Posts Tagged ‘chinese zodiac’

I’ve been pretty quiet on this blog.  To be honest, I’ve been pretty quiet on every blog I’m connected to.  I contemplated a list of thirty interesting goals for my twenty-ninth year, and posted them here last September, not really considering what the last year of my twenties might have in hold for me.  Let’s be real here for a moment.  I will go back through that list and tell you what I got to at some point.  I have read most of the books (because I’m a good reader; I read well over thirty books a year anyways, it’s not a stretch goal by any means).  But as for the list of thirty goals… well that hasn’t gone so well.  Because I’ve been doing this instead:

1. Getting married (pretty awesome, thanks Iowa, reception to follow…)

2. Getting diagnosed with epilepsy (less awesome, but now we know)

3. Quitting my full-time job in higher education (missing the steady $$, not missing the steady database time)

4. Going back to school (so, so, so, so good)

5. Switching careers to Urban Agriculture (the best)

6. Trying to come up with a satisfying business plan for life coaching to make ends meet while I do points 3-5 (an interesting tight-rope walk)

7. Helping Kristl open a storefront for her acupuncture business (way more work than you could possibly imagine, but it’s a beautiful thing)

8. Deciding to move our abode (albeit to a much nicer place) without a whole lot of notice (steam shower! way nicer kitchen! free laundry!)

9. Digging up our previous back yard and putting in a garden plot (with the help of neighbors, it’s all good)

10. Dealing with really interesting side effects from epilepsy medications (so drunk)

11. Taking on a challenging summer internship as part of my Urban Agriculture program (read: challenging supervisor)

12. Learning how to run a farm stand (everything must go)

13. Planning a baby shower from another state (harder than it sounds)

14. Planning a wedding reception on a very small budget (challenges, challenges everywhere)

15. Planning a trip to Italy on a small budget (workin’ it)

16. Becoming comfortable with the title of “house spouse” (so much cleaning!)

17. Learning how to make better boundaries with my dear mother who doesn’t deal well with boundaries (Oh, Nona…)

18. Learning how to do basic plumbing, construction, tool sharpening, hose repair, etc (highly recommended)

19. Finding a whole lot of sanity by getting away from a computer desk and spending all day in a field with plants for work (peace and calm)

20. Connecting with friends and family from other states that I haven’t spoken with in a while (see also, wedding reception invitations)

21. Taking on leadership responsibility in my community choir (real talk)

22. Trying to keep up at least with monthly posts on sustainablyqueer.com (nine on the ninth)

23. Studying as much as I can about the fruits and vegetables that are in season while I am working with them (a whole book on cranberries is not enough)

24. Planning for the post-school part of my life, where I need to start earning money again, in my own gardening business or otherwise (I can tell you anything you want to know about potatoes)

25. Keeping track of all friends who are also caught up in this crazy year, getting engaged and/or married, having babies, traveling, starting businesses, changing careers, moving… it’s a big year for a lot of us. (keep it up, work it out!)

26. Being honored for the Windy City Times 30 Under 30 (a big, lovely surprise!)

27. Doing our best to live as sustainably as possible, meaning eating most meals at home, eating out at restaurants that source their meat and vegetables at local farms, and doing our best to conserve water, gas, and electricity. (we try, it doesn’t always work out, but we try)

28. Working to build relationships and network in the local food and sustainability community.  There is a lot more of this to come for me, but I’m starting to get my feet wet.  I’m hoping I will get into a networking rhythm. (Networking is professional bullshit talk for learning how to get strangers to like you… usually I ignore strangers, or try to charm them by being goofy… please give me some networking tips in the comments below, because these approaches do not always work, especially in more professional settings)

29. Finally getting off of my parents family plan and having control over my own cell phone and my own cell service. Woo! (Now I am completely financially independent, also, I am saving $15-30 a month.  Try out Ting everybody!)

30. Budgeting! This is on hold for the moment, but Kristl and I have had great success with You Need a Budget (YNAB) software and the accountability it brings into your spending life and getting out of credit card debt life. It’s AWESOME!

