goat monkey

Up until recently I thought I was a monkey. As it turns out, I’m a goat.

I’m talking about the Chinese lunar calendar, of course. I was born in 1980, and that’s a Monkey year. And while I don’t necessarily believe in horoscopes or zodiacs or anything like that, it always kind of made sense to me. According to the Chinese zodiac, the monkey is inquisitive, clever, and creative. People born in a Monkey year often make good scientists and engineers. They also tend to be reluctant to settle down, as they are easily bored.

I thought that described me pretty well. After all, I’m an engineer/scientist traveling the world and trying to have different adventures on every continent. I like observing people, which is also apparently a Monkey trait, and specific to Monkeys born in 1980, I’m warm-hearted and likeable.

But then I found out recently that due to my birthday being in January, I wasn’t actually born in the Monkey year. The Chinese New Year varies a little each year, and in 1980 it didn’t come until after I was born, so technically I was born in the previous year. A Goat year.

The Goat is creative and intelligent, but also insecure and most comfortable being part of a flock. Not strongly individualistic, a Goat would never volunteer for a leadership position, and is most comfortable with a stable, secure home life.

At first, I thought this didn’t sound like me at all. After all, I’ve spent more than a year on five different continents. I volunteered in Africa, went ice climbing in Scotland, horseback riding in Inner Mongolia, scuba diving in Panama, and got attacked by a cassowary in Australia. I’m a monkey, dammit! I’m adventurous and inquisitive!

Plus, monkeys are just cool.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really am a Goat, not a Monkey. Hell, I don’t even like bananas. And when I look back at how I’ve spent the past ten years of my life, it’s clear to me that I’m just a goat who has been pretending to be a monkey. After all, while I’ve hopped from continent to continent over the last decade, the first thing I do when I get to a new one is settle into a routine. I may make one or two big trips per year, but I actually am somewhat of an anxious traveler. I love seeing new things, but the travel itself is stressful to me. And while I have chased different girls on different continents, I think deep down I really have been looking for that special someone to settle down with.

So yeah, after denying my Goat nature for far too long, I’m finally ready to accept it. I want some stability in my life. A good, steady job, and a companion to share my experiences with. Plus, Goats can be pretty awesome. They’ll eat ANYTHING. Just like me.

Again, I’m not saying I necessarily believe in the zodiac stuff, but it does provide a good metaphor for my realization that I’m ready to settle down and be “normal”.

Well, as close to normal as I can approximate, anyway.