Life has taught me that expectations are guaranteed assurance for disappointment. I have spent countless hours of my life predicting and preparing for situations, many of which never arrive. I look for exits in unfamiliar locales and questionable strangers have my eyes darting in all directions. I’ve prepared dozens of scenarios for every late night phone call from every possible area code.
And why? The situations are rarely a threat. The weird person passes right by me without notice; the late night phone call turns out to be the wrong number.
I try to make sound decisions but in retrospect, there are probably only a handful of decisions that I think were truly brilliant or life altering. As I’ve gotten older I have learned to slowly let go of what I cannot control, but not entirely. Like driving a car in cruise control, but I still keep my foot near the gas and the brake. For better or worse, control is something I can never truly relinquish—and not for lack of trying. Sometimes, I’ve realized, that the path life lays out for you is not the one you have envisioned. Like a club you never considered joining and then you’re not just a card-holding member, but also the executive director.
I love the number eight. All my emails have eight’s, my passwords have eight’s, I was born in the eighth month, and live in apartment # 8. 2008 was going to be my year—but I had no idea how.
The year started with a partial thyroidectomy. Half my thyroid, half my metabolism and half my over anxiety were cut out. On the road to recovery through Guitar Hero therapy, I was on the mend like a champion. Life, however, had a plan all its own.
Three weeks after my surgery, crossing Lexington Avenue after work, a heavy woman tripped and fell on me. Most of the rush hour crowd stepped around her; one person helped her up. I stood frozen in the background, a tree you don’t worry about after crashing into it. My knee was throbbing. Afraid to take a step, I suddenly realized that this may have been the knock I really needed to put me into another path. My knee was fractured and I was ordered to be on no-weight-baring crutches for six weeks (in a walk up apartment.)
So now I was crutching up and down my walk up apartment, bringing my six-year old to school and struggling to get to work at my advertising agency job. Not surprisingly, May brought me a positive performance review at work. Then June gave me the exclamation point of the year … I was “terminated.”
I felt sorry for myself for two hours and then I felt a gush of overwhelming happiness. This was the best thing that happened all year. If it comes in 3’s - this was going to be the end; everything would be great from now on.
Originally a Journalism major at NYU 13 years ago, I gave up creative writing in a string of rebound jobs that defined my career path rather than the other way around. I worked in advertising, human resources, and theatre. I launched a Website. Now I want to do what I cannot go without doing anymore. Writing.
Defining who I am one word at a time; stringing together words and forming sentences—I am slowly coming to terms with my new life and getting to re-know myself.
This is the horoscope I got for August 10, 2008. I think it’s a keeper.
Your party hasn’t been canceled, but it may be postponed until you get your life back on track. You may have lost your way, even if you had the foresight, like Hansel and Gretel, to leave a trail of breadcrumbs. But everything is different now and there’s no sign of the markers anywhere. You’ll need to pay close attention to all the clues to figure out where you are going and the best way to get there.
I wish I could call the horoscope wizard and ask him some follow-up questions to the horoscope. For instance, is there a map? A legend with a key with clues? A magnifying glass? What pray tell are the clues and how do I ascertain the legitimacy of the clues?
In the meantime, I continue to dance with 2008—leading mostly, following sometimes. My eyes are peeled and my mind is mostly open and somewhat clear. I am taking a deep breath. I am having a little faith. I am getting there.