How I perceive each zodiac sign

[Most lists go in order of the zodiac calendar, but I’m organizing mine by element.]

Taurus – Hard-working, loyal, and dedicated. Strong-minded and stubborn. If you’re a true friend, they will stand by you forever. Selective when it comes to love, they build slowly when entering a relationship, but once it’s real, they love hard. They are true builders and will take slow, steady steps toward their goals, not stopping until they reach them. Can be lazy and loves to relish in the pleasures of the senses.

Virgo – Neat freaks. They like things to be tidy, but they can also have secret messes. Good-hearted, kind, and reliable friends. They are tenacious and tend to stick to the things they’re comfortable with. Perfectionists; hard on themselves with a tendency to critique others. They will create a stable, comfortable, clean home life. May stick to bad habits if they fall into them.

Capricorn – No one works harder than this sign. They are kind, loyal, and determined. They may have some insecurities, but they’re usually a lot more amazing than they think they are. Career may come before relationships at times.

Pisces – A very sweet sign. A bit shy, but also incredibly charming when they want to be. They need time alone to think and recharge, but they also need social fun on occasion, maybe attending a dinner party or seeing a concert or sports event. They can be directionless at times, but they need stability, especially when it comes to the comforts of home. Sensitive people with lots of feelings. They like to help people.

Cancer – The most nurturing sign. They are very kind, loving, and loyal. They are incredibly emotional and will share or vent their feelings to anyone and everyone (at least to people they trust). They like time to themselves, but they like time to be social with friends as well. They’re relationship oriented and are the most likely to be in a long-term, romantic relationship.

Scorpio – An emotional, possessive, strong-minded sign. Filled with secrets. They only let a select few in, and they may find it hard to trust people. They like to keep to themselves, but they also like the occasional adventure. Relationships can be intense, but they are loyal. They like to be in control, and will low key manage everything around them.

Aries – A very impulsive sign, but when they find something they like, they are 100% into it, however long it may last. They are incredibly easy to start conversations with. They are fun, bold, and always down for an adventure.

Leo – These people are very strong-minded, have an unapologetic sense of humor, may be a bit stubborn, and make great leaders. They know who they are, what they want, and what they believe. They make passionate friends and lovers, but they can be impulsive as well.

Sagittarius – Such a fun sign! Optimistic, generous, and very upbeat. They want to have a good time and make other people happy. Constantly experiencing new people, places, and things. They may hide their sadness or struggles from the world, preferring to party, smile, and have a great time. So loving and exciting. They are walking, talking adventures.

Aquarius – Walks to the beat of their own drum. Very unique and individualistic. They have a lot to say and are very generous, especially when it comes to money. Free-spirited and spontaneous. Not likely to stick to a set plan for the future. Thinks outside the box.

Gemini – Creative, intelligent, and effective communicators. They are talented, especially in many creative areas, but they may be more go with the flow when it comes to career. Fun, spontaneous friends. Can be a bit moody.

Libra – Good communicators. Easygoing, easy to get along with. They create a beautiful aesthetic with everything: fashion, pictures on their phone, social media accounts, makeup, etc… Can be good leaders, unafraid to speak to or work in groups. They might not talk about their deepest feelings, but they feel a lot and will be very compassionate if you talk about your emotions.

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Things I wish I knew in high school

Our high school peers can be a valuable network. 

I didn’t like high school much, I wouldn’t want to go back, and when I left I didn’t think I’d see most people again. Social media makes it easier to keep in touch, so I’m still in touch with people from both high school and college. The thing I never thought of as a teen is this: the people you know in school (whether it’s high school or university) are future professionals. The people you know will eventually work in a variety of different fields, and they’ll be the ones you can ask questions or learn more about an industry through.

Weigh your options.

When I went to college, I knew exactly what I wanted to study, but I never really weighed my options to see what else schools had to offer. I didn’t take the time to really look through all of the departments, and if I had, I probably would have found a balance sooner between following my passion and earning a living.

Know that things change.

As a teen, I felt so so so much pressure to figure out what I would do! For! The rest! Of my life! But honestly? Like the real honest truth? All of that is a myth. Lots of people, if not most, change careers at some point in their life. There are people who become accountants, teachers, doctors, or psychologists, only to leave the field and do something else.

That’s not a bad thing (even if it might sound like a waste of money from all the degrees). But it is a fact of life. People change and grow. What you want at 18 or 24 might not be what you want at 29 or 35. You don’t need to know what you want to do forever. But finding something you can see yourself doing for at least years is a good place to start. Once you have experience in one field, it’s easier to find ways to apply those skills to another.

Don’t take life too seriously. 

School and building a career is a lot of work. It’s important to work hard and study and try your best, but you want to make time for fun and good memories, too. The career path you choose in your studies might not last forever (or who knows, it just might!), but you’ll likely have relationships and friendships that last for many years. Those will be some of the most valuable things to take from your years in school.

Blaze a trail.

The truth is, there’s no “one size fits all” advice. You might have someone who chooses to study engineering and builds a career in that, or you might have another person who graduates with that same degree, only to decide, ‘This career is not right for me.’ You can have someone who studies Musical Theater and finds different jobs they like after college, then you’ll have others who study the arts and struggle to pay the bills for a while.

