Last night – the night of the supermoon eclipse – was a mysterious one for me, and not for any particular reason. It wasn’t a wild night by any means. No bursts of passion or monumental occurrences. I didn’t even leave my apartment. Yet something felt different.
After a fun-filled, high-energy (yet also emotionally trying) two weeks in San Francisco and a farewell party back in Chicago, I was exhausted. I started dozing off around 7 p.m., and awoke a few times to gaze out my window at the moon before finally falling asleep around 11. In times of sleep, I had eerie dreams, and in times of waking, I felt a weird, restless melancholia that was only reinforced by the sounds of barking dogs and the sight of the blood moon out my window.
Despite this “off” feeling, I felt safe. The metaphysical aspect of the full moon – and the sense of urgency and change it brings with it – has been, in my experience, a very real phenomenon. This supermoon eclipse, the first of its kind in 33 years, correlated with a time of monumental change in my life, and for me, that reinforced its mysteriousness. But it also made me feel even more strongly that I am on the right path.
I’ll let you read up on some of the astrological implications of this supermoon eclipse. I’m not one for the type of astrology that predicts or confines. There’s a whole other, less well-defined component to the physical influence of the planets and stars on our moods, and that’s the philosophy I tend to favor. Rather than thinking about predictions, I take comfort in the waxing and waning of the distance between earth and the moon, the sun and the stars, the changing of seasons. Rather than any kind of fortune teller or supernatural power, the universe is simply a guide and comforting friend as I go about my life.
The implications of the supermoon eclipse and last week’s autumn equinox aligned closely with my current situation in life. In a nutshell, they signify extreme change (this isn’t particularly new-agey, either: The equinox is a literally change of seasons).
I’ll stop boring you with astrology and moons and whatnot, and get on to the changes I’m experiencing. Since my breakup in May, I’ve been struggling to move forward. It’s been a fun summer full of possibilities, but it’s also been a crossroads: Where do I go from here? Am I on the right path?
It’s also been a rough time for me spiritually and physically. Two of the things I value most in life – spirituality and health – have been my last priorities in the past few months. I’ve been too caught up in worry, self-doubt, the feeling that I need to force myself to move on, and the reluctance to do so. I haven’t prayed or meditated with any regularity. I haven’t been eating well. I haven’t been exercising or practicing yoga. I’ve been partying too much. In a nutshell, I’ve been living a life that doesn’t reflect my strength of character.
But now I’m ready to move on. The past few weeks have shown me some of the promise of what’s to come: Friendship, family, reconnecting, new scenes, and the promise of change.
With that, I’ll share some background and tell the story of my recent travels and upcoming move to San Francisco. I am so excited to be embarking on this next phase of my life!
So, here’s the situation in a nutshell: I was hired as a writer for a company based in San Francisco about two months ago, on a three-month contract. Back when I was applying for jobs, I had San Francisco in mind as a target destination. I knew that a fresh start in a new city would be good for me. I’ve struggled to make close friends while living in Chicago, and I needed a new scene altogether.
San Francisco, from what I’ve seen so far, is an amazing fit for me. For one thing, my cousin John lives there, and he and I have gotten progressively closer in our adulthood. Every time I hang out with John (I stayed with him in Paris for a few weeks while I was traveling in Europe), I meet really cool people and have the most amazing experiences. For another, San Francisco has a lot to offer that aligns with my values. People who live there love to eat healthy. A lot of them practice yoga. It’s more outdoorsy than Chicago. And, to borrow the words of my grandpa, it’s more transient in nature than Chicago. So many people in SF are just passing through, so everyone is up for meeting new people and making new friends.
As much as I love Chicago, there are parts of it that prevent me from feeling like I really fit in. The sports-loving atmosphere is certainly not my thing, for one. For another, so many of the people I’ve met in Chicago are from the suburbs or the surrounding states. Most social scenes seem fixed and difficult to penetrate. There are a lot of nice people here, but the people I’ve met in San Francisco seem much more open-minded, fun, intelligent and well-traveled. That’s not to criticize Chicago at all – I love it here and have made a lot of great friends – but I’ve never really been able to assimilate.
Over the past two months, I’ve spent about half of my time in San Francisco and half of my time in Chicago. Already, John, Christian (John’s boyfriend) and their group of friends have warmly accepted me and showed me an amazing time. I’ve been to concerts, gone out on the town, shopped at the farmer’s market (seriously – such an amazing farmer’s market), walked all over the city (so dense and walkable!), seen lots of runners and yogis, drank lots of fresh-pressed juice, eaten the best briny, succulent oysters imaginable, had incredible wine, met really inspiring and accomplished people, and learned that there’s an entire city of people for whom important causes are front of mind. And, of course, there’s the lack of the Midwestern winter.
That’s not to say there aren’t any flaws to the city. Obviously, the cost of living is a lot higher. There are a lot of bums (though that seems very confined to certain areas, not unlike crime in Chicago). It’s not particularly diverse – it really is a playground for educated 20- and 30-somethings with a lot of money (not sure if I should consider that a positive or a negative).
But altogether, it’s a great city – and I feel extremely positive about this move. I can’t wait to get to know my new friends better, enroll in yoga teacher training this spring, re-develop a healthy body and mind, and embark on the next chapter of my life.
One thing I’ve really had to learn in the past year or so is how to know when to let go. For me, now is that time. It’s time to let go of some of the delusions I’ve had that may have kept me from achieving my greatest potential. It’s time to let go of old wounds and forgive the people who caused them. It’s time to forgive myself for not always being perfect. And it’s time close my eyes to jump into the future, not blind – because I have my strength, intuition and inner light to guide me – but unknowing.
During an eclipse, a celestial body blocks the light between the sun and another celestial body. The timing is such that we can’t see what we know is right there, just out of sight. But with time, all barriers eventually fall away, allowing the light to pass through once again. Every celestial body continues to move, cycles repeat themselves, and there are periods of light and darkness. It’s not unlike the cycle of death and resurrection that’s prevalent in Christianity and other world religions. Faith in these cycles gives us the knowledge that everything will eventually come full circle, and that the path between our bodies and the light will be unblocked once again.