Now, I’ve been called many things in my life but…an ox? Turns out nobody called me that. That’s just my Chinese birthdate calendar-animal-symbol thing. So I started to think about my personal characteristics and whether or not the symbol applies to me at all. Remarkably, there are some startling similarities.
Note to Self: In order to avoid the ever present outline format I normally use, I’m going to attempt to write things out more in my blog. I’m trying to challenge myself (Sorry, short attention span geeks)
Last weekend I went shopping with my mom and my sis. It was basically a reconnecting session that was probably overdue by a few months. I have come to realize that if the shopping gods are not on your side that day, then dude, they are not on your side. As we were going through aisles and racks of clothes and display items, I scoped the merchandise but couldn’t decide on anything that I sincerely liked. Hence my point: like oxen, I needed direction and guidance to be led to an ultimate goal. My sister, the dragon is golden in this department. Given a task, she shines. Given motivation, she leads. Given purpose, she exceeds every expectation. So she made wonderful choices all which I could say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to. But, now that I was being guided, like a true ox, I was veering off-course. Newton’s law: an object at rest tends to stay at rest…and all the rest, right? Right. So I was taking too long making selections and decisions because I like to take my time. Ah, oxen.
Here’s another example: After grocery shopping for the week, I held this heavy load in my shopping cart. For any person without a car, the task could easily be burdensome, but not for the ox. As I walked toward the end of the parking lot, there’s a downward slope then a muddy, rocky terrain before I reach the street. I carted the load behind me without very much effort and felt renewed in a weird way. I guess it’s an oxen discipline to be able to haul and pull and still look great doing it; albeit slowly. You go, oxen!
When I think about oxen, I think about perseverance, concentration, strength. They seem to be born leaders so long as there is a farmhand somewhere steering them in the right direction. Figuratively, they carry heavy loads. Their own heftiness reminds me of my own stature but they carry themselves well (all while their hooves are dug deep in the earth). Oxen also thrive on teamwork; two of them in front sowing land. To get even more in depth, I am a Water Ox. Here’s where the similarities between the traditional astrology and non-traditional really amaze me. In both, my sign is related with water. I’m steeped in it. This always reminds me for some reason, about the movie, Lengends of the Fall when the Native American speaks of the girl–I’m paraphrasing here–as ‘water that splits a rock apart being neither the rock’s fault any more than it is the waters’ That’s me all over…I’m stubborn and stern and excitable. But I’m also soothing and gentle and cleansing. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
Then, there is another oxen trait which I exemplify: solitude. I love to be alone. I love being left alone. Although I’m not anti-social, I feel that there is a time and a place for socializing and I don’t like being caught off guard. After all of that teamwork pulling others’ heavy burdens, I want to be able to relax in my home by myself. Oh sure, I see the non-oxen fill their calendars with events and scheduling meetings to fill all of their free time…but that’s obviously not me. In fact, I spend an enormous amount of time completely alone relishing the fact that my phone doesn’t ring for days, sometimes weeks at a stretch. In the summer, I enjoy my long walks at the pier (there goes that water symbolism again) pondering life and writing my poetry.
So what type of Chinese character are you? I’d like to know. Go ahn, tell me!