(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

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Photo by Graham Hunt on Unsplash

After six weeks of hard hustling and work, I’m taking ten days off of work. That’s one way to start #CapricornSeason! 😉 But sometimes all that free time freaks me out, especially after working so much for so long.

It reminds me that I don’t really have anyone to spend that time with.

It’s two days before my birthday, what the rest of you call Christmas, and all I have planned is to read a romance novel and eating chocolate cake…and possibly listening to Christmas music.

This year, it hurts a lot to listen to Christmas music. I have a lot of it. But I don’t feel very merry, even though it’s finally gotten cold in the Sunshine State, and…I’m not broke, for once. I’m deeply grateful for both of those things.

But I will be here, in my room, alone. And, I feel like I’ve let myself down–and not just for Christmas. But with everything. And sure, I’m entirely too hard on myself, but maybe it’s a reckoning of how much I don’t have in my control while discovering what I actually do have in my control.

Things, things in my life, should look better and brighter than they do.

And, somehow, by committing to being a writer instead of…I don’t know what else, really besides being a doctor…I’ve dug myself into this hole that I can’t seem to get myself out of. It’s a bit of a miserable, dingy hole, but it is my hole. At least I can be honest with myself in this hole.

So this week, I won’t be painting on smiles and hanging out with people I can’t stand. And most of my adult life, I’ve spent Christmases with other people. As I get older, I’m spending more Christmases by myself. I was doing this before it was cool to do–and it’s still apparently not cool to do, as I read about people dealing with relatives they can’t stand.

All it took was one bad Christmas at home after I came back from my first quarter at college to make sure I wouldn’t come back often.

Even if I may sound tough and hardened, it still feels pathetic and awful, especially since it’s my birthday. Society compounds those feelings.

But this is my choice. I just haven’t found anything else worth choosing more than solitude.


And this spills out more from just the holidays, although the holidays make it more acute and painful (unless you decide that Tuesday is just another day that you get to be alive).

It’s time to crank out the old refrain again: this year has been one of grief and loss, one that I can scarcely believe that I lived. Some crazy ass highs and some fathomless lows.

At the beginning of the year, I said mainly to myself, but also to others, that I wanted to be more aligned this year. But I had no idea how misaligned I was when I said it. And how much it would take to become more aligned.

And aligned to what? Well, to what’s best for me.

My constant refrain has been about all the people I’ve lost, people I thought would be around for a long time…I’m frankly still in shock about it.

So when I think about trying to meet new people next year, I feel incredibly gunshy–for once. I’m scared there will be more leaving and abandonment, more rejection, more misunderstanding. And that’s really tiresome, even though that’s a big part of life. In this moment, I don’t feel up for the risk.

I recently joined another community of people who are more like me, and I just couldn’t bear to write some introductory post. 

I was catching up with the TV show “A Million Little Things” and I burst into sobs as one character, who is so beautifully open with his feelings, was celebrating his first year of remission from breast cancer. But his friend had committed suicide a few weeks before (kind of the premise of the whole show) and he was livid that he wasn’t alive. It was so raw and real, the anger and sorrow. I understood it so well. And it felt good to cry over similar losses.

My unending shock about people taking a hike from my life is not about this year alone–I think it’s about 40 years of living, loving, and losing. It’s all caught up with me, and it feels heavy and unbearable.

Last night, I had a dream about a former friend. We hugged so tightly, it hurt. I don’t think I’ve ever hugged someone that hard in my life.

And as I was letting go, they held onto me. So I hugged back longer. That’s never happened to me, either. I always hold on too long…

It felt so normal and then when I woke up, it took a while for me to realize that was a dream and not a memory…and that I had dreamed about that person, again.

Grief is weird.


I had written a friend this amazing email this month and it hasn’t been responded to. I seriously doubt it will be. I am so tempted to publish it because it was so good.

I did feel afraid, after the fact, that I was being so honest about how I felt about myself, about how I saw life, that I had said so much so passionately. Maybe it was a premonition. And then I felt so much shame, like I wasn’t taking care of myself, like I was open to someone who maybe hadn’t earned it. Maybe I misread…

But it felt so good to be really, unabashedly me, yet I was afraid I wouldn’t get a response–and then, my fears were realized.

