getting [un]stuck

There is a sign in the women’s bathroom on the fourth floor of the building where I teach requesting that no one open the window because birds have been flying inside and getting stuck. Each time I walk into the bathroom, I stand by the window, read the sign and think about the birds unlucky enough to have flown inside only to end up stuck. For the rest of the day, I think about those birds. Stuck.

My greatest fear is being stuck, not necessarily in a particular place but rather unable to move. I hate feeling constricted in clothes, large groups, or small spaces. Some people like routine. They like the comfort of knowing where they will be and what they’ll generally be doing on a daily basis. Not me. Though I have been known to have control issues and often don't like surprise plans when I think something else is going on, I do need some level of uncertainty, of chaos in order to feel like I can breathe. I'm an Aquarian. I like change, even crave it at times, especially in terms of ideas. I am a paradox, also an Aquarian thing because I also need balance. I search for it in my friends and relationships, though I'm only now realizing this. Stephanie's post got me thinking about my relationship with M and how different we are. Michelle is an Aries, but she carries only some of the traits of the sign whereas I am Aquarius through and through. I don't believe in daily horoscopes but I do believe parts of one's personality has to do with when the person was born. It doesn't explain everything but definitely some things.

I am not an easy person to know though I feel I am honest, sometimes too honest. I don't always form deep connections to people. Some say it's because Aquarians see big picture and not on the individual level. I don't know about that but I do know that I come off as cold, snobby, and self-righteous. Michelle, however is warm, laid back, funny. She knows who she is and is comfortable with herself. She never tries to impress anyone. She is independent and stubborn, much more stubborn than I am. She likes to try new things; she needs action all the time. She hates being bored.

What is good for me is her sense of adventure. I am never bored with her. I am never stifled. M stimulates my curiousity. Her energy balances my own chaotic passion. I am air; she is fire. The two normally complement one another but M and I are both so strong-willed that we bicker a lot. It is who we are in many ways. I'm beginning to see it as a good thing. I was so scared to fight or argue in other relationships so I held all of that anger and opinion to myself which eventually erupted in explosive and agressive fighting. So learning to argue with M might be a positive thing. Most horoscopes I've read say our signs are a bad match because the Aquarian will be perceived as secretive, selfish and possessive and the Arian will be perceived as controlling. However, most astrologists agree that if the personailities do mesh and the Aquarian and Arian are able to work it out, the relationship is incredibly satisfying and life-long.

Do I wish I were with someone who just intrinsically understood me, someone I didn't have to attempt to explain myself to? Do I wish I'd fallen fore someone more like me? Honestly, no. I don't typically get along with other Aquarians. Perhaps because I see them as competition for the weirdness award. Or perhaps their eccentricities just drive me crazy. I have always said I never wanted to date someone like me. Is my relationship frustrating? Sure. But if I were with someone who didn't challenge me, I would be so bored so quickly. And I was before in other relationships. Michelle craves the same things I do in different ways and underneath we both want security. I think it takes a kind of secret, underlying stability to be truly free to do or say or be whatever we want.

I worry about ending up like the birds, thinking I’m getting somewhere but when I get there I realize I’m nowhere at all. And worse, I’m stuck. There are days I am consumed with fighting the panic that comes from reading that note in the bathroom. Sometimes I take the stairs to the 3rd floor but then I think about the birds anyway. Then, I think about the cardinal who woke me one morning by continually slamming itself against the window because it saw its reflection or thought there was a way in. My cat sat on a table in front of the window thumping her tail and making noises. I shut the blinds in hopes that the bird would stop before it killed itself. I was horrified that the bird just wouldn't stop once it hit glass. I can't understand how it just didn't realize there was no way in. Then I thought about how many times, metaphorically, I'd been that bird. I know Michelle thought about it, too. I know she worries about our lifethat she's scared about getting stuck. And that in and of itself, the kind of big picture fear that we share is enough for me. Someone who gets me on that level is the only kind of girl I could be with.