I’ve always been fascinated by people who spend the majority of their life growing up or growing old in one place. Even though I am not turned off by the concept, it is so vastly different from the ever changing world I grew up in…
I was born in the bustling capital of NY state on a crisp October night. My mother, who was seventeen at the time, was more or less a nomad until she was closer to full term. My father, twenty four at the time, was one of those people who stayed in the same house for many years until his eventual and untimely death. His stagnancy combined with her mobility has left me torn, incessantly trying to find the balance between regularity and adventure.
If you are not interested in astrology, this might sound like a bunch of nonsense, but I urge you to press on. If you’re interested in astrology, you may have already concluded that I am a Libra and are not the slightest bit surprised to hear of my quest for balance. As air signs, we often bring freshness, clarity and peace into the lives of those around us. We are also wavering in our judgement, which sometimes makes us indecisive and hard to pinpoint. I can’t tell you how many times people ask me where I want to eat, and I am truly unable to make the decision! The scales are constantly tipping in one direction or another, every minute of every day I am weighing out the pros and cons of my life choices.
My father wasn’t really around. That was partially my choice, but ultimately as the parent, it was his. It’s a choice I weighed out over and over again, and for many years. One day, when I was around 9 years old, I decided to stop calling him. I stopped inviting myself to his house on the weekends, I stopped making plans for us to take outings, I stopped taking full responsibility for our relationship. I was a child, and even I knew something was off balance. I wanted to see if he would call me, if he would put forth the effort to include me in his life. My suspicions were correct…from that day on, he never did. I didn’t hear from him or that side of my family until I got the call that he had passed away. I was fourteen by that time. One thing I can say about him is that he was consistent. Consistently not there, consistently drunk, consistently disappointing the people he loved, consistently showing me the wrong way to do things. I hold no resentment towards him and I am empathetic to his situation, but I see him for what he was. He was a lesson for everyone who knew him. He, in his own beautiful and tragic way, showed me exactly who I do not want to be. I will always love him for that. Even though it was a hard lesson to learn, his neglect and self destruction taught me to trust my inner voice, and depend on no one but myself.
I will be forever grateful to my mother for instilling in me all the wonderful and powerful things I see in her. It is because of her that I feel strong enough to make life’s tough choices, to see the value of intangible things, to love myself undoubtedly, and to be strong even in the toughest of situations. Without knowing it, she has been preparing me for the leap of my life since I was born. Like some kind of superwoman, she alone moved us from house to house and city to city to make sure we had a world of opportunities. She was never afraid of uprooting. If an opening came along that meant changing our lives, she had no fear of it; she embraced it like it was what she was meant to do. Watching and wandering with her over the years taught me to be social, to be open to new places and new experiences. I never felt an attachment to material things or to one specific home because we were always moving, changing or purging.
At some point my life took an odd and unexpected shift. I can’t help but feel stagnant with where I am. I’ve worked the same job for about four years and I’ve lived in the same city for almost twelve. Am I becoming one of those people who stays in one place until they grow old? Even though I’ve been in the same city with the same job for quite a while, I still find ways to inject an incredible amount of excitement into my life. The only thing is, I am craving so much more. I’m ready to wiggle out of this well preserved cocoon of safety and comfort I’ve created and see the world. I am ready for the unknown, to meet new people and experience different cultures. I see this opportunity to spread my wings, and I am finally not afraid to do whatever it takes to fly. So here it goes. Wish me luck mom, and rest in peace dad. You have both inspired me to embrace my true self, born from a unique and unparalleled combination of your mirrored influences.