“Your greatest challenge is going with the flow. The way forward is to understand that sometimes life can’t be controlled; you simply have to relax and trust that something good will come to you.” –The Element Encyclopedia of Birthdays
Say what you will about the inaccuracy and general silliness of zodiac signs and horoscopes, but this description, taken from a huge book I found in the bargain section of Borders (RIP) several years ago, speaks my truth. I remember flipping through the book until I found my birthday, eagerly reading the two-page description of the characteristics and interests correlated with those born on August 29. It was honestly a sort of relief to find out that I was exactly as the elements intended: creative yet with a need for structure, imaginative yet prone to loneliness. It made me feel as though there was indeed some type of divine plan for me, one that was set in stars and reinforced by something much more powerful than myself.
That’s not to say that I advocate living life waiting for destiny to strike. Circumstances and choices shape your life much more than what sign you were born under. But at the same time…it feels really good to think that there’s a plan, somewhere in the universe. I’ve been living without a set plan for a year now, since graduating college, and it’s going terribly in my organized, structured, little Virgo mind. Never before have I not known the next step. Throughout middle school, high school, and college I would look over my class schedules even though I had long since memorized them, imagining every detail of my upcoming semester. I LOVED picking out and registering for classes. Going over the syllabus was never boring to me.
Now I live day by day, with only a vague notion of what I want to be doing next month, let alone a year. I’ve tried meditation, journaling, self-help books, medicinal teas, yoga. Yet my mind will not cooperate, refusing to churn out any answers to my incessant questions. Can’t I just know my dream job yet?? Or where I’m supposed to live? Or even what field I’d be most successful in? Is that too much to ask for?? No amount of thinking and doing is making the answers clearer, which brings me to a conclusion even more terrifying: what if there is no answer?
I get it. Very few people know what they’re meant to do, especially not when they’re in their early 20s. But most people seem to be okay with that. They try things, make mistakes, learn from them, and move on. They let the uncertainty go. They deal with it and enjoy themselves. This baffles me. My first full-time job taught me a lot about what I don’t want to do and what I’m not good at, and while many will tell me that this means I’ve learned something, to me it just feels like a waste of time. A part of me knows how ridiculous that is, and that I’ll never get out of this phase if I don’t take a step forward.
And so I’ve vowed to swallow my fears and go with the flow as best I can. I need to accept that mistakes will be made, but that’s not a bad thing. I know that I can’t just think my way out of this, because, believe me, I have already tried. As the sage lyricist Taylor Swift put it, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” I’ll try things until I know, Tay. But until then, I’m going to keep reading my horoscopes.