Thirty-Three Retrograde

The last couple of years has been one that saw the self-storage cardboard boxes* that are my life being upended, knocked, battered, soiled or otherwise jumbled. I’ve seen a lot of folks online blame this sort of thing on mercury being in retrograde, but the reality is that this upheaval is my own, and to do with happenings here on Earth rather than the actions of a far-off planet.

People and Pedestals

There is a small handful of people who, as I tumble further into my thirties, I have distanced myself from. What’s sad is that these are people who I once regarded quite highly, back when I was less likely to question anything. It wasn’t much fun to realise I’d spent much of my twenties being a good natured doormat. It was even less fun to come to the realisation that the people who had the biggest problem with me becoming more assertive were those who had always encouraged me to do so. All those times they told me to stop apologising, to stand up for myself and not to tolerate put-downs… it turns out that what they actually meant was that it was somehow still okay if they did it.

Fitting in with the Misfits

It was (is?) a long and painful process to disentangle myself from several former friendships, and I expect it will be even longer before it stops hurting. Up until now I have always had a small but very tight-knit group of best/close friends… Up until now.

Up until I caught myself cackling in a group of Morris dancers as we surprised another old friend at his work.

Up until I went to a festival in another state and spent most of my time hanging out with people I hadn’t seen in ages.

Up until last week, when I sat on a road in Melbourne for at least three hours after a public ritual discussing life, death, sex and books with six of the funniest, smartest and kindest weirdos you are ever likely to meet.

You should see her now

The reshuffling and upheaval lately was mostly due to discovering this: I spent so much of my twenties trying desperately to be “normal”, and apologising profusely when I failed at this. Becoming more comfortable in myself and finding my people has made me realise that normal is sometimes overrated.

There’s no way I’m coming back after this thirty-three retrograde.

* To be fair, if my life really was made up of cardboard boxes, they definitely wouldn’t be the fancy ones that you buy at the self-storage place. They’d be a mismatched jumble fished out of a skip behind a supermarket: dented fruit cartons, out of shape cereal boxes and boxes that once held bulk amounts of baking soda.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


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