The Real L Woes: Surviving Your Saturn Return

So essentially your Saturn Return is a big ol’ test. It’s not the final exam, thank god, but it sure starts to feel like it. It’s the kind of test where you go in feeling pretty confident, or not if you’re like me, but in this scenario let’s pretend you studied the material and felt you had a good grasp on what was to come. The time comes when you flip over the test and, BAM!, the entire thing is word problems testing you on things you weren’t even aware existed or that you needed to be tested on in the first place. Everyone else seems to know the answers and there you are, stuck on the first question regarding functioning as a human being.

Since reaching my late 20s I have progressively felt like I am taking the exam of my life with intermittent pop quizzes about life, love and sanity. I’ve been made to question everything I didn’t know about myself, and what’s more, things I was certain I knew and have since learned differently. The process continues to consequently make me a better person but not without the hurdles of a lifetime. The gift of ones Saturn Return: self-figuredoutness.

This feeling of panic usually serves as an abrupt halt to ones youthful folly, when you sit down to take stock in what you’ve accomplished, where you are and what’s to come and find yourself dissatisfied with a few things. Or let’s face it, most of the things. It’s probably followed immediately with the inevitable “WHAT AM I DOING WITH MYSELF?” I don’t know if everyone wears their indecision quite as openly as I do but I know the process is the same and as hard as I try, I am still a mess. Mess being defined as the outward appearance of someone who is not functioning on a normal level, based on the average criteria for being a successful adult. I’d hope at this point we’d all realize there really is no such thing as normal.

Having no career or relationship status and a dog adopted in a maybe-this-will-settle-me rage has replaced the idea of settled by 30, and finding it hard to remember the numerous names of previous employers, roommates or lovers isn’t unusual. Embarking on a one-way trip to figuring out what our purpose is on this earth, and unintentionally making things more complicated by ducking in and out of commitments in search of the elusive feeling of contentment is the new normal.

A common coping mechanism to this uncertainty is allowing yourself to freely succumb to wanderlust. Frankly, to do what you want in hopes that you’ll ultimately find what you want, a characteristic often associated with a lack of maturity. I like to call it building a solid foundation by testing all the other options first. The reward to this process is a wealth of life experiences, gathered trial by error as sometimes it’s hard to understand how folks who settle early in life have weighed out their options without trying them. Sure, living by the seat of your pants isn’t for the faint of heart but not embracing it makes for a wealth of lost experiences. I have very much taken some liberties with this process but the key is finding a balance between adult life choices, living in the moment and quality of life because life is short and regrets are the worst.

Continuing on this quest, friendships may fall by the wayside, hearts might get broken, including your own, and you’ll probably start to feel crazy in a sea of people who seemingly have their lives together. Turns out, while tripping through the process you’ll find that everyone struggles and no one has it together. The universe will definitely present you with examples of how you’re doing just fine, regardless of your peers. Even those folks who seem to check all of the boxes of a life successfully lived have their struggles. Some things are just out of our control and we can’t, in fact, have it all.

What this means for your finding-myself-mania is that it’s not going to be a final destination. Sure that “Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans” magnet has been hanging on your refrigerator since college, but what should now start sinking in is that said life is messy and it’s what you make of that mess that defines you. Focusing solely on the end goal works never and, as a matter of fact, our goal of becoming successful ends up being a side effect of all the other aspects of our life. Trusting your struggle is the spice of life and not figuring out exactly what is right for you allows the wiggle room that will inevitably lead you to exactly what you were looking for in the first place.

So make a mess, make mistakes, try everything and quit the things that don’t suit you as there is no such thing as failure, only lessons learned and experiences gained. Figuring out what is not right for you is just as beneficial as finding the things that are and, the truth is, if you don’t challenge yourself with all the wrong things, it’s less likely you’ll find the fulfilling ones.

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