240. cavort

knightofwandsLooking at the title for this entry (which, by the way, I typically pull from Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day), what immediately came to mind is some advice from my birth chart (that I did on Astrolabe):

Give yourself the freedom to look awkward or silly once in a while. The relief you feel will be quite therapeutic and the embarrassment (whether it is real or imagined) will pass quickly.

For the record, I’m an Aquarius, with both rising sign and moon in Libra. And something about being a triple air sign?

Do I believe the stars and planets align themselves in the heavens to provide little old me here on planet Earth with sage wisdom? Of course not. But I do enjoy the moments when general observations such as those in astrological charts or tarot readings happen to intersect with my personal reality.

And there is a perverse part of me that enjoys activities like tarot or astrology precisely because they were at one time forbidden and demonic. So getting my chart done or doing a tarot spread is a bit like giving the finger to that part of my past.

However, the truth from that reading is that I do tend to take myself too seriously. I think too much, analyze too deeply, and ultimately lock up and consequently look awkward and weird… which is precisely what I was hoping to avoid in the first place.

And it has the tendency to create problems for everyone else, too, in that it can create the impression of my being standoffish or rude, when in reality I’m just feeling insecure and uncertain about how I’m supposed to behave.

A few weeks, ago my friends Erin and Matt got married, and that got me thinking (yet again) about my own prospects for romance and partnership, and whether it’s something that’s even realistic for me. The day of the wedding I also left for a two-week hiking and camping trip to the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma, and the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park in Texas. The trip gave me a lot of time to digest some of what I’ve learned over this past semester, and to deal with some of the issues that I just haven’t had the mental space to process because of grad school.

Something that I heard on Minnesota Public Radio the other day also caught my attention. They were talking about why millennials aren’t getting married, and one of the guests, Ann Meier, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, said something that resonated with me. They were talking about marriage as a status marker, and she said this:

“I think it’s marking an achievement that you’re able to achieve a certain level of education and an income where you feel like [marriage is] the culmination, the icing on the cake, instead of, as Brigid [Schulte] said, a step in the transition to adulthood. It’s the thing you do when your life is set. And people are taking longer to get their lives set these days.”

I think this part of the sense that I’ve been trying to articulate the past couple of months, that it’s difficult watching my friends getting married (especially my gay friends) because it feels like I’m getting left behind. Everyone else has their lives together and, as Ann said, “set” and I’m still trying to achieve a basic level of emotional and psychological subsistence. And it makes me feel incredibly old at 32, watching people younger than me who have been together for almost a decade and seemingly much further ahead than me.

So articulating this view of marriage, that it’s a marker of a certain status achievement, is helpful, because it still doesn’t feel like I’m there. I’m working, I’m working toward a graduate degree in a field I’m actually excited about working in, but I’m also aware of how much further there is to go. Especially when I’m surrounded by couples and married people.


But there’s something else that I recently became aware of.

I had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday who said that even though she’s been very successful at work, it’s not something that she’s excited about, and that what she really loves, the thing that gives her the most satisfaction in life, is being a mom to her three kids. She’d been asking about my library science degree and what I plan to do with it, and I shared that for the first time in my life it feels like I have a calling, something I was just born to do.

… not that I believe in destiny or anything, but rather that I’ve finally found a field that aligns almost perfectly with my personal values and what I’m naturally good at. I am absolutely in love with librarianship and science, and cannot wait to get into archiving and special collections.

She said (and another friend of mine recently said) that she doesn’t feel about her job the same way that I’m articulating it, that the work I am planning to do gives my life real purpose and (dare I say it) joy. Will there be days when I hate my job? Probably.

But it brought home for me the reality that I do have things going for me right now.

Another astrological birth chart I looked at for myself said that people with their moon in Libra (lunar Librans) “have a strong need for partnership. Without someone to share their lives with, they feel utterly incomplete.”

I do hope (against hope) that one of these days I’ll find someone about whom I feel the same way that I feel about librarianship… that it’ll be a fantastic match. The older I get, of course, the less confident I am that I’ll even find someone.

In the meantime, I’ll continue rebuilding my life post-Christianity and getting to know myself better so someone can also get to know that person.


7 thoughts on “240. cavort

  1. The trick is to not think it’s magic, or easy, or plain sailing. One can be 15 years into a relationship and still occasionally have doubts. Still be hurt by a silly comment. Still feel our partner could make or have made more of an effort.
    The ‘real thing’ means confronting and conquering those real problems. It means accepting there’s no such thing as perfection, or better, that perfection is found in imperfection. Even bickering can be warm and loving.
    On average, once a day, I hate my partner. I feel like kicking his shin. Or taking a chopstick and sticking it in his ear. But there’s something special about that. In general I can just dismiss people. He, I can’t dismiss 😉

    1. That’s a good point. I currently live with a married couple and see some form of bickering on a fairly regular basis, so I know the marriage isn’t perfect.

      And I too can easily dismiss people, to the point where my Humanist card should have been revoked ages ago. But it’s my hope to one day to also find someone who I can’t so easily dismiss. 🙂

  2. I really resonate with this post. I watch the young college students pair off and marry year after year after year while I age alone. But I have things in my life I’m excited about too, like you.

    I am SO happy that you’re finding so much fulfillment in library science. I hope in the future you’ll blog more about “archiving and special collections,” which intrigues me.


    1. You have some very exciting things happening in your life!! I enjoy reading about your doings on the Facebook. 🙂

      I wonder if iur marriage- and relationship-centric culture is entirely healthy. It’s to the point where almost every storyline, every ad, every narrative has marriage or finding your soulmate at the end of the proverbial rainbow.

      1. I hear you. Now picture working at a Christian university where marriage is upheld as the be-all, end-all of life and students who barely know themselves yet are rushing to commit their lives to another person who barely knows him or herself yet either. It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

        I’m proud of your grad school work! How long is your program? How much do you have left?

      2. “… rushing to commit their lives to another person who barely knows him or herself yet.” Exactly!! Well said!!

  3. Remember when you thought I had it all together, and then you actually got to know me and what a gibbering mess I usually am? 😛

    You’re right: comparing ourselves to other people does no good. I like what C. S. Lewis wrote in The Horse and His Boy (I’m finally at a point where I can look at his writings again and glean the good, helpful things and bin the rest of his shitty theology): “Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.”

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