to have email take over handwritten letters when I was in college. No more writer’s bump on my finger! Even now, though, my hands cannot keep with my brain when I type.

I can see the big picture of everything all at once and I’m not good at self-editing, choosing the most important parts. I always joke that I wish I had a Mercury in Virgo editor, because Virgo is great at synthesis and putting things in the right order.

As Walt Whitman says, I contain multitudes. The problem is that I try to tell them all at once.

So why am I even talking about this at all?

Friendship as a Mirror, and the Fear of Seeing Yourself

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that it’s been a really tough time living here in Florida. I don’t really have friends here, but thankfully, I have a lot of them online.

And even still, last year, I went through a lot of upheaval–I had to let go of a lot of people, and a couple of close friends left Twitter.

Even before I get into that, I want to say that I don’t want to be so self-identified with astrological placements and aspects. It’s just that, for my life right now, it’s really easy to explain who I am and what goes on in my life and in the world. And even me saying, “I have this really tough placement,” is just affirming the trouble I’ve had with communicating in my life.

Anyway, I’ve been really sensitive with the people coming and going in my life. I’m not really used to so much turnover. And yes, there’s some astrology that explains this, so the TL;DR version is that Saturn (your favorite tough love life coach) demolished my 11th house during grad school and now Jupiter is coming in and rebuilding, but there’s also some washing away.

A lot of my identity has always been tied up in my friendships, and that may be because I don’t necessarily identify with my family of origin (another blog post for another time.. My life history seems to be tied to what I was doing, and not doing with my friends.

Even when I first started journaling in 1st grade in class, the two entries that I remember (before my brother destroyed my journal in a blind rage), was having some conflict with my friends R.W. and Jerry–these were my two best friends, both boys. One entry was about how we weren’t talking or something. And then the next one was how we made up.

My journey down here was to find a community–not just to write a book or get a master’s degree.

And, that didn’t happen. The exact opposite happened, specifically betrayal and ostracization (which has happened before, in high school). And years later, that still kind of hurts and stings, even as I write this.

Mercury is also about how we learn, and I feel this retrograde part is about me re-learning a lot of things. This seems to be about re-learning how to connect with others.

So, as I anxiously sit on the wet rubble of my friendships, waiting for my new house to be finished, I’ve had some awesome come into my life and I want them to stay.

But this desire is reminiscent of how I felt in high school. I was very sensitive, overly eager to connect and to fit in, but ultimately getting ostracized even by the people who were on the fringes.

With that in mind, I definitely do not want to contort myself to have someone accept me. I’m freaking 40 now.

But.

I’m very sensitive again. Jupiter has blessed with me some cool people, and I have becoming more self-loathing about how I communicate with them, like not in a cute self-deprecating way, but in a very neurotic way.

I’ve been trying to contort myself to be likable in ways like I’m still in high school. And it’s really upsetting me.

Specifically, I’ve had this habit of thanking people for listening to me, like I wasn’t worthy of people listening. I think at first came from actual gratitude–finally, I feel heard and understand. But then it mutated into a desperate plea to stick around–don’t leave, don’t get tired of listening to the multitudes of thoughts that I can’t stop from pouring out of my mouth or fingers.

So the other day, I was having a conversation with someone about Sag things, and it was actually quite funny and fun.

I basically got encouraged to be myself, to let all that Sag stuff fly. But then I quickly demurred and listed how much my Mercury in Sagittarius placement annoyed me. And then I got even more encouragement anyway.

In response to that, I just unloaded all this encouraging stuff on this person, mostly out of gratitude. I felt like it was true and on point, but I still anxiously wonder, days later, if it was a nice rain shower of encouragement or a tsunami of feelings.

The response was succinct but positive.

I felt really…stupid.

Not again! I’ve been too much and have overwhelmed someone!

I felt stupid for a number of reasons that I can’t really talk about, but this sort of interaction happens more often than not–a bucket of words from me and terse responses, and I don’t know why I didn’t really notice it until now. I’m sure it’s happened for a long time and I just brushed it off.