And hey, I could be wrong. It’s the holidays now. But as soon as I sent it, it felt like too much–even if it was right for me. But I have no regrets in what I wrote.

What was unexpected was what happened next. This brought up old (self-inflicted) wounds from high school, where I wrote a lot of letters. Although I don’t think about this a lot, I’m still ashamed of this part of me, how epistolary I was.

There was one guy I had a crush on that I wrote and he never wrote back. I quite stupidly pestered him and he just kept blowing me off. Wow, this actually happened with two guys. I couldn’t even tell you what I felt so impo

I keep wondering…this part of me hasn’t changed in over 20 years. Is being this open and honest a good thing for me or not? Should I be choosier? Are these people all swine, and are my words pearls?

I keep hearing about how being yourself really pays off. But it feels like I haven’t hit paydirt yet.

Boy, this sounds snobby, but remember…or, um, let me let you in on a little secret: I’m the weirdo here–the levels of honesty and candor that I have are higher than most and most people are just not cut out for that level of transparency. For me, this came from living in a house where people weren’t honest or open with each other. My life has been an outright rebellion against silence and hiding.

And yet, I still have many levels of opacity, too. I’m not as clear as a newly-washed window. None of us are.

I admit that sometimes I’ve used the transparency as a way to blind people and push them away. But I don’t do that anymore.

Also, I keep repeating the parental dynamics I grew up with (spoiler alert–we all do). That dude from high school might as well be my mother.

My parents weren’t very cuddly or hands-on with me, and so I developed a talent of drawing in people who were on the outside. I thought it was because I felt on the outside, too. And I’m sure that was a part of it.

But it just seems to be me that I have been trying to connect with people who aren’t actually that interested in me (like my parents). Because it’s a challenge to convert the unconvertible. And then, when you do succeed, you get extra special gold stars. Or something like your parents’ love and affection. 

(Pssst. You don’t get anything close to that.)

And that’s just a part of it. The other part is my expansiveness. It’s like a flood of information and feelings, and it can come without warning. I’ve seen it perplex people into silence and laughter.

And that’s when I don’t really feel like I get how to be human, here and now. I know it can be a turn-off to most, because most people like hiding. That includes me sometimes. 

But I realize, as I sit in the alleged ash heap of my allegedly ruined life, I can’t stop being me. I refuse to retool this part of me any longer, especially since I’ve spent most of my life trying to bundle this up and keep it hidden. If (I think that) this is the worst thing about me, then I know that there are so many worse things to be.

This isn’t the worst thing to be.

It’s a bit of a vicious feedback loop, though–the buds of rejection from others can bloom into self-rejection.


Earlier this year, in one of the last times I talked to this rather dreamy person, I remember them encouraging me to keep talking and how I could barely handle that encouragement. And it was so genuine…*inwardly swoons*

I was so used to not hearing any encouragement like that, I just kept going with the same song and dance that I was terrible and annoying for being so talkative and opinionated. And interestingly, my encouragement of them was somewhat rebuffed in the same way (which is actually why I stopped talking to them–because there was way too much ghosting).

And this is just a sidenote, but one worth mentioning: handling each other’s wounds, even if you’re a gentle as a dove, it can still feel like a serpent’s bite. It helps to have some self-compassion and compassion for others if the grace you offer to extend doesn’t get received well. Most of the time, it’s not about the giver, but the receiver. The pain can be too overwhelming to see that relief is near and available.


Being myself is so costly. There are no parades or parties being thrown in my honor.

Congratulations, you’re a loquacious person with big, scary feelings that you express with aplomb and with extra vigor, and that overwhelms most people! You’re so open about how you feel, people are scared to fall into the abyss of you! You make space for other people’s feelings but it’s not being well reciprocated! Well done with this being a human thing! You are killing it.

So this is me, embracing the suck of being me.

