I keep reminding myself that, technically, I'm a little early for a midlife crisis. I was happy to turn 41 because the sting of 40 is gone, and 41 is prime, and it's next to 42, and we all know what 42 is.
Along with being the proverbial answer to the Universe, 42 is when your Uranus starts to oppose itself.
Now firstly, I want to give a high five to all of the folks who just read that and laughed like a teenager.
Y'all have to realize that my even mentioning the phenomenon puts me at the mercy of a bazillion astrologers who actually will know what 'Uranus opposing itself' means. I only know vaguely that Uranus' orbit is 84ish years, and that when we turn 42 years old Uranus is at the opposite point in it's orbit than it was during your birth. Uranus is the 'Awakener', and when we pass through this 'portal' it's supposed to make an enormous kerplunk in your life that lasts for 3-4 years.
It's basically like an existential crisis the size of a planet.
Dante must have understood this when he began his decent into hell with the words: Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark forest, for the straighter way had been lost.
Well, today I found myself 41 in Mexico with two very amazing companions, a 6 month lease, a dwindling bank account, freaky austerity gridding the globe, and all the shitty cash bubbles starting to burst. I wouldn't say that I am in crisis as much as that I am being retooled for a new level of game. I am being asked by my circumstances to reinvent who I am in and for the world.
Which is the whole point of Uranus opposing itself (and maybe even a little like Uranus deposing itself).
It's saying, “Hey, I realize that you were just getting settled into something comfy, but really? Is that all you got?”.
I started to hear the rumblings of that question a couple years ago. At that time, I had a fruitful web development practice in which I contributed to causes I believe in. I lived in a beautiful town surrounded by beautiful people, and lived inside the bubble of a natural beauty that would often bring tears to my eyes. I rarely wanted for anything. I was able to finance my own creativity in a way that felt satisfying. I was surrounded by good friends.
At the same time, I was increasingly aware of the 'greater context' I was in, that felt like the dark lining to my silver-halide cloud.
Although I was living out my own version of the 'American Dream', I was also living less than an hour away from the takeoff point and hub of one of the larger domestic spying drone programs and training centers, and less than an hour from a waste repository of radioactive material (and have friends with the collateral thyroid cancer surgery scars to prove it). I was being exposed to chemtrails that would get laid out like a grid almost every morning, and nearly every time I went shopping for anything, I found myself contributing in some way to the third party unelected government, a.k.a. corporations.
My lifestyle and earnings were financing global war, my emails and conversations were being recorded and stored so that if at any point in the future I become interesting to the powers that were, they would be able to have a cache store of my life available for reference. The food I was eating had an increasingly higher GMO content whether I was privy to that information in the form of labeling or not.
Although arguably more 'academic', this line of questioning had implications that feel very real to me.
When I thought about how I might change the context, I came up with a big blank screen, or alternatively with the option to go somewhere else. We all have to recon privately with the inner movements we are called to make, and although the path has not been all glamorous, I seem to be heading in a direction that all least satisfies some of the discomfort I was having before.
It's a sort of experiment in living as if what I do matters, and living truer to my conscience, my morals, and my will for a better world.
At this moment, instead of splitting my earnings 80%/20% favoring corporations, I now purchase 80% or more from families or in shops without a logo or corporate identity. I only occasionally see a chemtrail in the sky here. Because I now live in a place with a strong indigenous movement, most of the food I purchase has no GMO content in it. I no longer live up or downwind of a nuclear facility or plant, and there is no name associated with my phone service here (it's pay as you go) so those conversations are less likely to be recorded and stored.
I'm still working out the details like how I'm going to sustain myself making a living, and how I'm going to find a way to give back meaningfully to my new community. I'm working on making friendships in another language, and preserving the old friendships from afar. I'm working on figuring out which little street-side tiendas sell sun-dried tomatoes, and where I can find a Macintosh battery for cheap (2007 Macbook Pro, if you're interested in donating to a good cause).
After a brief period of traveling and feeling a bit tempest-tost, I'm working on finding a way to plug back in. Which is all very Uranusey, and (hard as it is) also means I'm arriving to the right bunch of insecurities at the right time.
It is because my struggle is universal that I find the courage to write about it. I know that many of my readers are going through their own versions of similar circumstances, similar questioning, similar insecurities, and my hope is that in reading this you might feel less alone. Maybe even proud. My offering here is not a road map, but a sympathetic wink of encouragement. Although the things we are grappling with might be unique to each of us, and the conclusions we are coming to might be different, we are grappling together. We are in good company. And although it might appear otherwise, we are not lost.