Whenever I’m speaking, I’m slowly emerging out of the black fog of my subconscious and shadows. There are stairs and stairs I have to climb to talk to someone, and the stairs I’m climbing are my words.

So I talked about this possible gaffe with a friend, and ever so wise, she said, you have to trust that people will take care of themselves.

It had definitely crossed my mind to add even more words, I’m sorry, I wish I could stop talking, I hope I didn’t overwhelm you–but I know that would only make it worse. I was talking to an adult who can take care of themselves. I really do have to trust that.

And then another friend said, your people are out there and can handle you in your full glory.

Is that really true? Can I believe that there isn’t actually anything wrong with me?

What I See, What I (Long to) Accept

I never thought I was one to reject compliments and encouragement, but I’m quite chagrined and saddened that I’ve been doing it.

And this is why, again, I don’t want to be so identified with Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius that it starts to eclipse the totality of who I am. There are days when I don’t even speak to anyone.

This isn’t all of who I am.

For one thing, I do think it’s hilarious that I’m a writer with such a godawful placement for being good at it. And yet that’s the very thing–astrological placements like this can be areas for growth and even glory. I think my writing is pretty decent. I’m making a living from it somehow. It’s not some fluke. But I’ve had to work extra hard to get good at it.

Still, surprise! I’m really hard on myself. I’m not this exacting and cruel to other people. I’m trying not to cry as I write this.

I’ve been told that Mercury in Sagittarius is great for storytelling. The life I’ve lead, I’ve had some crazy stories to tell. But I’ve always envied people who are succinct, riveting storytellers. I’m always like–oops, I forgot this important detail.

It’s like knitting some scarf and finding that you left out a couple of stitches near the end. It’s really hard to go back in the middle of the story to fill things in.

But I’ve learned that with knitting, those errors or misses (as long as it’s not detrimental to its structure) are what make a piece unique and even beautiful.

I thought I had gotten over my perfectionism, aggressively so. In high school, I started to not care as much about grades (still graduated tied for 5th in a class of about 120 students). I learned someone would always be smarter, take harder classes, do more than me. So I had to just learn what my limits were and compete with myself.

But observing myself, being kinda naked and afraid, being seen for who I was and appreciated–instead of confident of who I was, beautiful errors and misses, I just felt like I was on the outside, looking in, imprisoned by my words.

But clearly, Sag vibes are not this dour and unfun. Sags are actually a lot of fun–as long as they don’t get too preachy! They totally know how to party (probably too hard sometimes). Sag energy is jocular and witty.

And even during that Mercury retrograde period, I definitely experienced a nice bump in humor with my jokes–which are still kinda weird and out there sometimes…I definitely have a niche audience.

I actually have Venus (the planet of love and values) and Neptune (the planet of dreams and illusions) in Sagittarius, too. So I have a stellium, a cluster of three or more planets in one zodiacal sign.

So, it’s not all that bad!

I’ve come to realize that I really am an external processor with people I’m closer to — I really have to talk things through so that I can figure out what the truth is for me, and even for the person I’m talking to. It really helps me to unpack my brain and have someone observe it. I’ve had so many revelations that way

Usually, though, in conversation I’m observant and won’t say much, which annoyed my high school friends who thought I was being rude.

I really do like listening to others without saying much at all just as much as sharing everything that is in my head all at once. It’s pretty extreme, and I’m the fulcrum of this tension. I don’t handle it well (enough). I tend to seesaw, but that sounds like the natural rhythm of conversation, right?

So back to what my two wise girlfriends had to say. I have to trust that people will take care of themselves, that I don’t have to do the thinking and feeling for them. If I’m feeling uncomfortable with my loquaciousness, that’s my shit to figure out, on my own.

And if I’m loquacious because I’m nervous, then I’d better find some ways to freaking relax–or at least love myself more for feeling vulnerable and at risk for being rejected (even if those feelings aren’t necessarily based on the truth of the situation).

