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The Waiting Game

It seems fitting, since my last post went up on the eve of the Full Moon, to check back in with my January goals and to-do lists today–the day after the New Moon. I should preface this by saying that I’m no hardcore astrologer. Not even close. But I do think there’s something comforting about the patterns, the signifiers, the very literal ebb and flow that moves us like clockwork from one month to the next; and at a time like this, when life is so very full and also so very much on the cusp of big change, I find myself a little more inclined to factor in things like moons and signs, intentions and Mercurial wanderings.

So here we are: January 21, 2015. Yesterday was a Super Moon, the New Moon in Aquarius; and today, Mercury goes retrograde (thank you, Mystic Mamma, for the update). I confess: I’ve become something of a Mystic Mamma junkie. Not that I read every single thing posted to this particular astrology blog…but I DO keep coming back for the Full Moon, New Moon, and Monthly Theme posts. The way I see it, these astrological insights–sometimes illuminating, sometimes downright repetitive–are almost always helpful. Why? Because no matter what you believe about the stars and the moon, about “Source” and “Spirit,” they offer a lens through which to view the days and nights ahead that invariably emphasizes action, realization, ownership of bad habits and foibles, and ultimately, a determination to relinquish the past and seize one’s own power.

And for me, at least, these principles hold true. They bear repeating.

Especially now, during the interminable MFA waiting game.

Last week, I logged on to Facebook to find an unexpected post from a fellow MFA Drafter: “In at South Carolina for Fiction. Here we gooooooooo!!” That was on January 16th–a good two weeks before I figured any acceptance emails or calls would start going out. I was excited. I was terrified. I definitely wasn’t ready. Since then, I’ve checked and re-checked Facebook, my email, my phone, and the bottles of celebration and/or sorrow-drowning wine queued up & at the ready in my kitchen. It’s a peculiar kind of madness, this waiting game. And I’ll take anything I can to alleviate it, to keep me focused on my life, my writing–or at least distract myself as much as humanly possible.

Hence, the horoscopes.

This morning, I woke up late, cranky, discouraged. Not an ideal way to kick off what Mystic Mamma dubs the “fresh start” and “first day of your life” signified by the Super New Moon. Eager to adjust my mood, I read over posts from various astrologers, all of whom urged me to “be innovative,” “make bold new beginnings,” “expect the unexpected,” and “get out of my own way.” One line struck me as particularly apropos to the whole MFA stress bubble: “Use the New Moon to create a new life. Don’t wait on other people. Take action today.”

It’s easy to look at the next few months as ones of seemingly endless emotional enslavement—to the all-powerful admissions committees, to our phones and our fears, to the mysteries of the future. With so much at stake, after all, how is one expected to simply sit back, give in, let go? At the same time, that’s absolutely all we CAN do. And with so much nervous energy flying around, what better time to find something–a new writing project, a new submission goal, anything–that serves the life we want, the future we hope to actualize with our MFA dreams?

With regard to the current Mercury Retrograde (a time traditionally associated with miscommunication, misfortune and mayhem), astrologer Robert Wilkinson writes: “We have free will and no planet or star ‘makes’ anything happen. They merely indicate the larger patterns we live within, and so by understanding these patterns and what they symbolize, we are in a position to be in harmony or disharmony with inner and outer ‘reality.’ This is the power of our individuality to rise above inertia, superstition, and belief systems that are obsolete, inadequate, or fear-based.” For me, just writing this out makes me feel a little bit more powerful, a little bit less attached to my inbox (and phone–in the last hour, I’ve only checked it twice!) Sure, I’m still nervous. Sure, I’m still waiting. But at least for now, I’m going to focus on being open to whatever comes–and in the meantime, actively seeking that which will feed my creativity and confidence as if I’d never even applied.

Image: Mystic Mamma

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