They say 27 is the beginning of a time for great personal reflection, change, and a crossover to another phase of one’s life. They say this has to do with Saturn returning to the same place in its orbit as it was when you were born. They say it technically takes Saturn 29.5 years to make a full rotation around the sun (I confirmed this on NASA’s website), but you start to feel the effects at 27. They say, because of this, the effects can last until about thirty (astrology is an EXACT science). They say Saturn’s return is about maturing and taking stock in your life as it is and what you want it to be going forward.
They say all this, but I don’t have a telescope so I must rely on hearsay.
While I’m not one for astrology, as I approach my 27th birthday tomorrow (feel free to tell me what being an Aquarius means), I can’t deny I haven’t done some reflection as of late. I graduated college in 2015 and moved to LA immediately after with goals of working as a writer. In the five and a half years it’s been since, I have made some efforts towards that goal. I’ve gone to numerous screenwriting Q&As, I’ve hooked up with a writing partner and we’ve put some pretty funny things on the page, I’ve connected with the author and real life subjects of a book I’m adapting, and I’ve become the coordinator and occasional contributor to a blog for a highly regarded theater company (thanks Liz and Riley!)
To be fair, surviving in LA is a challenge enough (I’m on my third apartment with my ninth and tenth roommates), but I can’t help but look back with some disappointment. After almost six years I still have a day job (that isn’t writing). I haven’t written nearly as much on my own and nothing I can really show as a sample. I’ve been adapting that book on and off for years and do not even have a rough draft I’m happy with. And while I’ve been working to survive, not to mention figuring out mental illnesses (gotta love just now being diagnosed with ADHD), ultimately when I look back I have to take stock in my role in this.
Maybe I keep waiting for something to happen, but that’s the problem.
Change is a part of nature, but the natural process is slow moving. It can be sped up though by some hands on effort. The world itself is supposed to change at a slow rate, it took billions of years for the grand canyon to form. On the other hand thanks to human industry and capitalistic greed, we may destroy this Earth in the next 50 years! If not sooner! Glibness aside, we people are not the Grand Canyon. We don’t change just with the passing of a new year or the position of Saturn in its orbit. We have to take action in our efforts.
With my 27th year on the horizon, I am looking to make some changes. Making some clear efforts to be better than where I am now and strive towards where I want to be. A friend of mine from college, Zach, recently reminded me I once said I’d give LA a ten year shot before reassessing (thanks for the reminder, bud). Zach also used to say life is about self improvement, and there’s nothing better to think about when falling asleep then what you did today, and how you can do better tomorrow.
Whether it is that big ball of gas with its rings of ice and rocks floating in the sky, I can’t say. It feels like there are moments like this in all sorts of people’s lives. Bill Hader talked about living in LA for five years, working assistant gigs, until he realized he needed a creative outlet. He joined an improv group, eventually got discovered by Megan Mullaly, cast on SNL, and now writes and directs one of the best TV shows out there.
Billy Joel once sang “I'm sure you'll have some cosmic rationale,” but this change is only going to happen if I do something about it.
Now, where to begin? Ah yes, Concerning New Years.
New years for many years meant for me to clean house with everything the past year taught, brought, and fought for me. I guess in many respects, a year renewal holds differently per the individual. I know of many friends right now who are starting their own businesses, some are reaching their long thought out health goals, and some are welcoming new family members into their tribal brood. What we can mutually agree on is our feelings towards 2020 since we certainly had no such feelings transitioning from 2019 to 2020.
I had hoped to finish working my accounting job so I could pursue acting full time. I was ready to tackle auditions, attend script analysis classes, continue gym training to a healthier lifestyle, and to fully embrace an unknown future laid out before me. As I write this we know exactly what had happened instead. I am unable to truly specify the dismal dismay we all share for the last particular year. Open your phones and you’ll find countless memes, posts, songs, articles and videos collaborating what we truly feel, especially as we slowly march together into the new year, with reluctant hope.
My question is: why reluctant? Why should we fear what has yet, or not yet happened? Because we have all been hurt. Hurt is a very universal feeling. It proves you are alive, you are human, yet so many attempt to avoid it at all costs. None were spared from the relentless onslaught of hurt the previous year brought upon us. So can you really blame us if we entered the new year with the same mentality as Frodo Baggins did when he returned to the Shire? He was home, he was amongst friends/family, his normal life restored, his world was saved from an enormous catastrophe, and yet a small part of him knew. He knew he could no longer see his life the way it was before, no matter how many times he was told “Frodo, you’re safe now.” Seeing his resolution brought me comfort knowing I wasn’t alone in feeling what I was feeling, as I’m sure we could all mutually feel for. We’ve seen things, experienced things, we know things will still take time before any sort of normalcy returns, and yet, we have this shining reluctant hope, buried deep down inside every one of us. We almost don’t want to stick our heads out of the bunker until we are absolutely certain the war is over. We never could’ve imagined our lives playing out the way things are, or how much we had to transform to this new world.
This is what I can assure to you: whatever flame of hope you have, if it is blazing mightily, or dimming weakly, if it’s still there it is worth the trouble keeping it burning. We somehow slowly stumbled upon the finish line of a year we initially figured would be endless. Yet, we are stronger; we are wiser; we are more patient, appreciative, and grateful for what we have, who we are, and where we are going. This has been an accumulation of many pivotal life events we’ve worked so hard in arriving at, to which when the pandemic hit, the universe provided us a way to stop, smell the roses, and reflect. Please, I implore you to not lose hope. Darkness is not forever, darkness must fade away at some point, and the light will shine upon your smile once again.
We still have a long road ahead of us, and we still feel so restless of what this new year has in store. As of the start of this year 2021, just recently discovered that I contracted covid-19, and had to suddenly learn the intricacies of the virus and in recovering from it, but that is for another tale.
With that being said, I leave you with these words from J.R.R. Tolkien from The Return of the King, by Frodo Baggins:
“How do you go on when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back. There are some things time cannot mend, some hurts that go too deep that they’ve taken hold.
You cannot always be torn in two. You will have to be one, and whole for many years. You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do.
Your part in the story will go on.”
Wishing a Happy Hopeful Safe New Year, to you all! I Love you, from the bottom of my heart.