Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Fault In My Stars

So many things will change in your life over the next 12 months that you may begin to feel that upheaval is quite normal. In a way that’s good because the world is moving faster by the day and not everyone has what it takes to keep up. But you do.
--"If Today Is Your Birthday", February 6th,

Take it upon yourself to enforce personal change. Don't let your emotions or those who try to guilt you have the upper hand. You must follow through with what's best for you. Making choices that lead to greater opportunities will play out in your favor. Look for the truth in everything you do and you will find your way. --'Eugenia's' horoscope, February 6,

Unconditional love and acceptance may be the biggest themes in your life. You want and need both - and sometimes sacrifice your own happiness while in hot pursuit of them. Approval from others can be such a powerful influence that you lose touch with deeper desires. Needing to be needed is a potent drive. You go out of your way to assist, guide, and please. Some of your efforts are well received - but others go unnoticed or are dismissed. Unless people expressly ask for help, you must learn to do things altruistically, instead of expecting recognition or other payback. It is especially important to not paint yourself into a martyr's corner by enabling others. Enabling doesn't help anyone - and may even repel those you're trying to attract. Be scrupulously honest about your motives in business and personal relationships. Don't justify dubious behavior.If you genuinely want to do something nice and expect nothing (not even acknowledgment) in return, fine. But even under those conditions, others may feel uncomfortably obligated by your unasked for good deeds. Learn how others feel about familiarity, boundaries and privacy before turning someone or something into your project du jour. You can be a tireless fundraiser and an effective motivator in politics and community affairs. You may fare better in public arenas than small intimate ones. No matter how brilliantly you interact with the public or how impressive your accomplishments, you always require plenty of study and practice. Even though you make things appear spontaneous and casual, nearly everything you say and do has been choreographed. You don't believe in accidents and need to feel prepared and in control. You also feel you owe yourself and others the very best. Self-critical, you never require outside monitoring.

I don't believe in horoscopes. The idea that the motion of planets has some sort of quotidian, much less life-long, effect on humans on Terra is simply ludicrous. That one twelfth of the population should have a similar forecast for any given day--and further, that each twelfth should have the same forecast--is beyond ludicrous.

My chief problem with natal horological astrology is the same niggling issue I have with anthropogenic climate change: throw any monkey into the gears and there's a nice pat answer. Don't match the prototypical Aquarian in some way? That's your rising sign, or Jupiter playing tricksies in your chart, or...or...or... Are the models not forecasting the climate properly?  Too much, too little, too warm, too cold? That proves climate change is worse than we thought. There's nothing the models can't explain. That's not science, that's dogma.

And yet...

We had this horoscope computer when I was a kid. It was the size of a large coffee table book; you inputted your date of birth, including the hour and minute, and the latitude at which you were born, and it spat out this eerily accurate description of your strengths and weaknesses and faults and foibles. It being a computer, you couldn't exactly accuse it of cold reading.  And it said things about you that you didn't want to hear: you're lazy, you're selfish, you're quick to anger....things like that.

So I discount the daily horoscopes, but I'll check on them as a diversion every January 1st and again on my birthday. I find the more detail there is, the more likely it matches my frame of it confirmation bias if you want, but sometimes it's rather scary.
The first two horoscopes above are consistent with what both sites (and many others besides) predicted for me on New Year's Day: widespread, sweeping change, mostly for the better...if I let it be. This is also consistent with the general frame of mind I have found myself in for a year now. And a quick read of that link should show my trepidation. I don't handle change well. Not even necessary change. When confronted with the imperative to change, I resist. Fiercely.

It's that third reading I'd like to zero in on, because it honestly gave me chills. As even a cursory reading of this blog will confirm, unconditional love is a major theme for me. I wrestle with conditions every day. I make every effort to be altruistic -- some people would say, to a fault -- and am not always successful at giving that unconditional love. Meaning when it's not acknowledged or returned in any way, I can feel hurt. I've gotten good at recognizing that hurt and stomping on it, but it persists sometimes.
The thought that people may feel "uncomfortably obligated by [my] unasked-for good deeds" horrifies me. "Horrifies" is probably too tame a word here...I can't stress that enough. I certainly don't want to stop showing love and affection to those I care about, and all I can do is insist I require nothing in return. That, and cease and desist if someone tells me to, of course.

There are other things in there that fill me with unease. The choreographing: guilty as charged, guilty a thousand times over. It's a coping strategy for me. I am not a social butterfly in any way and I feel very much out of my element with all but a select few people. So a great deal of thought goes into my choice of words and actions in many different contexts; that way I feel a little more in control.
I used to be much worse. I'd plan out social interactions like chess games, not caring or indeed sometimes even realizing how phoney this made me, how inauthentic. I certainly didn't want to repel people--quite the opposite, in fact--it was all about making me look better (with the sneaking suspicion back then: better than I actually was.)

That has thankfully subsided almost entirely now that I have these wonderful things called friends, not to mention in my life. Not to mention my rock, the woman who keeps me on an even keel.  But the choreographing still comes up whenever I'm acutely uncomfortable...say, at a party. I need to work on this. Probably better to embarrass myself than to try to fake my way through not embarrassing myself, you know?

The perfectionist streak is there too...I just had one of my friends call me a perfectionist last night. I bristled a bit at that at first, because I don't really fit that mould: the house is cluttered bordering on dirty most of the time, and because I am lazy, there are things in life that I think are "good enough". But when it comes to my own performance, especially in public, yes, I do have that perfectionist streak.

I had an attack of stage fright the other night. I've never had such a thing in my life and I hope I never do again. I was singing a song for my French class, a song I had memorized months ago and had probably sang to myself three or four hundred times. Four verses, eight lines each, and the song told a story, so it wasn't hard to get by heart. And yet, I stumbled to the point of needing to be prompted over a word in the very first verse. I got through the rest of the song without a hitch, but I was terrified from that point on. My legs were actually shaking a bit by the last verse. And while the song went over very well, all I felt was shame at actually having to be prompted.

Anyway, as I hit 42, I want to thank my friends and family for...everything. Please be patient with me as the changes in my life -- hell, I don't even know what they are yet, but I sense them gathering just beyond the horizon -- ambush me. I pledge to "keep it real" through whatever may come, and I want you to know I love you all no matter what.

No comments: