This lunar year is that of the Rooster, which incidentally, is my Chinese Zodiac. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about that, it being my 3rd cycle. It seems like as I grow older, my excitement about it being "my year" just decreases exponentially with each cycle.
The first cycle...
I was all of twelve years old and feeling all gleefully grown up, especially since that's also the year of great milestones: I was graduating primary school, and taking the first major academic examination of my life. I was like a little bird about to experience flight - a little scared but brimming with excitement, ready to test the strength of my wings. That was a magical time, when it feels special when it's "your" year, like it's not just another marker of the passage of time, but a time to celebrate those born in the particular Zodiac of the year. I listen eagerly to the fortunes of the various Zodiacs foretold for the coming year, paying particular attention to those of mine as well as the family.
The second cycle...
Fresh in my professional life, I was all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, all eager to conquer the world that brims with endless promise. I've experienced enough setbacks in to know that grief, disappointment and heartache are all part and parcel of life, but everything still had that beautific sheen of glowy silver lining, and the years ahead felt full of unknown adventures and promise. I was still figuring out where I stand and what my strengths were, but felt some optimism that it being another Rooster year surely meant more power and fortune to my fates. This time round, I took in the fortune-telling with more than a healthy dose of scepticism, while inwardly still noting the admonishments of what to avoid and be wary of.
This third cycle...
I realised with a jolt, that it's that year yet again, only as I contemplate the impending new year celebrations (or perhaps I realised it last year but mentally blocked it out). It felt mildly horrifying to acknowledge that I am officially getting into that age range that I used to define as "so old!" back in my teens, and that very soon, my generic description would be (or already is) "middle-aged woman", and no more "young lady". Gulps. But at the same time, I feel bemused at my inner hysteria, given that all things considered, I'm in a pretty good place in my life right now - I am comfortable in my skin, know what I like or won't stand for, and have more than a handful of accomplishments both personal and professional under my belt. More importantly, I have an awesome network of friends and chums I love, and love me back deeply. I really don't have much to complain about. I hear about my "predicted" year with raised brows, noting how general they are and how similar really, the fortune of nearly all zodiacs sound, year on year.
Frankly speaking, I never really paid much attention to the Chinese Zodiac, a great contrast to how I am quite fascinated with Western astrology and identify rather strongly with my star sign. I guess because the Chinese Zodiacs are tied to years instead of months, I find it harder to be convinced of any sort of "characterisation" of each sign - it's much harder to accept that everyone born in a certain year share similar traits just because of that. That, and perhaps because my sign is not particularly cute nor mystical, so I was reluctant to be associated with it. HAHAHA.
At the end of the day, I am honestly not too fussed about this anymore, and while it sounds jaded to admit that, I'd like to think that it's a sign of maturity (NOT age ok!) to recognise that it's much more important to pursue the life you want, than be obsessed with avoiding the supposed "dangers" expected ahead.
Now I'm quite curious to see how I will feel when the next Rooster year comes round. Heh.