This year’s first Mercury Retrograde has been one of the most challenging ones. Exchanged words result in misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Delayed responses either fall on deaf ears or fail to show on the screen – because – battery almost dead. And cell phones don’t like the cold. Then your dentist’s assistant cancels your appointment by leaving a voice mail because the doc is having a baby. My first thought was to write a short story about being born during Mercury Rx. Chances are that at least one or two planets will be in retrograde when you’re born, but most of them are likely to have a positive effect on you, but Mercury will complicate your communication skills.

Saturn, on the other hand, has its bad and good qualities. It has karmic energies and requires all the patience that you have, which means that you have to work hard, even more, if you are a Saturday child.

This might be too much to handle for some, and a lot of people don’t believe in the influence of the stars. What if I said that the time and place you were born will determine who you are inside – the alignment of the planets and the type of moon on that very day?

A psychology student once told me that you don’t inherit your parents’ characters. If anything that’s what you observe throughout your childhood. Also how you were brought up plays a big role in the person that you become. If your mother has a bad temper, all you’ll do is copy her and make that bad temper your own.

I’ve always wondered why I have a fear of taking responsibility for something or someone. Your parents usually get you a pet when you’re young so you learn to be responsible, but I don’t think our pets have ever been my or my sister’s responsibility. Although I do remember my mother saying that we were responsible for them, but she didn’t give us the chance of taking any responsibility, as she would change the hay in our guinea pig’s cage, or she would walk the dogs – every day. All my sister and I did, in the end, was to take it for granted. We still played with our pets, but we were not looking after them. For that reason, they loved my mother the most. But for my mother, it was more of a responsibility that she had to take as a mother. This is one reason why motherhood will always be daunting for me. My sister and I didn’t even do the dishes, because, if we did, she would simply wash everything again to make sure it was clean in the way she wanted it. One thing I’m glad she let me do was to occasionally ride to school on my bicycle. I remember being proud of it, proud of being able to ride those 2KM to school by myself. She only wouldn’t let me do it when it rained. I can’t imagine how bad it’d be if she had never let me ride the bicycle to school. All protective parents have a reason to be scared, but it’s important to have a little faith in your children and make sure they grow up to be strong individuals.

There was a lot I had to teach myself as well as overcome myself. One thing I noticed is that my parents are never lazy; they’ve always been hard-working people and I took an example of that. That’s why I’m always up on my feet once I wake because there are things to do every day. It’s not that you want to be ahead of the day, but you want to be in tune with it and make use of it because you can.

Often I wake up wondering for how long nature will look after us. How long until it will lose patience with us? When I was young I was experiencing all four seasons, which is the kind of stability that you want. I’ll always be thankful for it. Noticing how much the seasons are shifting and fluctuating, I don’t know how good it is for my mind and body. I feel like I’m looking for the perfect place that can give me that.

I don’t know all the details on how my parents were brought up. I never really cared enough to ask. And that’s the problem. Deep communication has never been a thing in most Asian families. That’s one of the main reasons why problems were never really solved. Arguments would happen, but there would never be a ‘sorry’ or ‘recovery’ of any sort – just silence. Not that we were happy about it, but that’s how it was. I believe that’s why I have big trouble expressing my emotions. Most of the arguments that I remember only went one way and by that, I mean that only one person is shouting or crying his/her feelings out, but no one would respond to it. It’s almost as though no one is listening to you. My family has always been bad it supporting each other emotionally. Silence was what we knew best. No one was happy about it, I’m sure, but we were comfortable with it. I feel that emotional expression is something that should’ve been taught. I think that my mother, of all people, used to be the most expressive of us all. She would cry the most, but I don’t remember anyone ever going up to her to put his/her arm around her. We’d all just freeze. That’s all.

For years I’d been trying to figure out why I didn’t talk to anyone when I was young, even though I had a lot on my mind. As years passed it felt like I was freezing a bunch of things in the back of my head (if I wasn’t writing about them). There was a huge fear of expressing my feelings verbally. Whenever I did try I would blackout. Maybe there was a lack of guidance, I don’t know. I would invent fights, confrontations, and arguments in my attempted novels – American style because that was all I knew. But when you argue in real life it’s not something pre-composed. Although, I do remember writing my lines on sticky notes whenever I determined myself to confront someone about something. I just wouldn’t be prepared for their counter-arguments. Sometimes I wonder whether I should’ve studied communications instead, but the magic that fiction brings to life proved to be way more valuable to me in the end. It’s the freedom and the many ways of how to bring the truth across, and how much impact you can to add to it. In non-fiction, I only seem to find this deep impact in memoirs, which is why I’ve been reading a fair number of those. Some appear somewhat fictional, or at least semi-autobiographical. Your brain doesn’t always remember facts. You tell a story about how you remember it and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as the emotions are accurate. I have twenty-four years of journals to look back into, so my memoir should be fairly accurate as far as timelines are concerned. I should be able to find out how I was feeling and what I was doing on July 26, 1994, or whether or not Mercury was in Retrograde.

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