It can really go either way, regardless of what career path you try. You have to find the balance between doing something that makes you happy, and doing something that makes you money. For many people, this means experimenting, trying out different things, and learning more about themselves before finding a path to “settle” on. But the truth is, I don’t think we ever settle. I think we’re always evolving, and you just kind of have to be along for the ride.

Your 20s will be one big experiment. 

Very few people have their shit together in their 20s, regardless of how their lives may look on social media. People are figuring out their careers, and their love lives, and whether they want children, and where they want to live, and (for those in the U.S), making sure they still have health insurance after they turn 26. It’s a long road with a lot of (really) big decisions.

Overall, I think you just have to remember to breathe. Most decisions are not final (except, ya know, having children. That’s a bit more permanent than most things lol). But overall, you have a lifetime to learn, grow, and try new things. The time also goes by fast. It can be stressful, but try to make time for fun and to be happy. You’ll go through career highs and lows, honeymoon phases and heartbreaks, decisions you’re proud of and things you would do differently if you could. It’s quite a journey, but you learn a lot and become more You than you’ve ever been.

Dreams

Dreams aren’t always about winning the lottery, getting the promotion, or wearing a ring. Sometimes they’re about moments. Some they’re about seeing the ocean, going rock climbing, or trying a famous ice-cream shop. Sometimes they’re about watching old movies with a friend or dancing the night away. Sometimes they’re about playing with puppies or eating three different flavors of cake. Dreams can simple. Dreams can be fun. Dreams can be giving yourself a reason to smile.

Charm Bracelets

charms

In salad days and euphoric summers

I played with other kids in the green grass

That was still cool and wet with dew

I was friends with everyone,

 

But I was friends with no one

I had no definition for friendship yet

Back then, it felt like a game

Where I was supposed to collect people

 

Like charms on a silver bracelet

Everyone wanted the most charms

And shiny new toys

Were welcome.

 

We couldn’t know back then

That most of us would part ways

That many of us would forget

That we would go through metamorphoses

 

Staying the same while diverging

Outgrowing our first charm bracelets.

We couldn’t know back then

That we were leaving fingerprints

 

On each other’s hearts

Tattooing words and silences

Inclusion and debarment

Onto developing muscle memories

 

Tattoos that would configure

Our earliest definitions of friendship

We couldn’t have known

We were too busy drinking up the present

 

Running through sprinklers

Buying snow cones and jawbreakers

From the ice-cream truck

Playing hide and seek

 

Amidst trees and stairwells

Jumping rope, riding bikes

And running barefoot

Through the dewy, wet grass of summer.

Graduation

graduation1

When it came time for graduation

I looked for signs everywhere

Any happenstance, any feeling

That could affirm the direction I chose

The university I would attend,

The subjects I would study,

The career paths I would follow

Every decision felt colossal,

Every choice a gargantuan tattoo

That could not be undone.

 

I remember my teacher

Calling my name during the practice ceremony

Reading aloud the school that I had chosen

And I felt so ready

For a new chapter

I was enlivened and jubilant

I was intimidated and unworldly

Caught in the current of my whims and passions

Free and unhampered to do what I wished

In precious, guileless years.

Two Proms

prom dress1

I danced at prom in a long, blue dress

I was in a sea of music and familiar strangers

I wasn’t confident, I wasn’t in love,

But I was there

So many cameras flashed that night

We ate and drank soda

At a party that featured the usual hierarchy

The people who liked attention

Were front and center

The rest of us stayed low key; it was fine.

 

Afterward, a bunch of us rode in a limo

And went to New York City

To see the city lights

And eat ice-cream in a shop

That was half-empty, the lights still on

I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know

What I wanted

But I was there

The night was ours and we were free

To capture the moments and make memories

 

I danced at my second prom

In a long, purple dress

I was in a sea of music and actors

Artists, filmmakers, writers, and dancers

We were all aspiring superstars

We performed monologues at a school

With no lockers

Our safe haven from normalcy

I pasted moments into an invisible scrapbook

We were young and these nights glistened.

 

There’s no one way to be a teenager

No two rites of passage look the same

Some of us were quiet, some were loud

Some were scientists, some were musicians

Some wanted to change the world

Others just want to change themselves

Some fell in love

And some fell in love with the idea of love

I didn’t know my future or where I’d end up

But I was there, I was there, I was there.

 

Popularity

girl and puppy

In locker-filled hallways, walking between bells

Being liked felt like the most important thing

I wanted to be like the girl

Who gave everyone who spoke to her a hug

I wanted to be like the girl

Who spent more time rehearsing in the music room

Than caring what other people thought of her

I wanted to be like the boy

Who always looked confident in a crowded room

Other people were always so perfect

 

I chased the Attention that was difficult to get

When Attention chased me, I was suspicious

I felt invisible, and I felt like everyone was looking at me

I felt inadequate, and I felt like there was more inside me

Than people could see

Locker-filled hallways just had

Too many people

I carried my books through the storm of adolescence

I waited for the right person to see me

So we could give each other a life raft and hold on tight.