And then finding people who’ll accept me for who I am. We talk a lot about self-love, like you should just do it and that’s that. But I do feel like that sometimes, it can be tough going without some help.

Whether it’s from the Divine or from friends, family, lovers, children, pets–sometimes there are parts of ourselves that we just simply cannot love that well. It’s like an itchy spot on your back that you can’t reach but needs to be scratched. We need each other to see ourselves more clearly, holistically, and truthfully.

In that cringeworthy conversation I had, I automatically went back to how I saw myself vs. how the other person saw me. It was a reflex, and it was rude to me and the other person. What you see couldn’t be true because of this, this, and this. That’s essentially what I was saying when I listed how awful this placement was without even acknowledging the encouragement (I did later, but it was after the torrent of encouraging words–and, that response, surprise, could have absolutely nothing to do with me).

Gross. But also–important that I could see myself not as grotesquely through someone else’s eyes. It made me pause and think–this isn’t that bad, is it? Why am I so hard on myself?

I’ve been through enough humiliation and shame in my life where I do not need to heap more on while simultaneously rejecting encouragement and support when I need it (I mean, hey–we always need it, no matter how good things are).

So here’s what I can do instead.

I can be grateful to people who listen to me without being desperate and ingratiating.

I can observe when I’m being talkative and be especially appreciative of those who love it.

I can choose not to take terse replies personally and remember that my natal Mercury retrograde in Sag in the 12th house is a really challenging placement for communication–and then be extra compassionate to myself.

I can fucking relax and not use my words like water on a grease fire. I won’t get it right all the time, but I can, do, and will have people who see and accept me for me, all of me, without having to hide.

I can just…be. Sagittarius is also about freedom. I can be free to be myself, even as I squirm at my own foibles and faults. I can be loved, even while I squirm! It’s so humbling and ultimately empowering when that happens.

I have a friend with a similar Venus in Sagittarius placement and I call it Venus in Swag because it’s a fun placement for Venus, where love is about freedom and travel and new experiences. It’s probably my most favorite placement.

I can’t yet bring myself to call my Mercury placement Mercury in Swag. It feels more like Mercury in zig-zag.

But, I’m working on it. I’m working on accepting there’s nothing wrong with the way I communicate. It’s just different. And even though this placement makes me feel very isolated and misunderstood, it’s not my whole story for who I am and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ll end with something that’s pretty simple, something that’s been on my mind since I feel like I haven’t been allowing myself to fully do this. And with this being Aquarius season, which is all about finding out who you individually are and how you fit into the collective, I think it’s a good reminder for all of us. 💘

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aimless in archer season ♐

she was waiting SOMIt’s been a strange season as the sun rolls this party college town Sagittarius. Besides that my birthday is coming up in 22 days, I haven’t been feeling that festive.

There’s a danger in this lull–or usually, there would be. The danger is to reach out for new experiences, at almost any cost. Especially in Sag season. Sag things are about accumulating experiences.

And besides that I have just been trying to survive for the past few years, I haven’t felt much drive to accumulate experiences.

Yet, despite my lack of luck in most areas of my life, I’ve been lucky with travel. This year, I visited Tampa for a short day trip in April. I’ve driven over 1000 miles from Miami to D.C. in May. In August, I went to St. Pete right before the solar eclipse. In September, I visited Chicago for almost two weeks to avoid Hurricane Irma. And, I will hopefully will travel again for my birthday.

Beyond that, though, with the upheaval at home that has been here since May, I don’t really have much drive to try to accomplish something big.

After grad school, I felt like I had come on earth to do what I had to do–write my memoir. It’s not published yet, and it probably won’t be until my parents are dead (don’t want to deal with the immigrant parent blowback).

It’s weird to feel done at age 36.