But instead of being neurotic about how I am with other people, I can be more comfortable with my uncomfortableness, with my awkwardness, with my loneliness, with my big scary, feelings, with all the lack–and then find my inherent value in my essence, and not in any of these things that I or society deem to be terrible.

I can embrace that I try really hard to make people comfortable, that I’m super effusive over people I really like, that I overshare because I see my life and my feelings as gifts and lessons to share. And when people do the same, I feel like I’m being gifted with something really precious and wonderful.

I can maybe even start to laugh when people predictably react to who I am. Oh boy, we have another runner! Buh bye, buddy, buh bye!

And actually, I used to be a lot more laugh at my calamity type when I was in my 20s. But I think it was because 1) I was less serious and 2) I felt like eventually things would work out, that I had time for things to work out. But turning 40 was like an uh-oh moment…I haven’t gotten to “eventually.” I don’t like these “things” and I’m still not sure they will work out.

Of course, if I tell this to someone who was 70, they’d maybe say I have a lot more time than I think…

Look. I know that I’m not for everyone, and I’m ultimately glad that people who have left have left–but it’s hard not to have this erode one’s sense of self or self-esteem, because I don’t live in a vacuum (unfortunately). And then you read stuff like this and think…well, I could have written this.

If people keep leaving, there’s something wrong with me…right?

I have to stop seeing myself as some problem to solve. I have to stop seeing people as challenges to win (hello, I’m a double Capricorn). 

I must start appreciating my fearlessness about love, even if it has yet to be appreciated by anyone else for very long.


Something I said in that long and glorious unanswered email to my friend was how I couldn’t understand how two men in my life this year were so afraid of whatever we were creating (and me) that they both imploded in a fit of self-sabotage. And yes one of them was the dreamy person I was writing about earlier.

I don’t really understand how you can be afraid of love.

And maybe that’s because growing up without it for so long, when you really experience it, there’s no way you can take it for granted. There’s no way you’d be willing to settle for anything else.

So knowing what life and love that I could have, I’m deeply sad and disappointed that I don’t really have that love in my life right now. I feel like I’m at least a decade late in receiving it and being able to give it without thinking I’m the unlovable weirdo. It’s very bizarre to me, to be living this life, instead of the one I envisioned when I was 17.

So as the holidays are great at magnifying, I’m sad and actually disturbed that I don’t have a family of my own, that I can’t seem to find my step or stride here in Florida, that I had take some job I didn’t want to take to stop being poor, that I feel washed up and yet completely unused and unseen at almost 41 and I haven’t accomplished anything of worth to me except survival.

At the same time, I’m supremely proud of myself that I have survived, that I didn’t succumb to the darkness that was swirling around me, that I even banished darkness and evil from this house, that I do have money in the bank, that I have work to do, that I still have a chance to get all the things I still want.

I know this year was taking the harder road (which feels like it chose me more than I chose it) the more-worthwhile-in-the-end road, the one that’s beyond goals and even self-fulfillment.

I can see how I’ve reached to the core of me, to that part of me that is indestructible…


It’s interesting how when you lose so much, you start to realize what you really want. You don’t get the luxury of being cute or coy or arch about it. The desperation and the desolation are ungraceful but true.

I want to belong to someone who can match or exceed my fearlessness. I want to pass down that fearlessness to my children. I want to be a part of a loving community that works to create a better world for everyone. I want to work with people that value me, my work, and my time. I want to see more of the world, as much of it as I can. I want to create music that I’m proud of. I want to write for people who like what I write.

And I have to be OK with not getting any of this, because none of it is guaranteed. But I have to keep working towards it anyway, even if every day that passes and my arms remain empty, it seems to strongly suggest that I don’t deserve it.

Even if I choose to be alone during the holidays, I don’t deserve to be lonely. But I also don’t deserve to be with the wrong people for the sake of temporarily shoving aside my loneliness. That has been my Christmas credo since I was 19, and I’m glad I’ve stuck to it pretty mercilessly.


