Livin’ La Vida Libra

Saturday Morning, 10:00 A.M: my coffee cup was almost empty, a pile of laundry and myriad of chores cried for my attention, and I sat glued to the computer, flicking through page after page of the Yankee Candle website after coming to the decision with my mother that a pair of jar candles would be my birthday gift this year. Given the disproportionate cost of Yankee candles to the size of my bank account, I wasn’t complaining, but the problem arose when I was forced to make a decision; I needed to choose two fragrances and call mom back so she could place the order. Twelve pages later, my mouth was watering, my nose was twitching, and I’d managed to narrow my choices down to four. It wasn’t marriage, I reminded myself; this olfactory fling would probably last several months, given the rate at which I burn candles, but my tiny one-bedroom apartment that I share only with my dog is my sacred space—the only thing I can truly call my own—and creating peace and serenity in that sacred space depends pretty heavily on fragrance. Blueberry muffin? The aroma would make me hungry; chocolate truffle? I’ve smelled it in the Yankee candle store and am convinced that I inhaled about 1000000000000 calories (just a rough estimate). “Gosh,” I thought as I reached the bottom of the twelfth and final page of choices. “You really are a Libra.”

I typically don’t place much faith in astrology; occasionally my horoscope will be disturbingly accurate, like the day it predicted a mishap at work, and the strap of one of my new sandals snapped during the five-block walk between the bus stop and the building I teach in. the stars are never in alignment on the day my horoscope predicts a pleasant surprise; there are never any nice gentlemen standing in front of me in the queue at Starbucks offering to buy me a latte, and I usually wind up sharing the elevator with the guy who seems to have declared a legal separation from soap and water instead of the guy who smells of pine-scented aftershave and bears an uncanny resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Libra is represented by a set of scales; Libras are supposedly known for their love of balance,, harmony, and organization. My life is about as balanced as chocolate cake and cookie dough ice-cream for breakfast. As for organization, I follow the principles of basic chemistry—specifically the theory that all matter favors randomness. The Libra is, by definition, an unbalanced paradox who craves precisely what she lacks; I’m a perfectionist, for instance, true to my Libran nature, but said perfectionism tends to clash with my life’s general spiral in the direction of chaos. Libras like to balance the scales; we just aren’t the best at distributing weight sometimes. Make one wrong decision, one false move, and the entire universe tips over. (We’re also drama queens).

Sometimes I feel like my life is one of those toothpick models of the Empire State building; remove just one piece, and you’re left with a pile of splinters. Still, as I move closer to the day when I celebrate having taken one more trip around the sun without crashing my life, I have to admit balance and harmony sound like a pretty sweet mantra to live by, especially when I feel like 30 is staring me so close in the face that I’d like to ask it to step back and give me some breathing room. (I’m trying to fight the sudden surge of panic and the desire to check my birth certificate to make sure that I do, in fact, have two years left to prepare to face that. Given my abysmally bad math, a miscalculation is not outside the bounds of possibility).

So: I’m making a personal resolution for this next trip around the sun—to bring the balance to my life that I so obviously need. So here’s to the year of livin’ la vida Libra!

1 Comment »

  1. […] adaptations. My readers watched as I struggled to overcome my fear of waxworks, contemplated the inevitability of aging and threw a highly successful, Bridget Jones-style birthday party complete with blue cake. I have […]

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