And then there’s been more life lived, a lot of it humiliating and harrowing. Just this summer, though, my life as a freelancing writer and editor has started to show some sort of stability. I really wasn’t planning to start my own business–even if astrologically and otherwise, it makes more sense to do that.

But here I am, with clients that are starting to look like permanent ones. I am grateful, so grateful. Twitter was a big part of finding that stability, through people and friends I’ve met just this year.

I’m now in expansive Sag season and I feel contracted. I feel stalled. I’m used to having visions and missions bigger than me, consuming me.

The one thing that’s left in my life that I want to do or experience, no one wants to engage me on, which I am taking as a sign to not talk about anymore. So, I’ll spare you, too–and spare myself the embarrassment of glazed-over eyes and silence.

Maybe because I have experienced so many things already–and a lot of them haven’t really been uplifting–I have a small fear of planning anything.

What would be the point of planning if the Universe is just going to do this?

https://giphy.com/embed/gqItoeqRWSBnavia GIPHY

My time here was supposed to be missional. I thought I was signing up for finding my people, my tribe. I got the “Everybody Hates Me” sign-up sheet by mistake.

Besides that Florida is just a tough state to live in, and that I was really awakened to my own proximity to white supremacy (you can never be that close to it before it tries to bleach you)–I still had some hope, some stupid, unflagging hope that this was my home.

Thankfully, and most mercifully, that hope is dead now.

But to be in the holiday season and not really feel anything, not the sense of wonder or the beginning bubbles of joy percolating–I don’t even feel any hatred toward it…it’s a little scary.

I’m used to feeling inspired and awakened to big things. But my life has gotten so small, I could fit it in a pocket.

I wasn’t created for a small life–only an ever-expanding one.

I’ve gone ’round and ’round with trying to create a community for myself here, but nothing takes. There are loved ones across the country and around the globe, but nothing for me here.

Maybe this is what “chop wood, carry water” looks like. It’s not scaling a mountain or fording a stream. It’s very unglamorous, building my business and rebuilding my life. But it’s worth it.

There are times that I see people doing fun, exciting things, and I think, I should be out there doing those kinds of things. But then I think, with whom?

When I was doing NaNoWriMo this year, I got jealous of my main characters. They were doing exactly what I want to do now, exactly what no one wants to hear about. They were having a lot of fun, a lot of fun that I was used to having.

Being stuck in a cycle of poverty, I just haven’t had the space for fun, for mirth, for frivolity, for silliness. But both cycles–of poverty and over mirthlessness, are coming to an end–thankfully and most mercifully.

Even now with this one thing that no one wants to hear about, I remember having people in my life who wanted to hear about that stuff. I remember having people wanting to fully engage with my life. I remember being so irreverent, laughing at my calamity and pain because I knew I would eventually conquer them.

Now I feel like a spinning top that has been at rest for a while. There’s a deep level of inertia that I can’t Capricorn my way out of. I can’t act upon myself. It’s almost comforting, because I don’t really know what I’m missing.

I’m waiting on the Universe for clarity, for these synchronicities that fly around my head like annoying gnats to come into form. I’m waiting for the neon “open for business” sign to click on. I see it flickering…

Maybe it’s not that I am not wanting anything. Maybe it’s that I want more, so much more than I have ever had. I want to be engulfed by something bigger than writing my memoir, than getting through grad school, than pure survival mode for years.

I want to drown in something new.

I know what that new thing is, but I don’t know how to get from here to there–safely. I don’t feel compelled to start shaking every tree and trying to figure out what I should be doing. That’s how I usually would do it.

If I have to use a big term like paradigm shift, then that’s what this ole sea goat will have to use.

It’s about receptivity. It’s about active waiting. These are cringey, uncomfortable things, because it looks like learned helplessness. It looks like depression. It looks like like I’ve given up.

But, I haven’t. I’ve probably doubled down more than anything.

It’s also about just connecting with the Universe and saying, “I’m tired. I don’t know what the fuck is going on or where I’m headed. I want this thing and I don’t know how to get it. Please help me get it.”