One last thing, because I plan on not talking about this year of disappointment and grief here anymore–not because I’m done grieving, but I’m just bored with the topic and have been for months…

When you’re just stuck with just yourself (as we always are), there’s an open invitation to learn how you treat yourself and how to treat yourself better. Long periods of solitude and aloneness make this invitation almost impossible to pass up.

There’s still so much more room for self-love here, which again…this is a little impossible without some help from others (I just downloaded a worksheet on this).

This year, I really have had to lean more on my spiritual side than I’m used to. And yet, there’s still so much more I could be doing that doesn’t involve nitpicking myself to death.

So yeah, I did fail my 17-year-old self, but she had no idea that she wasn’t going to be this evangelical, myopic, Bible thumper anymore, which usually means you’d partner with the same kind of person. She got something far better than the societal inevitability of domestic “bliss” and a secure job.

What she instead was a truer, more expansive version of herself–a lot more than what she bargained for. It’s not as glamorous or cuddly or polished as I’d like for me to be, but this version of me is real–wrapped up in big, scary feelings, loquaciousness, and unyielding intensity.

I am worth the continued search for people that can support me in reaching the things I want as I support them in doing the same. It’s exhausting, scary, and sometimes humiliating, but just like it is with love, it is always worth going full tilt, balls to the wall (which is a term from the United States Air Force about flying and nothing about testicles, I might add), unbridled.

So a lot of people bailed this year. OK. But that isn’t who I am. It’s just things that have happened to me. What’s more important is that I never bailed on me. And there are still people around, even if they aren’t close by or people I talk to often.

There are close to eight billion people, and I won’t even meet most of them. But I’ve met some wonderful people in the past and I can meet great ones again–especially now, since I’ve grown so much and I’m much more aligned than I was a year ago.

You and I, we live in this neverending tension, between being true to ourselves and doing what’s good for the group. It really comes up during the holidays, and it can be quite painful. But I hope that we both learn that by choosing ourselves first every time, we end up doing what’s best for the group, too.

I’ve been so afraid I have a terrible people picker–and that may be true. But I haven’t been choosing myself enough. My hope is that by choosing myself more, that I will choose better people to be in my life and not just reaching out to anyone because I’m blind with desperation.

So. This feels like the end, and that’s because it is.

It’s the end of feel ashamed of how my life is and isn’t. It’s the end of trying to contort myself into something that can be packaged. It’s the end of being self-identified by my unfulfilled desires and dreams.

It’s the beginning of embracing the suck as well as the the not-so-sucky. That includes my frustrations, my impatience, my envy, my disgust…as well as my gratitude, my resilience, my wisdom, my fortitude, my creativity, and my self-love.

There’s room for it all.


If you’re celebrating my birthday also known as Christmas this week, I hope that you’re with people you love–and that includes yourself if you’re not around loved ones.

The great thing about Capricorn season is that it marks the slow march back into the light. The Winter Solstice may be the shortest day of the year, but every day after that, we gain back a little more light.

This holiday season, I hope you’re able to gain some new light, whether it’s from within or without.


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also if you’re feeling generous this holiday season, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! Happy Holidays! 💘

 

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go me?

2018-04-01 09.06.03

Five of Swords, from Galaxy Tarot

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! 💐🐣🐰🌄

I’m a bit tired today. It could be the incessant cigarette smoke or the full moon in Libra yesterday, or both.

I have spent a lot of my day writing already. I wrote a long email to a friend. I wrote a very long Patreon post for my $10+/month subscribers.

But before those two things, I wrote a letter to the owner of this house. I had planned on holding my rent in exchange for some needed changes around here. But instead, I decided to be a little more Libra-like and just write out my concerns in a letter than I printed and sign.

Here are the tweets I wrote today about the experience:

Kinda didn’t want to see this card today [Five of Swords, above]. I wanted to handle a situation with fiery guns blazing, which means it’s long overdue for that. Instead, I will write a dispassionate letter. Fiery guns may happen next month, though.

This is such a Libra letter of disgust. I’m just disappointed. Our relationship is a disappointment.

This is my favorite line [from the letter]:

I can’t care more about this house than you do, and I can’t care more about [the creep’s] health than he does.

