January 20, 2010

Very Superstitious

A few years ago I broke a mirror. It was May and I was moving and in my packing rush the mirror paid the price. Did I as well? I remember thinking to myself with a slight laugh, “Well, there goes the next seven years.” Then I froze and realized that, as I was 23 at the time, I would be suffering bad luck till I was 30! That seemed like eons of time at that particular moment.

Am I superstitious? Not really. Well…

I read my horoscope everyday. I talk about things as omens. I often say things like, “Well, that just means it’s fate…” I don’t really believe these things though. I mean, not really. I’ve never based a major life decision on which house my moon is in or anything like that.

So, why am I so interested? Why do I know things like you don’t want the ace of swords to come up in your tarot card reading or that if you want to sell a house you should bury St. Francis upside down in your front yard? I suppose I’d like it if these things were true. It’s somewhat comforting to believe that when I bit my friend’s head off this morning it was because of the position of Mars, not that I was too tired to be polite. There is a certain amount of hope that the good luck symbols on my bracelet are strong enough to keep that one particular coworker from finding yet another flaw in our product. It’d be nice if all I had to do to make my life easier was wait for May.

Little superstitions help dull one’s sense of responsibility in other areas as well. I often have trouble making decisions. Whether big or small, it seems every change in my life has to be held for a standard internal debate period. It’s nice when my horoscope reassures me that today’s the day I should confront a loved one, or that this week isn’t the best to establish a new habit. Even as I read the words, though, I know they’re self-fulfilling prophecies. The only days I nod in agreement with my numerology report is when it already agrees with my established agenda. On the days where it in no way meets my expectations I laugh at how silly such things are and go about my way.

It’s like flipping a coin when you have to make a decision. Either it really doesn’t matter and both options are equally good and the coin flip will decide for you; or, as soon as you see which side comes up, you’ll know for sure which way you really wanted it to land based on your reaction. Plus, there’s the added benefit that if everything goes wrong with the choice you make, you can blame the gods of coin flipping.

Do silly little habits make me a better Anne? No, but after a really awful morning it’s nice to know there’s only four months till May.

Neo: “Morpheus, the Oracle said…”

Morpheus: “The Oracle said exactly what you needed to hear.”

January 11, 2010


I was out celebrating New Year’s Eve when my friend Rae asked me, “So, any resolutions?”

Well, no.

I didn’t make a conscious decision not to have resolutions, it just didn’t occur to me. I suppose it is because I didn’t really keep any of the ones I made the previous year. I’m not sure I accomplished anything terribly momentous in 2009. If any word describes 2009 for me, it’s unresolved.

I’m not trying to be dramatic. I have some great memories from the past year, but as I switch calendars I can’t help but notice that all the things that were bothering me at the beginning of 2009 are the same things that are bothering me at the beginning of 2010. My job is still unfulfilling, I still feel like I should be more ambitious, I still feel unhealthy in some of my habits, I still have this nagging doubt that I’m the one that’s getting in my own way.

I’m a big believer that the only one who can change me is me. I’m the only one who kick my own ass into doing something positive. I’m the only one who can kick my own ass and beat myself up and keep me from changing. I know this because I’ve changed myself for the better before. I’ve also talked myself out of a lot of good things due to fear and doubt. It’s a bit frustrating to find myself here again listening to the same internal dialog: I’ve got to do something, but it’s so hard, but I’m unhappy, but it could be worse…

At midnight the bar handed out cups of free champagne to toast the New Year. We all cheered and toasted one another and then swallowed some of the cheapest, nastiest if-you-want-to-call-it-champagne ever. I put my cup down and turned to one of my fellow partygoers, “I resolve to not drink cheap champagne in 2010!” She laughed and said, “Yeah, me too.”

That’s my resolution. I’m going to stop doing the stuff that makes me unhappy, and do stuff that makes me happy. It’d be a nice change.

Happy 2010!