(SIDENOTE: I have codes for those last two that get you a discount, so let me know if you want to buy YNAB or sign up for Ting because yes they work and YES they are amazing.  Ok, cool.)

Anyways, all this is to say that of course I wanted to finish all the lovely things on my 30 by 30 list. They were worthwhile things.  They were important. And I think I will still end up doing them. I did write some letters, and I did get engaged and married, so check that off. But I wrote that list with out the smallest inkling out how huge this year was really going to be. I had no clue I was going to take a huge plunge professionally. I had no clue I was going to get married so soon and move over the summer and that Kristl was going to open a store front. Everything that’s happening is amazing and beautiful and meaningful and completely overwhelming. Yes, it would have been ideal to have it spaced out a little bit, but we cannot have everything we want. And maybe I didn’t really need to have it all spaced out. I don’t suppose I needed to have epilepsy either, but it certainly is humbling and it keeps me pretty empathetic towards others whose bodies may not be functioning at full capacity. On the other hand, having a congenital brain disorder hasn’t really stopped me one bit. The side effects have been difficult this summer, but they haven’t taken me out of the game, and I’ve learned that if I really want to have a career in agriculture or horticulture, or if it turns into something else entirely, they way my brain is formed is not going to stand in my way.

Decades are nice little square boxes for humans to divide their life periods into, but in reality they don’t mean a whole lot.  I have felt like I have been in a “next stage” for at least a year already. I’ve been telling people I’m thirty for two months already; I’m not good at odd numbers. According to astrology, the period of transition of late twenties into early thirties is particularly impactful on a person’s life path because the planet Saturn only returns to it’s same alignment every thirty years or so. So, your Saturn Return happen about every thirty years. If you are going to see a big natural change or refreshment in your life (again, according to the planets) this is the time when you can really hit that restart button.  

I guess I would say this is true in respect to my peers, many of whom really didn’t get their work in order until they were around thirty, anyways. Whether or not the planets have any quantifiable impact on humankind, which I’m sure we could argue about for days, I’ve also noticed that people in their second Saturn Return tend to find a new focus or renew an old one right around 58-60, so maybe astrology does have something going for it. All this is to say that, whatever is aligning for me, it is aligning all at once and it has gotten in the way of my super mundane middle-class, white-person goals, and I have been pushed to the limit to stay awake and stay focused this year. God, the Universe, my sweet departed ancestors, whomever/whatever is pulling the strings, even if it is my own thoughts and subconscious ambitions, needs to cool it because what was supposed to be a somewhat low key year of learning and regeneration, has become a year of supercharged, full-forced, “do all the things” type day-to-day.  Kristl and I need a freaking vacation.

Don’t worry, we have one planned… in a couple months… In the meantime, tell me, oh wise, older ones who are better at networking than I am, all your networking tips and tricks.  And then, seriously, who else has had a crazy year? Big wins, big losses? SO MANY CHANGES? The Chinese Zodiac calls this the year of the Wooden Horse.  Read the description of the Wooden Horse: 

The Wood Horse year is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Decisive action, not procrastination, brings victory. But you have to act fast in a Horse year. If you are not 100% secure about a decision, then don’t do it. Events move so quickly in a Horse year that you don’t want to gallop off in the wrong direction.

Anyways, so, if this year has been moving at a blinding pace for you too, blame it on the planets, or the Chinese horses.  Next year is supposed to be more about creativity and relationships.  Something warm and cozy to look forward to.


I have about five weeks left of my twenties.  I have about five weeks left to read some these books and maybe take some dedicated Instagram pictures and do some yoga.  I could easily complete some of these 30 by 30 tasks, but what will I have gained? I set up the exercise to have accomplished something by the time I turned thirty, but I did not set any really high bars, because I think I knew this year was going to hold really big surprises.  Maybe I should set 33 goals for 33 now, and set them really high (I really want to ride in a hot air balloon!) Three years to garner my resources and plan.  Make some big strides and get ready for 33 because 33 is the best number of them all. 😉

Thanks for reading!



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