Seriously, pissing a writer off is just a bad idea. And wearing a Capricorn’s patience down to the bone means I have to eviscerate you. Somehow I only left it to “laissez-faire property management style” and not “as you know from your clinical training…”

It takes probably too much to get this self-advocated (if that’s even a word. It’s a full moon baby problem, specifically being one with a Cancer full moon. It’s one of the first things I learned about from astrology.

The hellfire and brimstone that I do not unleash is a public service. But it’s also draining. I don’t like having to do this, be the adult all the damn time.

That’s definitely a Capricorn problem, too. But this is what the full moon in Libra required of me. I kept seeing messages about this and I’m like FINE. It feels very Sisyphean and as a double Cap, energy conservation/ROI is KEY for me

Next month, though–I will talk with money.

This trips up so much parental stuff. I know that’s why I’ve been here for so long. I really have to work through it, but it’s like on an infant level, like non-verbal screaming. It’s very painful, but it needs to be healed through self-advocacy.

And yeah, all this fun 4th house stuff is addressing family root stuff. I HATE IT! 🤣 Uranus has been unrelenting. I’m ALMOST grateful for the transit.

But it’s kinda like resetting bones that healed improperly. That’s going to hurt, but it needs to be done.

And I’m not really one to spiritualize suffering or someone being a millennial avoidant greedy bitch. Like that’s more of like–yep, poverty. Nothing to spiritualize there–just to fix and be rid of.

That I get any sort of lessons from this is 1) my choice and also 2) a bonus.

It’s OK to just be like–this is awful and I’d like to stop. That’s more than enough. Not everything has to be a teacher or a lesson. We don’t live in sitcoms.

And I get it–those sort of teachings are meant to empower people who have been victimized, but it does nothing for or to the oppressors. This is a two-way street.

But really the lesson is–a lot of people are awful a lot of the time, and you didn’t deserve to be treated that way. It’s OK to stick up for yourself when no one else will. There’s nothing really mystical about that. That’s just the human condition. We hurt. We hurt others.

We all have our own agendas. I have no idea what the landlady’s is besides greed and avoidance. I honestly don’t care. But my adaptive nature and patience isn’t going to be taken advantage of any longer. That’s all I know.

I’m just venting, but I do hope that helps someone. We can get caught in these survival loops because we had to and then it’s like–wait a minute!

I can hold people accountable! I can ask for what I want! I can prioritize myself! I can call people out on their bs!

Empaths and sensitive people just get shit on and used up by narcissists and manipulators, and honestly–just emotionally lazy people…and that has to END.

There is always a fear of reprisal when I stand up for myself. I’ve had rent raised on me before as retaliation. I don’t think that will happen.

I think actually nothing will happen. And I’m not sure which is worse, to be honest.

It’s been almost a sort of gaslighting experience, the lack of responsiveness. It’s like–do my feelings and comfort and safety not matter? Am I being unreasonable to ask for a clean place to cook and live and breathe?

And I don’t come here to bitch today, actually. I want to keep this shorter than usual.

If you’re in some shit situation outside of your control, you really have to pick and choose your battles in your long war. Sometimes, you need to rest. Sometimes, you need to fight.

And that’s what the 5 of Swords is about in tarot. There are winners and losers, and sometimes it’s not worth the battle to win.

But this time, for me, it is.

I have to let go of all the conditioning I’ve had as a child and even as a grown-up that put me and my needs last, and really be OK with sticking up for myself.

And that’s where resetting the bones comes in. It’s not going to feel great for me, as someone who is empathic, to put someone in their proper place. It’s also not going to feel great for me to do this at all–because it feels like I’m not in my proper place.

How dare I ask for what I want!

I’m used to not getting my way. I’m used to advocating for others. I’m used to not making waves, even though a lot of times waves will follow me anyway.

 

So honestly, this is just me, giving myself an enthusiastic and weary high-five:

go me

He looks way more enthusiastic than me.

But go me, as I keep asking and requesting help and assistance and not getting it.

Go me for pursuing my dreams in this dump of a house.

Go me for figuring out how to find a more diplomatic middle way that may get the results I need without tiring myself out further.

