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The Heart of a Lion

Distinguishing the Difference

By E.L. MartinPublished 2 years ago 12 min read

What I find entertaining is others’ ability to label you as a zodiac sign you are not. I’ve been labeled as a Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn, etc., but my true Zodiac sign is Leo. You would think those signs are so far from one another and completely different. I’ve often wondered if I’ve had to adapt to an office environment or social situation and have presented as one of those signs to hide my inner self. I’ve wondered, how do they not know who and what I am? It should be very apparent. While the environmental adaptation may be true in part, people read a lot of themselves or their loved ones into you when they interact. You may remind them of their son or daughter, a younger version of themselves, or on some occasions someone they dislike from their past. Who you are is frequently mistaken simply because people read into you as “who they want you to be.” This can be disappointing on both levels. People who do this aren’t looking at you for you. You may find yourself questioning their misguided judgments about you. On the contrary, you may question your zodiac sign and the various information disseminated about it. Not everything has to match, but things may not match the way initially perceived either.

Even when I was younger and first learning about zodiac signs, I had begun to have my doubts. My family had several birth dates in July and August. My dad’s birthday was a week prior to mine, making him a Cancer sign. Despite this, you could not have witnessed a more distinctively Leo personality. My dad was high-energy, outgoing, authoritative, and incredibly entertaining. He had a fun-loving and commanding presence you either loved or hated. He was nowhere in between, and his views of you were nowhere in between either. Growing up in the shadow of someone like that really made me feel as though our signs should have been switched. I didn’t feel like I matched at all. I was shy and didn’t feel comfortable in social situations. I felt awkward and cared too much about the opinions of others. I feared their judgment and admired my dad’s confidence to “not care” what others’ thought. He pushed me into so many social situations I would not have wanted involvement in otherwise. He was always good about including everyone. Even in high school, many of my swim teammates would ask me where my dad was if he didn’t show up with me for practice. Teammates that rarely ever spoke with me, but if you’d ask my dad, he would have thought they were my friends. He thrived at being the center of attention in a way I thought I never could.

I was introverted, sensitive, and wanted to retreat into my shell or individual control zone. I enjoyed working with animals or younger children instead of being the livewire my dad was in every situation. I preferred to keep my circle of friends small and intimate. I was distrusting of people, especially people I thought were phony or wanted to use me in some way. On my report card comments, usually teachers would write “conscientious” coupled with “needs more confidence.” A few teachers even wanted to meet with my parents or send me to the school counselor because of my self-confidence issues. I thought I couldn’t be a Leo without being outgoing and self-assured. For those reasons, I identified with Cancer instead of Leo. I thought my zodiac sign was completely wrong. The “universe” had my dad and I reversed, or so I thought.

It is funny how humans can perceive things and focus so myopically on just a few parts of something. We get fixated on one part of a statement and miss the rest of the paragraph. I’ll admit, my dad’s zodiac sign, Cancer, had to be completely wrong. He was a Leo in its truest form. I think the stars were off the year he was born. However, this article is about my zodiac journey, and the more I’ve learned about myself the more I and the ones closest to me must admit the cold, hard truth. I am a Leo.

Sure, I may have had a small circle of friends. Sure, I may have been viewed as insecure on many issues. Sure, I was and am an introvert most of the time. Yes, I’m sure those things count against me in the astrological world. However, I was always the first to volunteer for any church plays, 4H skits, acting roles, class presentations, science projects, etc. I was nerdy and odd, but I loved to be center stage in those situations. I loved any sort of theatrical assignments. I knew the more popular students would take the hero and heroine roles, but that was okay by me. Villains get just as much screen time and are falsely underrated. You can't have a good story without an interesting villain. Plus, I loved how much I could wow the audience. I was a junky for the shock and awe factor, and who students, teachers, and everyone else thought I was versus what I could be on that stage gave me the ultimate high. That shy, awkward, geeky kid they usually sought out for homework help, advice, or a shoulder to cry on could transform into someone totally different and steal the show in a way they never realized. They underestimated me, but I loved it. You’ll probably start picking up on that prideful Leo thing right about now.

As much as I was concerned with my likeability, and inability to "fit in", those lack of confidence issues never impacted things I truly liked. My likes were always my own regardless of what anyone else thought. I listened to heavy metal music, to my mother’s and extended family’s disdain. My wardrobe was always unique to me. I wore what I liked, even if it was a long leather skirt with leopard print and a gold flashy zipper, trench coats, combat boots, or men’s basketball shorts. Things others would say about my personal preferences and taste didn’t matter. I assert my independence and refused to change my values for anyone. Self-expression was huge for me regardless of the flack and reputations I received from it. What I craved wasn’t simply to fit in, but to be accepted for who I was. Fitting in meant losing my sense of self, and I have always been too stubborn for that. When people simply didn’t like me at all or something about my character and personal values, that was what hurt. Leos want to be liked, and I’m not an exception. My stubbornness, individual expression, and pride in expressing myself are also not uncharacteristic of a true Leo.

