"They look dooown, at the grooound, missing / but I neeeever go in now / I'm looking at the big sky."
At 6 a.m. every weekday morning, Kate Bush's angelic voice forces me out of a beautifully restful slumber, like a gorgeous wood nymph whose sole purpose is to make me miserable.
With her voice emitting from my boyfriend's iPhone alarm, I pull myself out of bed, furiously rub my eyes, then shower, deodorize and spackle on my face for a day of white-collar labor. While Kate Bush is looking at the big sky, I'm all, "Fuck you, big sky. I want to sleep for another four hours." But this is the life I chose.
After years of rolling out of bed at 10 a.m., shoving gummy bears in my mouth, and then heading off to a work place where I can now admit I spent plenty of my time G-chatting dick jokes to my friend Michelle, I decided to set off in a new direction. I left a job I loved at CityBeat for a "real job" in a normal office. I'm now writing on a freelance basis.
As a result of this new career path, I fall into bed exhausted at 9 p.m., unable to get through an episode of Scandal. Fun mid-week drinks have gone the way of Miley Cyrus' pants—rarely seen. I started taking vitamins. Vitamins! Who am I?
With all this bratty whining, you might be asking why I left a job that allowed me to roll joyously in the pits of my own woman-child tendencies. People have asked, and my answers are usually a patchwork of general justifications. Stress, money; I wanted to develop other skills; I wanted more free time, etc. While those are all very true and valid, it was mostly just a gut feeling.
This wasn't, and still isn't, easy on me—and not just because of the crappy early-morning wake-ups. I've always defined myself by what I do. When someone says, "Tell me about yourself," my answer is "I'm a writer," quickly followed by "I like eating and watching TV in my underwear, preferably simultaneously."
Fear is very hard to overcome when you feel vulnerable. Should I even trust my gut? That thing's probably pickled in wine and high-fructose corn syrup.
You can never know with full certainty if a choice you've made is the right one, even if you overthink every detail with the exhaustive attention of an emo kid with a prolific LiveJournal account, circa 2001. All I can do is go with it and hope that the outcome feels right. Thus far, my wine-pickled gut has given me the a-OK.
Even so, I looked to the stars for reassurance‚or, rather, looked to Jannine Oberg, a wellness coach and astrologist who claims to have inherited the gift of intuition from her mother. "It's a family trait," she assured with a smile when I met her at Veggie Grill in University City.
There, she presented me with an intricate astrological chart, all mapped out according to the date, time and location of my birth. She explained in great detail how every planet and sign was positioned the exact moment I peeked out of my mom's insides, and what it meant.
Astrology is something I choose to find truth in, and it's hard not to when some of the stuff that comes up in a reading hits close to home. "You're a water sign," she said. "You're very emotional, and sometimes people don't realize how deep you feel things."
Recently, I watched a video online in which an airline surprised passengers on a flight to Calgary with Christmas gifts, all wrapped up and waiting at baggage claim. I faked a bout with diarrhea and went to the bathroom to cry in peace. So, yeah. I have a lot of feelings.
Jannine pulled out an astrological oracle she invented called the StarCaster—a piece of velveteen fabric printed with an astrological chart. She handed me a velvet bag filled with glass pieces that each were inscribed with a symbol for a planet or astrology sign. I was to pull four out based on which were radiating energy, hold them in my fist and then drop them on the StarCaster. From the position in which the pieces landed, "the universe" would give me a message.
"You tend to follow your gut," she said. "Intuition comes from the gut. A lot of times, you've just got the answer to something and there's no reason why. You didn't read it in a book. No one told you it. You just know. That's your gut. You can trust it."
I wanted confirmation, and I guess it's what I got. To dispel any leftover uncertainty or fear, Jannine had me do a tapping protocol. In the middle of the restaurant, she had me gently tap 11 parts of my body, including the top of my head, my chin and my chest. As I tapped, I vocalized my fears and eventually assured myself that they can easily be overcome. The statements Jannine had me repeat were recited in a rhythm to match the tapping.
People were staring at what they probably assumed were sage-burning hippies performing a Wiccan spell. Maybe it was the tapping, or just confronting my vulnerabilities, but I realized that it was silly to think I'd lose myself just because my job title had changed. I still watch TV with no pants on, eat way too much candy and write every day.
Fear has a way of keeping us complacent. It's important to push past it in order to move toward something bigger. Failing sucks donkey nuts, but not trying at all because you're too chicken-shit sucks even more. My gut is usually pretty good at directing me. Even though it makes too many pit stops at Taco Bell, I still trust it.
The following night, I set my alarm for 6 a.m., ready to look at the big sky.
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