Go me for facing my fears of reprisal and rejection.

Go me for knowing that I’m worth fighting for.

I’m really sorry I had to phone it in this week, but I had a lot going on, but just three more things:

1. My biz website relaunched! So if you’re looking for writing or editing services, check that out.

2. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about religion and spirituality. Next week, I should have more energy to write about it. It’s been months in the making, and I think I’m finally ready to write about it.

3. Finally, if you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here and you can have access to those things for $10/month.

Thanks for your support!

5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Right Now

I’m writing this because the only thing that’s worth writing about, I can’t really talk about. But I’ve written so many heavy things lately, so let’s keep it light this week.

  1. Canada’s Tess Virtue and Scott Moir, Olympic gold medal-winning ice dancers sextraordinairevirtue and moir.gif

I ship them, even if they’re unsure if they ship themselves? (and look at their faces in that picture in the link, JFC!) And my wish for all of us is that we are loved like they portray love on the ice.

I could watch this GIF all day…😍

2. Laughing over my calamity

hilary duff laugh.gif

I decided that Pisces season would be a season of mirth (so far, so good). Over the weekend, I had something happen to me that was a little jarring and emotionally overwhelming. It wasn’t life-ending, though. Laughing with friends over the situation helped me to move on from those surprise feelings and it helped to bring a larger, more balanced perspective.

Life has been so dour and overly serious lately. I plan to laugh my way to success now.

Let. Joy. Loose.

3. Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch Cereal by Nature’s Path

I just had some for dinner. It’s good and good for you. Nature’s Path is great overall in terms of food.

4. My Himalayan salt lamp

I have no idea if this is really going to help my respiratory system. Right now, I’ve been having some major allergies because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here (highs in the mid-80s, when highs should be in the low-70s). But makes the room pinker. I just wanted more light.

5. Embracing all that I am

After writing about my Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius in the 12th house placement, I actually decided to get a book.

2018-02-20 22.12.05_1

It’s alright. I’m about one-fourth of the way through, but I hope it gets beyond the rudimentary psychology. I know that this astrological placement makes me work harder to connect and communicate–but it’s also better to work smarter.

Honestly, my lack of not having anything to say is mainly due to things in my life being fairly stable–well, as much as one can be when living in a crazy house. And I’m happy about that. But, I’m also trying to get out of here, grow my business, and take care of my health. It’s great to have the necessary energy and focus to do these things, too, instead of being in this painful holding pattern of survival.

I’m glad that right now, I’m not in an emotional abyss so dark, that I can’t find five things that make me happy right now.

And I’ve been there, where I had start being grateful about sunsets (my go-to) or having a toothbrush or having a roof over your head. It’s desperate gratitude, but sometimes, that’s all you have. And it can sustain.

There are other holding patterns I’m in, and although I can’t yet report on them here, I can say that the Universe has been aggressively bringing things together for me. And that’s yet another thing that’s making me happy right now.

If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. 

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

 

 

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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body work

my body SOM

I went on a beach retreat this past weekend. It was good and intriguing and stimulating. I feel really grounded and supported now. I’m not sure if I have new friends yet, but I at least got to swim a little in the Gulf of Mexico and be reunited with an old friend who moved to where we were staying. And, you know, get some spiritual downloads and healing and community. AND, beach time!

I may blog about my experiences later, but this is about my body, my fat body.

Ever since I came down to Florida, I got gwith a car and without a car. And the photos I saw of myself–I didn’t like them. I didn’t recognize myself.

These days, I’m rarely in situations outside of the land of selfies to see my whole body. It was really bewildering to see.

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So that’s me at the labyrinth at the Dali Museum in St. Pete. I loved it in there!

Sidenote: my retreat leader said that first pic with the sun on me is an orb. ” An angel is on your shoulder!” she said. I don’t even remember feeling that.

Anyway, I actually don’t mind the first two pics. It’s the last one. One of my retreat mates took it soon after I had ordered her to go sit with the others so I could take their pictures. It’s not a flattering picture, IMHO, even though I at least look really happy.

