As a spiritual guy, I’m obviously impressed by synchronicity. One such area is unintentional occurrences on certain anniversaries. Because of their salience, I can really only recall those related to holidays.
I may have pooh-poohed the idea of astrology were it not for the matter of my birthday. After cynically realizing that I made more money waiting tables than adjunct teaching philosophy, I was content with that for the time being while I figured out what to do next. Yet as I realized how much I missed teaching, I decided to go back for the PhD so as to eventually get a full-time job. Yet I also decided to switch fields to religion. The only school I got into, Temple, accepted me into their MA program but wouldn’t offer an assistantship. Because of concurrent problems in my life, I opted not to take out more student loans and didn’t go.
Several months later, I looked up my birthday (including the year) when I happened across The Secret Language of Birthdays. The opening line, “A career in philosophy or religion in philosophy is very likely for you,” made me a believer. Yet it also continues to sting in that while a return to adjunct teaching is always possible, I will probably never pursue further academic progress and hence not make a career of it. Yet it also did say something about writing.
So (in chronological order):
–For the second New Year’s Eve in three years, I got so wasted I did a faceplant. It’s not that I got so wasted because it was New Year’s Eve; that part was coincidental. I never hit my head or face in years of skateboarding, nor did I ever break a bone through the sport. Yet I (probably) broke my pinky years ago when I was drunkenly roughhousing with a buddy. I broke my nose this past New Year’s Eve. But don’t worry ladies: this fall didn’t leave any traces nor missing teeth.
And I rationalize my falls as unconsciously paying homage to cities’ festivities that feature dropping things at midnight.
–My dad was a twin whose sister died at birth. On the first anniversary of his death, his sister’s son’s twin boys were born. (Sadly, this cousin died of a sudden heart attack at age 36.)
The timing of my dad’s death itself was strange. He died on the day of another sister’s husband’s funeral. On the day of my dad’s funeral, the young grandson of the dead brother-in-law died in a motorcycle crash. I said to my buddy as we were driving around during that time, “Drive carefully, man. God’s taking out Williards.”
–I recall at least four Labor Day weekends as highly spiritually charged for me, each occasioned by highly synchronistic activity.
–I was emotionally shook up after 9/11 and prepared to join the military. I ended up drinking at a bar soon thereafter with my sister, her future husband, and my friend who was closest to my mom (the one with whom I broke my pinky). I committed the no-no of tearing up at a bar. I then realized that it was the second anniversary of my mom’s death. It got harder to choke back the tears. My friend then told me, “Dude, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I heard your house is haunted. From what the girl who lives there told me, it sounds like the ghost does stuff your mom would do.” I ended up crashing at his place, where I bawled my eyes out.
I investigated the haunting a month later and determined, consistent with the girl’s assurances, that it was not my mom.
–From ’07 to ’12, I spent three Thanksgivings in detox for alcohol. Again, unplanned.
–Although I loathe Christmas, it is often occasioned by some sort of unforeseen blessing.
So what’s the next big holiday? Valentine’s Day? Shit.