Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Life Cycles

In astrology and in many religions (and in movies like "The Seven-Year Itch"!), "7 years" seems to be the accepted cycle for changes in one's life course. Lying in bed last night, I started going back over my life to see if that bit of "accepted wisdom" was true for me... For the most part it was, though I seem to be on more of an every-6-year cycle.

1965-1970. (Born to age 5.) Lived in Denison (TX), Portugal, Charleston, Iowa Park (TX). Despite all the moving, I don't remember feeling any emotional upheavals. OVERALL VIBE: Good.

1971-1976. (Age 6 to age 11.) Brother born in '71 (no real jealousy). Still lived in Iowa Park, then College Station (TX), Robbins Air Force Base (GA), then Iowa Park again. Parents fighting, Dad transfers to GA by himself (where we then follow him for just 9 months after he promises to act right; he doesn't) and then to the Philippines while the rest of us live back in Iowa Park. OVERALL VIBE: Mixed. Mostly bad when Dad is around, mostly good otherwise.

1977-1983. (Age 12 to age 18.) The Azle Years. Moved to Azle (TX) in '77. Parents divorced that year. Lots of drama/trauma before and after. Puberty. Plus I was always popular in school up until I moved here, but not after. I start getting crushes on girls around age 14 (start writing poetry around the same time), fall seriously in love, both sexually and mentally, with a girl (Ginny) my senior year of high school, leave her to go to college. OVERALL VIBE: Bad.

1983-1988. (Age 18 to age 23.) The UT-Austin Years. Bemoan the loss of Ginny during this whole time. (We see each other a few awkward times, but she has already found a new "best friend." Which doesn't stop me from missing her every single day.) Am knocked out by my poetry classes, but otherwise find the UT atmosphere emotionally harsh (mean, shallow frat boys and their women rule; overly crowded and impersonal classes; futile crushes on various girls (I'm not yet out of the closet); shallow personal friends until the very end of this period. I start partying heavily, neglecting school. OVERALL VIBE: Lost.

1988-1993. (Age 23 to age 28.) 1988---FINALLY, I meet some great friends in Austin, people that I actually love, Kathy and Kris. When they go home from school for the summer of '88 because their mother is dying of cancer, they invite me to come live with them. I drop out of UT, move back to the Ft. Worth area to be with them. Their mother dies, I fall in love with Kris, unreciprocated. I then find out that Ginny has just died. Move back to Austin, come out officially, meet my first girlfriend in '89. Bad, chaotic relationship. Break up in '91. Get my outward act together and finally graduate from UT in '93. Have serious affair with an older, married man, my boss. OVERALL VIBE: Complete chaos. Great highs and great lows.

1994-2000. (Age 29 to age 35). To shake myself up and try to get back on track and stabilized emotionally, move to San Francisco for grad school in 1994-1995. Get my grad degree, but absolutely hate the vibe of the town, don't make any friends. (Continue to call both my ex-girlfriend and the married guy.) Move back to Austin. From '96 to 2000, I go back to my old dead-end library job, get completely wasted at clubs 4 or more nights a week out of pure boredom. Chase after my ex-girlfriend and sleep with her one last time in 2000. ("Answered prayers"--ha!) OVERALL VIBE: More than lost.

2001-2006. (Age 35 to age 41). My mom buys me a computer for Christmas 2000, which opens up a whole new world of communication! I love the Internet! I don't feel the need to get wasted at clubs just to be around people...I really get off intellectually on talking to people who share my interests online. I also, in "real life," get a job I like at a publishing company, and make good friends there. And I settle down in a house that I rent from 2000-2007. (The longest I've ever lived in one place.) I finally feel "normal" after so many years in the desert! Plus, I start my Joan Crawford website in 2004, which has remained constantly stimulating. The only thing is... I'm still dreadfully restless. Could picture myself dying in that same house in Austin, having never done anything else with my life, wanted to at least TRY something else before I died... My Austin job gives me the opportunity to travel to NYC---I fall in love. OVERALL VIBE: Relatively good and healthy, thank you! Finally!

2007-the present. (Age 42 to ?). Moved to New York City in early 2007, just to be somewhere that I've always read about and admired from afar... I really do love the place, its energy. And trying to figure out how everything works here has been so stimulating for me! We'll see what happens! OVERALL VIBE: Anticipatory!

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I'd always read that a person's psyche was formed before the age of 5... Looking back at my own experiences, I'd have to disagree. I was fine up until age 5! It was age 12 through age 35 that was so horrible! :)

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