So, in this post, here’s what I’m not going  I’m not going pick my body apart. I’m not going to say I need to lose weight. I’m not going to say anything else negative. I’m just trying to semi-publicly wrestle with my self-image. I look like a Ghanaian woman, to be honest. My cousins on my mom’s side are around this size. I’m pretty sure I’m the average size of an American woman.

It’s just been weird to see myself from when I graduated grad school, probably 50 pounds lighter due to poverty and then looking at myself now. It’s good to reacquaint myself with this wider me.

There’s other stuff too–the PCOS acne/bacne. The hirsutism. The bloating. It’s just not things I’m used to, especially not being on the meds I’d take for PCOS.

And there’s that I look so much like my father. I don’t think my father is ugly, though. I think he’s a handsome man. But there’s a bit of an internal war when I see how much I look like him vs. how much I really don’t like him as a person, even though I have compassion for his mental health issues and how hard it was to acculturate into a white supremacist American culture as a doctor. It broke him. I feel that and acknowledge that.

But my body–my seemingly unwieldy body that isn’t that active but isn’t eating too terribly anymore. Even that sentence is very judgmental. It’s a body. It’s mine. It has carried me through so many traumas and triumphs. I’m really grateful that it has brought this far. I only want to be healthy–whatever that means for me. Healthy doesn’t necessarily mean skinnier, either.

At this point, I’d definitely want to be more active and eat more fruits and vegetables. The former is tougher (not enough safe space and it’s hot and rainy out), but the latter is happening. That’s really all I care about.

I’m so grateful for the many voices on Twitter when it comes to true body acceptance, especially for @OK2BeFat. That account has challenged my own perceptions of fatness and where one’s self-worth should be. Our society has made it so easy to judge each other and ourselves based on our bodies, to varying degrees: skin color and tone, gender expression, height, weight, hair texture and length–and on and on it goes.

It’s OK to be fat. And I am fat. 🤷🏾

Sidenote: I have to say–I don’t know how other people see me, though. My weight doesn’t usually correlate to how people perceive how much I weigh. I don’t know if I’ve being treated differently. Obviously, it’s a big issue.

I love the woman walking in the cool labyrinth, looking forward to the journey within. But do I love the woman with her hand on her hip, tossing her head back in laughter after she had a fierce queenly scowl? I do. I want to say “of course I do!” especially since the weight came on during an intense stressful period with very little support. But even if the weight came on during a happy marriage or a pregnancy or a fun-filled vacation…or through no joy or sorrow at all–my weight isn’t who I am. I don’t mean that in a dissociative way, either. I mean that as I am a spiritual being having a human experience. We all are.

Do I want to be less fat? Sure. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m more at peace about it, either way.

It was interesting to go into the Gulf of Mexico yesterday in a two-piece retro-inspired swimsuit. High-waisted with an underwire top. I was thinking about thinking about how I looked. I wasn’t really thinking about it as much as I thought.

As I pulled off my light cotton cover-up, I walked in the powdery white sands with a retreat mate and was greeted by the surprisingly cool aquamarine waters of the Gulf that almost drowned me as a teenager over 20 years ago. I hadn’t been in there since. I had lost my float, though. Or maybe I wasn’t calm enough to float.

But in the water, my size didn’t matter. Out of the water, my size didn’t matter.

I could use my weight as an excuse to not love myself fully, to not find a life partner, or new friends, or anything else that I wanted. I use excuse as a word just for me because this society is fatphobic as fuck. It’s very discriminatory and unflinchingly cruel to fat folks.

We collectively are.

I’m really OK, in my body, right now–even if I don’t feel like it. OK means–valuable, accepted, loved, adored, worthy, all those fucking fabulous superlatives. I do not have to hold my breath and wait for the weight to come off and then all this good will come.

“I’ll start loving myself if–”

“I’ll wait to start that new business because–”

“I won’t fully accept myself until–”

No. There are no conditions for love, for good. I don’t need to fix myself. Good can come right now. I can go seek the good right now.

My body is precious and valuable. And that’s that.

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