The Cusp of Revolution

To explain the title a bit, one morning, I got bored and started looking up astrology stuff, and my birthday falls on the Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp, or theCusp of Revolution. Pretty badass, I know. I’m also an earth dragon in the Chinese zodiac. But that’s neither here nor there.

In any case, one of the phrases that caught my eye in this description of the cusp was:  “The revolutionary nature of the Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp can underline the need for total reorganization if crucial changes have not yet been made in ones life.” This could not be more true for my current situation (or the situation I’ve been in for the majority of the summer for that matter). One of the things that has become painfully obvious to me this summer is that I’m no longer a child. And I am beginning to react negatively when treated as such. I want to be seen as not necessarily a full adult yet, but just as a person making that transition into adulthood that needs to learn what he’s doing and needs guidance. GUIDANCE being the operative word.

On the other hand, in my mother’s eyes, I am likely still seen as her child. One that she must protect at all costs as a precious life entrusted to her and my father by our Lord God. And she protects using the lessons she has learned in the past, as any of us do. However, at this stage in my life, overprotection is dangerous territory. I am looking to gain some independence. Note that I’m not line-item wanting the sheer pleasures of independence. I want to start learning how to handle the responsibilities that come with independence.

Because of all this, that need for total reorganization of how things go was due. Unfortunately, both parties were not quite on the same page with that. So things came to a head when it became painfully obvious that my parents’ priorities are not necessarily the same as mine. My dad took it in stride and supported the idea of me developing my own opinions and priorities; my mother, not so much. Because I have other priorities, the things that my parents wanted me to prioritize got rearranged to fit my schedule. Things still would have been done on time with no problem. But instead, my mother pitched a fit because things weren’t done on her schedule.

I may have reacted rashly, and I do regret that things have escalated to this point. However, at this point in my life, this dictating of how I should do something, is not welcome. I am old enough to decide if and when to do something, and not that I don’t respect her opinion, but at the end of the day, the decisions are mine to make.

All this being said, looking at all of this, and all of the events of this entire summer in its entirety, I feel as though this time in my life is my own “cusp of revolution.” It’s time for me to figure out what I want. It’s time for me to start getting on my own feet. And most importantly, it’s time for me to take control of my own life because graduation is pretty effing nigh, and I will be on my own soon anyway.

On a slightly unrelated note, in an earlier post, I had noted that my current environment kind of reflected my emotional state at the time. Ironically enough, the same is occurring now. My entire street is basically under construction. Pain in the freaking tuchus.

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Sunday Readings : 07.10.11

So last week I decided to try to get myself back in some sort of order after just kind of living in a sense of chaos for the last few weeks. And one of the things I decided to do was take a bit each Sunday and write a few  thoughts about that week’s readings from Mass…and yes, I do realize it’s Wednesday, but the whole Monsignor’s 40th anniversary extravaganza on top of the Zion advertising material by this weekend’s AYC kind of did a number on the time I had to do much of anything. In any case, I am now getting to it now (although it will definitely be a little rushed), and I will *ideally* be much better about this in the future. In any case, let’s get started.

(1) Is 55:10-11 :: (2) Rom 8:18-23 :: (G) Mt 13:1-23

The part that stuck with me about these readings was the seed analogy. Mostly because I love analogies. But there are so many good lessons out of here that I never really picked up on before. In the first reading, it talks about just like rain and snow don’t return to the sky until it has watered the ground, God’s word won’t return to Him until it’s served its purpose. While yes, that’s true, I looked at that reading in a slightly different light, in a much more earthly context.

There’s a reason why the old adage says “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Our words and actions, like the rain, will leave us, go water the ground and return to us. If we let ourselves be channels of love, then okay great. But more often than not, at least with myself, I find myself judging, or just being completely negative. Now don’t get me wrong, constructive criticism is great, but if you’re just complaining about someone or something, it’s going to have an effect on the people you talk to, and reflect back on you. Again, this is definitely something I have been trying to work on because I am more likely than not THE biggest complainer on the face of this earth. On a sidenote, this aspect of the topic was not in my original idea for this post at all; it just kind of hit me while I was re-reading the passages. Funny how that works.

Anyhoo, back to the seed analogy. In a nutshell, if a seed falls on ground where it can grow, awesome. If it falls on rocky ground, not so awesome. And if it falls in thorns, yeah sure it might grow for a bit but then it’ll get choked by the thorns and die. Just like with us: if we hear the Word of God and are receptive to it and let it grow in us, awesome. If we hear it and don’t really listen to it, not so awesome. And if we hear it and listen to it, but then let our worldly attachments get in the way, then it won’t do us much good. And that’s the part of the Gospel that I’m going to focus on in a nutshell.

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend who was questioning things about his own life. He was wondering if he was making the right decisions, if he was going in the right direction, or if he was just royally screwing up the plan that God had for him. And while listening to him, I began to notice that a lot of the cues he was taking to gauge how well he is doing were from other people. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for God speaking and acting through others. But sometimes, you have to take a step back and look into your own self and think, “In my own heart, do I feel a sense of peace in the direction that I’m going?” In any case, so I listened for a little while, and then finally (as ballroom is one thing we have in common) I asked him, “Are you actually listening to the music or are you trying to follow someone else’s routine?” And then that Sunday was another analogy about being receptive to God’s Word. The timing of that one was impeccable.

