I laugh a little when people ask what Zodiac sun sign I was born into. I read up on what constitutes a Piscean individual years ago, and even to this day, I feel I embody many of the more characteristic traits of the fishies.

Pisces signs are often described as non-judgmental and very receptive towards others. Under rare exceptions, this usually describes me to a T. It’s hard for me to not be willing to consider someone’s situation or issues without hard evidence against such a stance. I’ll do my best to understand where someone is coming from on an issue, and use that to make any rational decisions on an issue. I used to spend hours helping friends sound out their woes and problems during my college years, helping them realize what was their best course of action (and not someone else’s).

With that in tow, it is also described that us fish are born with an altruistic streak. For a long time, I really tried to entertain this streak. In the years of living on my own, blooming and burning in relationships, and watching friendships reinforce or deconstruct themselves, the altruism has been tamed down a little. I still firmly believe that a strong sense of altruism is what’s missing from the world today, and it irks me to no end that it’s so devoid from our culture on many levels. My altruism even puts many a person off at first. When I first moved in with Emily, she was having issues with her brakes and so I offered to take a look at them and even replace them if she would just pay for the parts. After inspection of her brakes, it was blatantly apparent they needed replacing, and so I told her what she needed and offered to do the repairs at first. She replied with a thanks, no, I’ll take it to the shop, until her coworkers told her she was being crazy. She accepted my offer, and so I got the brake (and even a caliper after the fact) replaced on her minivan over the 4th of July weekend, just two weeks after I had moved in with her. Even recently, I’ve offered to at least two others that I’d replace their brakes for them if they just purchase the parts. If I can readily (and within reason) do something for someone to help them out, I will.

A pair of less noted but equally characteristic traits tend to be the capability to get lost in their of idealized fantasies, and a nigh subconscious striving for knowledge. It’s not hard for me to daydream and get lost in my own mini-fantasies on life. I can idealize for hours and days on just what I want in life, and it’s not hard to get completely lost in it, and even in some cases retreat into it. The world is a painful place often, and where better to deal with it than in your own self-realized pipe dream that you can hide within? However, the chronic search for knowledge helps keep me integrated in life. Look at my current professional status: I’m a graduate student doing scientific research, trying to understand how initiation of DNA replication transitions to elongation of DNA polymerization, and what other crucial process(es) tie into that. I’ve disassembled many an electronic tool in order to (a) figure out how it works, and (b) attempt to repair said electronic tool. I spent four years learning chemistry to understand how chemical reactions work. I spend hours talking to people, trying to understand their point of view, just to learn how people tick. My mind thirsts for an insatiable amount of understanding.

So, with the strengths of Pisces, I’m subjected to the weaknesses very similarly. As a fish, getting lost in my own fantasies is a viable retreat from the cruelness of the world. Any attempts to re-enter reality can be just depressing as the event sending one into the fantasy, leaving one often left to instead wander in their own fantasy instead of remembering to come back down to reality and enjoy the situational blisses there. Because of the very receptive and non-judgmental nature, it’s not uncommon to commonly be a reliable confidant to many people. However, as I’ve learned in the past, it’s easy to get burned in situations like that, and can leave one very distrusting of others. I come off as relatively trusting to many people, but I have a deep-seated worry about deliberate or even unintentional two-facedness. I see coincidence as too coincidental. If someone loves things as much as myself, an alarm starts ringing in my head; I can’t believe that anyone could be that aligned with me. It can be debilitating at times; it has destabilized a relationship or two in the past.

But, Piscean or not, I have to revel in the strengths, and fight to control those weaknesses. Understand that the strengths are partly reasons for the weaknesses, but that when wielded properly just make me that much better. I may be an aloof, overly sensitive creature with a thirst for knowledge and making the world a better place…but as long as I know how to guard that and not let it ruin me, then I fully intend to let loose what I can of it on the world and add an extra little glimmer to my not-so-myopic sphere in the world.