So maybe I’m not aimless in archer season. Maybe I’m just motionless. I’m at rest.

With astrology, planets travel through signs and the 12 houses that are in your natal chart. Right now, the sun is in Sagittarius, which is going through my 12th house of healing, intuition, secrets, dreams, and the subconscious mind. It’s like the basement of the soul, in my opinion.

It’s also a place of rest. If you’re into tarot, it’s like the 4 of Swords card to me. For Capricorns and Cap rising people, this is like the disco nap before the big birthday party. It’s very weird to be chill during Sag season when everyone else is getting their holiday party on.

There are twinges of sadness that come up when I feel waves of FOMO wash over me. But they never last. I finally have embraced that this, for now, is where I’m supposed to be. Trying to force things hasn’t worked (believe me, I tried, just last month–spectacular failure).

Even for what I want, I have an idea of what it’d be like. But who knows if I’m ready for it, or if what’s waiting for me is ready for me? There’s a lot I can’t see or know.

I don’t know how this will all turn out. A new faith is being forged and I’m flailing around with impatience.

Even though I know what I want, I am like this Camus quote above: she was waiting but she didn’t know for what.

At least I do know I want this, for me and for you:

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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?

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The ache of waiting…

light-in-the-dark-1425968It’s Advent season.

Even though I was in the Presbyterian church for a little bit as a kid, I didn’t really grow up with the Church calendar. It was only when I moved to Chicago for college, and even after college, that I learned people who were not Catholic observed Lent and Advent. It’s still strange to think about, even as I’ve watched, and also lit, Advent candles.

A vigil for light’s return.

As I’ve probably said, Christmas is my very unfortunate birthday. So in terms of counting down to the big day, the big day is about my birth, which was harrowing (long story short: shady anesthesiologist, epidural going up too far the spine, my mom is knocked out, somehow I arrive, and my mom hates thinking about my birth).

I don’t even have that much time and emotional space to even reflect on the past year, which has been tumultuous, as the past few years have been here in the Sunshine State. With as much sun, there’s been a whole lot of rain. But I have been in a space of waiting for light to return–and it’s not my birthday twin’s either.

It’s the light that turns off the darkness of survival mode.

Just this morning, I got a donation from a friend that will ensure that my phone will stay on for the phone interview I have next Tuesday.

I live a moment-by-moment life, moments that are life-changing and moments where I have to chase away dread like the loathsome cockroach it is.

Oh great, the car loan folks are calling about payment, again. I really hope I can keep THIS car.

I actually don’t miss ramen. Or Pop-Tarts. Thank goodness. I am sick of eating oatmeal, though.

Rent is being split again. I wonder what other bills I can pay this month.

The Universe, in all its abundance is there, in the midst of these little heart palpitations and resignations and helpless feelings and stark aloneness. And that’s more of a statement of faith than of fact. To know that I’m supported when it feels like I’m only a sack of swirling atoms, ready to make an escape.

I want to be comforted by the everything that the Universe is. It takes some getting used to. This is the time for acclimation.

My phone was kept on a couple of Fridays ago when I got an unexpected settlement check that helped me pay half of what I own. I celebrated, sort of. But moments after, I wondered how I would pay the rest of it.

Now I know. And yet I’m still numb and cold, like a machine just churning, gear by gear.

If I was more intrepid and daring and adventurous, I’d embrace this as another adventure. I have enough Sagittarius in me for that. But the creaky old man Capricorn sun and ascendant just want to be in its easy chair, being easy. I’m pretty feeble, pretty fed up, and altogether exasperated at how all my efforts to save myself seem to fail me. The Mentos commercial ingenuity is not here.

Instead, I’m in a three-legged race with the Universe, who is dragging my ungrateful ass along.

I am waiting for the light to return.