Ever since a friend of mine did an analogy to dance for a discernment talk on a retreat I went on, I fell in love with that analogy. Similar to the seed one, but much more relatable to me since I by no means have a green thumb. But with dancing, ideally, you move with the music; listen to it, and guide your moves in accordance with how the music is going. Just as in life: guide your thoughts, your words, and your actions on the call you feel in your heart. God is tugging at your heart as a lead guides his follow through the steps and turns of the dance.

Now on the opposite extreme, if you hear salsa music and you’re trying to Lindy hop, you’re doing something wrong. And a lot of people (myself included) have danced the wrong dance to the music playing at the time. Didn’t really flesh out that part of the analogy because that wasn’t quite what we were talking about, but I can do that on another day, as I may just have a post completely dedicated to this whole dancing thing.

But the one that I called him out on was trying to follow someone else’s routine. If you’re sitting there watching someone else do their dance, and you try to copy their moves, you’re a) more likely than not completely ignoring the music playing and b) more likely than not to stumble. Everyone’s got their own dance, and everyone’s got what works for them. You see it on a dance floor all the time. My best friend and I both love country dancing. He’s much more advanced than I am. He can flip a girl on the dance floor and pull it off. I could *try* to flip a girl on the dance floor…and there is a 99.9% chance that it would end in a complete disaster and maybe a possible trip to the ER for one or both of us. Therefore, I don’t do it…and won’t do it until I get a little practice (and upper body strength). But this is the part of the parable with the seed thrown into the thorns. You have this desire to follow the music, you have this desire to follow God’s call, but then you get caught up in whatever’s going on around you. And this is what happens to most of us. We want to follow our calling, we want to do what is right, but for whatever reason, the evil spirit in some form has convinced us that if we don’t follow the norm that is around us, we are wrong.

But what we have to remember is that each of us has our own dance, our own skill level, our own set of moves. Or if we want to go back to the plant analogy, we’re all given different seeds. But no matter what, we need to go where we’re called to go, not necessarily what others dictate we should do.

Again, I know this is a little rough and long-winded and probably rambling, but if I didn’t write this now, it probably would’ve joined the list of God knows how many things that I shoulda, coulda, woulda done. So I apologize if anybody else is reading this right now. I will likely be more coherent by the next one.

Independence Day

So I’ll begin with a happy birthday to America and a heartfelt thank you to all of those who have contributed to our cause, both past and present. I doubt any will read this, but on the off-chance that someone does, one more voice of support and gratitude couldn’t hurt.

On another note, with it being America’s Independence Day, I figured it’s as good a time as any to discuss something that has surfaced in my own life as of late: the issue of independence. I am a young adult. I am still living under my parent’s rule. Especially with them in complete control of my finances, I’m basically stuck until I can support myself.

I’m back home for the summer because I had no reason to stay up in Austin, or at least no practical reason. That being said, being at home has been driving me up the wall. And it’s not surprising that things have been more than a little rocky between me and my family…mostly because I have issues with independence.

Nothing makes me go crazier than somebody breathing down my neck like I don’t know how to function. Don’t get me wrong; if I have genuinely no idea how to do something, I don’t mind being walked through step by step. But when I want to go to the gym (which is about 15min away), I don’t need to call and check in like I’m a teenager. I drive around Austin all the time for nine months out of the year without checking in, I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine. And when I buy food for myself, I don’t want to be questioned why I bought what I did. (It was a freaking sack of apples, what was I going to do with them? I bought them to eat them.) Or when I don’t eat a shit ton of food, it’s not a sign that I want you to cook me some ridiculously large meal. I’m just not hungry. Back off.

In any case, at least speaking for me, one of the hardest things for me to do is going from basically running my own life and keeping myself organized back to being watched and controlled by my parents once again. Especially since I was in the process of job hunting in Austin at the end of the semester and was planning on staying up there. I wanted to work on being independent, having a regular job, learning how to do things on my own. But then my mother convinced me to come down and just work at the home health that they’re in the process of starting up. And then that start up ended up running behind schedule, and nothing went as planned, and I ended up just getting relegated the odd jobs my parents wanted done. And basically having a lot of things dictated to me.

And that drives me nuts. Ask me to do something, and I’ll be more than happy to. But command me to do something, and my blood starts to boil. Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to do things and contribute to the family. I love my family, even though more often than not, extended periods of time with them begin to drive me insane. But for me, if I’m going to deal with family, I want to be able to freely express my love for them and do things on my own accord instead of being commanded to do things. I’m not a child anymore. I’m not a self-sufficient adult yet either, but how am I supposed to learn how to be one when I don’t get to make decisions? Or when I don’t feel trusted to function on my own? And I’m already dealing with enough issues at the moment; I don’t need to be made to feel unnecessarily incompetent.

In any case, I am hoping and praying that my own independence day comes soon. Hopefully, not as the result of an emotionally violent revolution.