Happy Chinese New Year to you all!
2009 will be an interesting year for me. It’s the year of the Earth Ox, and according to Chinese astrology, my sign, the sheep, will have the worst year of the 12 animals. But on the other hand, according to Western astrology, my sign, Gemini, will have the most awesomely fantastic year! So which is which? Will my good Gemini fortune counteract my bad sheep luck? Or will the sheep trample on whatever good tidings my Gemini stars bring? Which side wins?
This is why, although I’m fascinated by astrology in general, I don’t really bite it hook, line, and sinker. The romantic side of me believes in the general idea of destiny, in a sense that I can subscribe to the idea that I was destined to say, be a broadcaster for instance, but the logical side of me eschews the concept of rigid predestination, in a sense that everything I do is already set to unfold, regardless of what I do to change it. That’s why it’s kismet in a way, that one of the entries in this morning’s Top Ten was a quote from Paolo Coelho saying something that goes in the vein of, the biggest lie in the world is that at some point you lose control of your destiny and surrender to fate. I choose to believe that although we are “destined” to walk a certain path, the final word on the matter relies on what we do, and what we decide on a daily basis, one Sisyphean step at a time. I don’t believe in a cruel God who would be so whimsical to have us walk the earth like wind-up zombies, playing out some celestial script, with no voice whatsoever as to the outcome. We are born, we play the part assigned to us, and we die. I choose to believe in a God who gives us the power to choose, to decide as to how our lives will unfold. Of course I’m still somewhat old school when it comes to my belief that there are still omnipotent strings being pull by a Higher Power, but the strings are loose enough to give us sovereignty over our own lives.
So I don’t really sweat it when I read foreboding predictions, just as I don’t congratulate myself too much when the opposite is foretold. I treat it as partly entertainment, partly curiosity, partly supernatural, partly parlor trick, and partly business venture. Maybe the truth is a little bit of everything. My goal is not to prove or debunk astrology. My goal is to live my life as best as I know how. And I will try my darnedest best to have a great year despite the odds. 2008 was a difficult year; I don’t plan to have another one of those in a long time.
So yesterday I ate my kiat-kiat, tonight I will pray to God, and tomorrow I will live like this is the best year EVER.