I remember being asked in an interview for an officer position through FFA; "are you more of a leader or a follower?" My response was a quick, "I lead myself. If others choose to follow, they are welcome to do so." This statement has always encapsulated my personality and relationship to people. People were actually attracted to my natural Leo charisma whether I paid any attention to it or not. My friends know me as the reliable, loyal friend. Even after years of being apart, we can pick up right where we left off. I’m unapologetically up front about who I am and what type of friendship I want, and others know exactly what they can and can't expect from me. My friends can tell me anything without fear of judgment or reproach. My friends know I’m always in their corner, cheering them on regardless of their political alignments, spiritual views, or sexual orientation. I accept them if they accept me. I love seeing my friends have a good time and entertaining them. Sometimes without realizing it, I control the pace at which the conversation moves. If I see someone who appears to be having a not so good time, I usually do something crazy or goofy to lighten the mood. My husband found this out when he had a surprise cake attack at the wedding. The crowd, and especially one of my closest friends, seemed to be getting restless or looking uncomfortable; so, I felt the need to liven things up. After the wedding, my husband said "I thought we weren't going to do that." When I explained that people were looking to stiff and I wanted to make them smile, he replied with "ah, got you." He is used to getting carried along with my pace for the sake of entertainment. He knows how often my playful side comes out, and frequently has to ask me to be serious or go over ground rules for "professional situations." My inner-child comes to the forefront more often than not which is yet another one of Leo's prominent features.

Friendships are one thing; intimate relationships can be another animal entirely. While I am still a fiercely loyal creature in both, much like the lioness I profess to be I am also just that, fierce. My energy, and entertainment factor antics can be a lot for one person to keep up with, especially in the case of a romantic partner. You'll often find Leo's paired up with Libras and Aries. I have to admit, I love having Libras and Aries as my friends, and those two signs make up the majority of my friend group. While I can see how we may work out in theory, I've usually been most attracted to other Leos and my husband, a Scorpio. Nearly all of my exes are Leos, and they are exes for good reason. When the two of us fire signs were together, the world would burn and us along with it. Scorpio and Leo matches are usually severely frowned upon because both are so intense and sensitive, but I tell you we work. This doesn't mean we don't have obstacles we face, but this does mean we may have to communicate much more than other matches. We may not always see things exactly the same, but we can accept certain things about our differences. Both signs are passionate, both signs hold on to the things they care about dearly, and both will obsessively fight for their goals. Do you know what happens when a Scorpio and a Leo share a mutual goal? Success. However, the goal has to be mutual. I told my spouse my flaws, goals, ambitions, and intentions up front. While most people seem shocked by that level of direct honesty, he found something incredibly refreshing about it. Turns out, Scorpios and Leos are both appreciative of that direct honesty. I don't like to hide anything or waste time, especially when I know what I want. Apparently pursuing someone you're interested in is also a Leo characteristic, but I never thought about it. This was something I had always done naturally, to my traditional family's disapproval. I won't deny there are times my husband and I have very tense conversations, and sometimes he drives me crazy with wanting to be more emotionally intimate instead of just physically (also, a common issue with Scorpios and Leos), but I take time to listen and communicate because we both share the common goal of wanting to make our marriage work. I know that neither of us will give up on each other or our happiness because neither of us are willing to compromise on either.

In the work place, the jobs I have enjoyed most were the ones I was able to express myself at, think and act creatively, and assist others. I find myself feeling excited and happy when I'm training someone at a job. I love getting the trainee's feedback and questions when they truly want to learn. I'm often thought of as hardworking and ambitious. I enjoy brainstorming ideas, advocating for improvements, and assisting others. Many co-workers come to me for advice or assistance, and value my expertise. If you ask me for honesty though, you're going to get it which sometimes takes employers and co-workers by surprise. While some appreciate it, it does wind up causing conflict for me from time to time…even when I try being tactful. I find it difficult to work in situations where my views are not respected, considered, and my personality or individuality is personally attacked. When people ignore me or look down on me, I find those environments very difficult to handle and continue working in. For these reasons, I have to agree that I share many of Leo's tendencies even in the workplace.

I was always comparing my inadequacy to my father’s success and personality. I never noticed my own similarities with the zodiac sign I was born under because I was too busy noting our differences. Friends and family always commented about how much like my father I was. I didn’t believe them. My dad was cool. I was not. My dad could gather a crowd instantly. As an adult, I had to have a couple beers first. Funny thing is, my dad did too. Both of us could be the life of our own parties. When it came to my closest circle of friends, everything I did attracted them naturally. Sometimes we can focus on the people we aren't attracting or that are causing us grief. Sometimes we forget about the ones who look to us for guidance, advice, listening, or just to enjoy company with. Sometimes, we don't look at how brightly we shine because we are so fixated on how much brighter someone else shines. Is that jealousy or insecurity? Maybe my sign was wrong. Maybe I was right when I was a child thinking I should have been born under the Cancer sign. Maybe the co-workers and supervisors who thought of me as an earth sign were right and I don't act like a Leo at all. However, I think with just the few points I've made about who I am: my passion, enthusiasm, creativity, confidence in individuality, flair for the dramatic, enjoyment I find in being on stage, and relationships with others, I think there is enough to say there is at least a strong possibility my personality may match my zodiac sign: Leo. When a co-worker at a retail store who would later become one of my good friends told me “You walk just like your dad”, I had to laugh. She was right.


About the Creator

E.L. Martin

Powered by Nature, Humanity, Humor, Food, Lifestyle, Fiction, and Culture; Oh, and a questionable amount of coffee.

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