The Real L Woes: “A Saturn Return Survival Guide”


Let me first clarify that I am not one to follow astrology or to live my life accordingly. Before I moved to Portland, my name being Star was the extent of my celestial knowledge and I became accustomed to looks of horror when I revealed I was an Aries. Since moving to the astrological-loving capital of the world, a place where your sign is asked before your name, I have been beating people off left and right offering to read my chart. I have also learned that the full moon is always worthy of a Facebook status update and that I should just avoid communicating period when Mercury does something or other.

So I’m going to throw a term at you and see how it sticks: Saturn Return. Yes, there was a time in my life when I would have laughed too, and stopped reading, but then I hit maybe mid-27 and every day since has felt like I was on f’n American Gladiators. My life has been like The Gauntlet for nearly 2 years.

Photo courtesy of NBC

Basically, Saturn Return can easily be summarized as hippie talk for ones quarter-life s–tshow. How do you know you’ve reached it? You’re in your late 20s, either think life is the tits and you keep moving upwards and onwards — or you’re like me and find yourself repeatedly selling off all of your things in the name of cleansing, steadily failing at relationships that are only ever described as tolerable to begin with and you’ve started calling in favors to your therapist. If any of this sounds familiar, welcome.

My last few years have been a moving back and forth mania, literally picking up and leaving cities in an attempt to find happiness when we all know, duh, happiness starts from within. I mean, right? I have started and quit new jobs, let relationships fade or, worse yet, never let them start and am constantly in search of something. All this has left me in my 29th year, under-employed and generally dissatisfied with all the things. I never guessed how daunting 30 could feel, but here I am.

First off, this bundle of planetary joy comes in 30-year intervals, so all you 30 pluses out there better keep the survivor cheers to a low roar. Unfortunately, the first is most significant because it’s the good ol’ test of character challenge. If we go back to the Gladiator references, this would probably be The Wall. How it was first described to me is, if you’re completely sure of your life’s path and are skipping along toward you’re inner most goals and desires, than your late 20s are a cake walk. If you’re like most people, and by that I mean me, and generally enjoy going at life with a trial and error mentality, then you will come to a screeching halt when you all of a sudden feel pressure to figure it out already, decide what adulthood means, and if you really should have gotten that dog. Maybe it’s just societal pressure, but I sure like having a higher power to blame. The steps did me good.

Photo courtesy of NBC

Luckily, Saturn Return is not all about upheaval, failed relationships and reevaluation. I was surprised to have survived 27, and barely made it through 28 in one piece but oddly enough found that my goals have become more focused and I’ve finally FINALLY started learning from my mistakes. I a have more refined sense of self and become more exact in my decision-making. Important things seeing that my most basic goal is to be a successful and functioning member of society.

Friends who have crossed the precipice of 30 tell me the other side is nirvana. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration but I do sense their strength of character and values. Maybe I just know a rad 30+ crowd but I’m looking forward to it, even if it scares the bejesus out of me.

So bring on 30! My next few years have potential written all over them, and while I’m ridden with this little celestial hiccup, I might as well use my trials and tribulations for good and outline, for you, how I’ve managed to live this long. I mean, I’m still in the throws of it and am faced with new hurdles every day, but let my tripping through life be your guide.

Lesson 1: 8 Hours of Sleep v. Raging

I recently came across a life-altering morsel of wisdom in my Facebook feed, where all life lessons now come from thanks to one George Takei.

No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep.

This thank you capt’n obvious moment struck me with its truthiness because, after recently turning 29, granny-style has hit my social life with a vengeance. I have been struggling to even enjoy going out, and instead, have started to seclude myself to The Killing reruns, deep conversations with my dog and, well, finding life lessons on the interwebs.

This past weekend was no exception. I had endless possibilities of impending fun, drama and stories in the making at my fingertips. There were roller derby after parties to attend, festival-style stand-up comedy shows and dance parties up the wazoo. I had friends visiting from out of town, in town friends looking to rage and new friends to be made. Weeks before I missed a party that was Lisa Frank-themed. Really let that marinate. I mean, when am I ever going to get another chance to wear my neon fish tank top?

Sure, many of these events were missed for good reasons. Some in the name of eight hours of sleep, avoiding hangovers, craft nights and Disney movie marathons. The ones that struck me were the ones where I found myself preemptively avoiding lady drama, consequences and, well, making questionable life choices.

Anyone who knows me knows I make amazing life choices.

After hearing from a few friends about the debauchery I missed out on in just one weekend, I was reminded of what I will now call the old adage about not looking back on nights where you get plenty of sleep. How did I manage to forget that I live for having a great story to tell? How did I let a fear of consequences limit my living life, because I most definitely study at the school of embracing the moment. Sure, sometimes avoiding a party where an ex will be, or drunken opportunities to propose future plans to your newest crush could be to your benefit but some minimal life blips are what life is made of.

Let’s back this crazy train up for a minute. I’m not saying that going out every night to get black out drunk and take the first person with asymmetrical sweepy bangs home is the way to self-fulfillment. What I am saying is, as with most things, balance is key. Like me, you could miss out on gut-busting comedy shows, discovering your new favorite band or actually meeting your soul mate. Or, let’s face it, you could witness your ex making a fool of themselves. And you definitely should not miss that.

Sometimes, it’s good to remember that while taking care of your person is of utmost importance, keeping life interesting is part of self-care.

I think in my freaking out about getting old fog, I have been forgetting that. I love my friends and relish any opportunity to have a good story to tell and, as it turns out, my life is better when I’m actually out living it.

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