I’m fed and I am clothed. I have shelter. I have transportation. I even have some friends. In this moment, all is well. Some day, like even today, I’m grateful for all of these things and more. But many times, the clouds of fear and dread come over me like the daily summer storms that happen down here. At times, I just have to wait it out, sit in the sullen cloudiness. Other times, I can clear the clouds with hopeful anticipation and fortitude.

As a Capricorn, one of the worst things that I could emotionally experience is helplessness. To know you’re doing all that you can, and the needle from instability to stability barely moves? And now, I don’t even care about asking for help anymore. My pride has been stripped away from this process. But then, many times, those cries for help are met with silence. Maybe it’s better than the “curse God and die” friends of Job. Not sure.

I can’t even ask what’s wrong with me anymore. These circumstances seem a little too orchestrated that I’m the “problem.” It’s the three-legged race. It’s me co-creating with the Universe to have the life that I want and deserve. I must trust, I must trust, I must trust. So, it’s just us–just me and everything that I need.

The expectations of the how and the when and who and the where–they have to be surrendered. I just have to keep hobbling along until we start to get a rhythm that actually looks like walking by faith. Just like the last time I was here, a little afraid and a lot struggling, I’ve been getting just enough to make it to the next obstacle. The problem is never solved all at once. It’s a piecemeal process. As a big picture person, I’ve no patience for this, for anything. The tyranny of urgent is my ruler.

On top of my money life looking like a forest fire, Love, in all its absurd timing, is coming soon–not when I want it. I’m not at all together. I really wanted the money shit to have coalesced, but that’s going to be a longer Capricornian journey up a mountain. So, like many things in life, this will be a both/and situation, not a first, then second situation.

Right now, I look like a dusty firebird that has been flopping around in an ash heap–not that attractive! That confirmation of the big L coming is something I can feel, and it seems rather ridiculous. Just last night, an intuitive told me that, and all my readings have said this for months. The same questions do not apply: how? what? who? where? why now? why not before? This year especially, I keep thinking it had come. I’m waiting for the delivery. But it’s for another house, or I’m just hearing things.

I should be elated. It’s been way too long–like embarrassingly too long. No regrets about it, but it’s one of the things that makes my birthday more and more bitter and unpleasant. Society pressures to be with someone (and I mean like any person), but you get to that age that you can’t be the nth wheel anymore. But do you want to be The Hermit tarot card on your birthday? Maybe some people do–I realize I don’t.

Instead of elation, I feel exhaustion, and a bit of doneness. Done with the searching and the trying and the heart being open. I am rolling my eyes as I type, that’s how done I am. You go so long hoping that your hope loses air. It wears out like an old tire. It’s not worth inflating again. You just lay it down and focus on things you can control–like nothing. OK, like my attitude.

Frankly, I’m too distracted from being broke, so whomever is going to show up like some magical genie in my life, it’ll have to be pretty freaking phenomenal because I really care about my financial stability above all else. Really, really, really.

I find my faithlessness to be sad because I did the National Novel Writing Month–and this should be a whole different post, but I’m going to shoehorn this in here to prove a point about my exhaustion.

Speaking of exhaustion, I did that in 8 days, not 30. Being distracted by my own poverty, and the election, I couldn’t bear to write about any sort of romance, any sort of anything. November was unpleasant.

Something unexpected happened when I was writing my final scene as the 30th day of NaNoWriMo was heading into midday. It was probably the most intense thing I’ve ever written. The couple I had been writing about had just gotten married and the woman’s insecurity was harpooning her doting husband, repeatedly. I got them through that morass of sorrow, although they were facing yet another obstacle–a racist mom that the husband seems to be tied to. Anyway, beautiful scenes, I was impressed by myself, I cried when I was done writing–and that never happens (I’m sure it was because I was physically exhausted, too).

I swear this ties into the love coming attractions stuff–bear with me! So, I’m not a novelist, I’m a memoirist and personal essayist. But there was something about writing about these two people, and reading about them, and getting emotionally invested in their happiness and wellbeing, that moved some emotional blocks out of the way for me–mainly blocks of disbelief. Not that I was writing my own life, but I was able to create a realm of possibility for me that I don’t know if I’ve ever had. The love they shared rubbed off on me. I wanted the intimacy they had, and just by experiencing through them, I felt whole. I felt like I walked around in loving warmth that whole week.

