For those who are new to the blog, it’s become tradition to write a post every year for my birthday. Since it is so close to New Years, it just so happens to be the best time to reflect upon the year as a whole. There was actually so much that happened in this one year alone, it is hard to even grasp how much has changed. Instead of writing from Philly or in an airport terminal, I am writing this on day 10 of quarantine from my tiny studio in true 2021 fashion.
I may be addicted to astrology TikTok, but I’ve been fascinated with the idea of a “Saturn Return.” It takes Saturn about 29.5 years to complete a full orbit around the sun. A “Saturn Return” refers to Saturn returning to the exact place in the zodiac that it was when you were born. This means everyone ages 27 through 30 is currently experiencing Saturn align with its original placement in your birth chart for the first time. Again, take what I say with a grain of salt as my knowledge is 60 second TikTok videos.
A Saturn Return marks a period of intense change, teaching us lessons about adulthood in our third decade. It is often marked by big life changes such as breaking off important relationships, moving cities, career moves, or really anything that would change your life. Whether you believe is astrology/zodiacs or not, I think most people can choose certain timeframes in their life to look back and evaluate. It’s like how we evaluate our past year at New Years, but instead in 27-year increments.
Sure, all of Taylor Swift albums were re-released as Taylor’s Version with bonus tracks, but my year had so many other positive changes. It was a year of upheaval, constant changes, and for the first time a very intense look inward. It was my first full year of being single in over 7 years. I moved states 3 times, and changed jobs 3 times. I moved to NYC alone during a pandemic and have never been happier.
Right before the pandemic, my friend and I made a pact to each other that from now on we were going to love ourselves and make decisions based on that alone. It had already been a rough year leading up to quarantine. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and down, just breaking down and not really sure where to go next. I realized in the process that I truly didn’t love who I was or what I was doing. I was simply existing and seeking the accolades everyone else deemed important. As Taylor Swift puts it, “if you never bleed, you’re never going to grow,” so that’s what I started to do. I started to bleed out. I started seeing a therapist, broke off my relationship, quit my job, and moved back home. One could say it was very “Saturn Return” of me.
I then started serving and bartending at 2 places in Philly, working every day to save up more money as I tried to figure out what I was going to do next. I died my hair purple. I took a road trip to a Kentucky cave by myself. I was a girl in an indie movie staring pensively out the window trying to find myself on a journey I didn’t realize was the journey until it was all done (I know…basic).
On the side, I had written a feature film during quarantine based off my TV pilot, “Lady Parts.” A friend and myself decided we would self-produce the project and make it ourselves. During all the moves and working multiple jobs, we somehow managed to get an LLC established and crowdfunding site up and running. Any donations are still greatly appreciated. If you cannot donate, please share the links with friends and family on social media. It would be the best birthday present you can give!
You can donate here: www.ladypartsfilm.com
Then in August I got a job offer in NYC. I had dreamed of living in NYC ever since I spent my 10th birthday there. I don’t know what made it seem so magical. Possibly every movie romanticizing the city? The metaphor of starting from scratch and making it big? No matter what the reason, I had a day to find an apartment and move out. There I was again, moving to a new city, for a new job, living alone, and attempting to start a whole new life. I truly thought by 27 I would’ve had it more together, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I think cities are what you put into them. I was so nervous to start over in terms of learning my way around and making new friends. As time went on, I found that the more open I was being, the more I would receive in return. Is it terrifying meeting up with strangers you met on social media to see if a friendship can blossom? Yes. Is it terrifying going out alone and striking up conversations? Yes. Is it worth it? Every time. This move, I put my heart into it and I cannot even begin to say how thankful I am for everything it has given me.
The past year’s birthday blogs have always been so focused on meeting a benchmark. Did I think by this age I’d be married? Own the Dyson v10 vacuum? This year I really didn’t ask myself any of that. Instead the only question I kept asking was “would this decision make me happier?” There is no benchmark, only false goals that were put in our heads as we compare to everyone else around us. If it took a full Saturn Return for me to realize all of that, well so be it.
Now, I type the final words of this post on my last day of quarantine. I am very lucky to have only had mild symptoms, a negative test result yesterday, and a cozy apartment to stay in and not infect anyone else. I may be going crazy in this closet studio, but it will truly be a 28th birthday I will remember forever.
Here is to another cycle around the sun. May your Saturn Return bring the upheaval you’re looking for!
Until next time, please enjoy this really awkward photo of me from the Color Factory NYC…