Prelude to a Birthday

Late summer-early fall is my favorite time of year.

With a Leo Ascendant, Venus and Mars in Virgo, Sun and Mercury in Libra, and a Scorpio Moon, this time of year is–seriously–my time to shine. No trite “this my time” memes involved. The Sun is sweeping through key placements in my natal chart.

The Sun approaching my Ascendant six weeks ahead of my birthday is a nice wake-up call. “If you want to put some things in place before your next turn around the Sun, this is the time to do it.”

Did I mention I turn 35 in six weeks?


The last birthday that intimidated me this much? 20.

Here’s what I remember: I was a college sophomore. I wowed my English Composition teachers, but couldn’t pen an enticing lede to save my life in Intro to Journalism. I stumbled into my first real sexual relationship with a boy who wouldn’t make me his girlfriend for reasons I didn’t understand. I wanted to be good at sex, of course, but not so good that I got a reputation for being good at sex with boys who weren’t my boyfriend. And after years of turning up my nose at my friends’ underage drinking, I was frequently consuming squeezy bottle Vodka-based beverages while bending over in short skirts to the tune of “Get Low.”

Everything was wrong. I was the Good Girl. I wanted to be a Good Woman. The experimental wild child who emerged at the end of my teens fucked up my careful planning.


Beyond strategically avoiding the unacceptable outcomes of marriage, children, and a nervous breakdown, I didn’t plan for middle age. Didn’t need to. Not doing what I didn’t want would inevitably lead to what I *did* want.

Except not so much because my writing sucks, I’m “skinny” with back rolls, and can’t complete a thought without checking my phone.


“Is this your Carefree Single Auntie Queen?!” I shout at my reflection.

“Well no,” I reply. “Why does my 35 have to look like anything in particular? Isn’t that the point of being free?”

“I’m not asking what it looks like. I’m asking is this what you WANT to be as a 35-year old?”

Heavy sigh. “No.”

“You’re your own woman. You won’t have a man. Or children. You won’t wear foundation. Or let your hair grow long enough to require daily effort. The job you like is just work for you and doesn’t dominate your life. You’ve not been institutionalized or had to terminate a pregnancy. You’ve officially won every battle of your twenties and beat societal expectations. The Sun is literally shining on you…What. Now.”

Another heavy sigh. “The writing. The back rolls. And the attention span, for starters?”

“More than that,” I say. “You’re going to get to work.”

“What kind of work?”

“Building SOMETHING on all this space you’ve cleared.”

Late summer-early fall is my favorite time of year.

But instead of basking in the benefits of Solar energy, I am meeting it half-way.

Featured Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

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