The whole process was really transformative. I fell in love with creative writing again, which I didn’t think was possible. Especially just accomplishing basically the impossible–it gave me some hope, even for my financial situation. If I can write over 50,000 words in 8 days, then what else can I do?

I’m over that high now, but at least I can reference that big personal win as a turning point in this stint of unemployment. It was when I desperately needed to believe in something bigger than myself–and it was my novel; and, in the idea that other possibilities, other worlds, other people, other experiences are available to me, right now.

By the way, this novel has a lot of emotional importance for me. It got shitcanned in grad school. This Taurus classmate basically was the catalyst for my current metaphysical journey. He was so concerned that I had a bad workshop (and I did. He also may have been just concerned about not looking like a dick). And then I somehow started to connect to him psychically, which kinda drove me into anxious fits because  I could hear and feel that he really loved me, or so I intuited, and he wasn’t conscious of what he was emitting to me.That story is a whole other blog post, for sure. I still can barely understand it, but if it wasn’t for that guy, I would not be here, chronicling my wild and wacky life.

So. I’m 100% sure love–real, curl my toes love–will come before money. And that’s fucking wild to me. Not my idea, not my plan. Clearly, I need it. Clearly, or it would come in my more “logical” order.

Adding those two Venusian elements together, money and love, and I have never been more bewildered and confused about what’s going on in my life. Capricorns don’t live in confusion. They create plans in order to prevent confusion, or they plan their ways out of confusion. I can’t plan my way out of this, or work my way out of this. I can’t even beg my way out of this.

So yeah, man–I’m in the fucking three-legged race, bound up with the Universe. All I can do is keep asking is for divine help. I throw shit up to angels all the time now. There’s not much else to do besides that and apply for jobs and watch my applications go into black holes and keep fucking trying even when I’m wondering how Sisyphean my life has become. Is this just the life of the brainstem now? Just…existing?

Who am I outside of a job and all the trappings of adulthood? Who am I becoming as I am being stripped again?

I am not going through this for nothing. I am not going through this for nothing. I am not going through this for nothing. I am not going through this for nothing. I am not going through this for nothing.

So, the ache of waiting–it’s destroying me to the point that I can’t even pay attention to it anymore. I try to lean into the pain, if it doesn’t lay me out first. Sometimes it does. I go about my day. I try not to let me think that I’m existentially doomed, that nothing will change, that I will die in this rented room. I have to believe in the constancy of change, like I believe in gravity. I have to tell despair to fuck off so many times. It’s like a barracuda that keeps coming at me and I beat it off of me as if my life depended on it–and it does.

I have to keep redefining myself by not the things or people I’m scared to lose. I am something else outside of these people, places, and things that I am discovering, that I am re-discovering, like how NaNoWriMo helped me to see.

I’m waiting to be normal again, to be self-sufficient again, to be in a community of 2 or 12 or 20 or 200 again, to be more than a brainstem that’s just existing again.

I’m waiting for restoration.

I don’t know when my proverbial Winter Solstice or Christmas will come, when I’m eased back into the light, seconds at a time. My own soul’s Advent calendar looks like I’ve had it for years. It’s so beat up and falling apart. It’s being propped up by books and CDs and my own sheer will. I have no idea how many doors left until it’s done. I just open a new door every day and find the treat inside.

And sure, I’ll probably lose my shit when Gabriel comes down in some glittery glory and announces some good news. I will be caught off guard, just minding my own business, falling asleep as I’m tending to the herd of my own dreams.

Still. As I wait for light’s return, it all comes down to the surrendering of what is–past due bills, isolation, ramen for lunch, another job application, the rolling of eyes, the sighing, the crying, the not crying…

And more waiting.

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