Follow the Sun is intended to be a fun astrological exercise where I track the Sun’s movement through my natal chart. This post should have come at the end of Aquarius season; a time when we’re called to let go of our ego needs and shake up the status quo. To detach from our personal goals and agendas to consider how we contribute to humanity. With Aquarius ruling my Seventh House of Partnerships and The Other, I was supposed to step out of my self-centered nature and collaborate; to detach from Me Me Me long enough to put myself in others’ shoes.
Then life got in the way.
I lost a friend.
From ages 9-22, she was a near-constant fixture in my life. We lived through each other’s first kisses and first loves and first sexual encounters. We shared inside jokes and favorite songs. We were messy–with each other and to each other–but we were family. We mercilessly teased her younger niece together. Her big brother called me “little sister.” She called my grandmother “Grandma.” Some time during college we lost touch. She left Ohio. I deleted my Facebook account. After a couple missed opportunities through common acquaintances, we finally got back in touch at the end of 2018. Between December 18 and January 1, we exchanged 37 text messages; reminiscing on our childhoods and apologizing for our never ending game of phone tag.
On January 22nd, she was gone.
I went back and forth about telling this story.
Her death is not an anecdotal stop on my path to self-improvement. Her three daughters lost their mother. Her niece lost an aunt. Her brother lost a sister. And I lost a friend, so soon after getting her back.
I remind myself to feel the hurt. Don’t race to your phone for an instant mood-lifter, I say. Don’t reason with yourself that she’d been sick all her life and we weren’t even that close in her last days, I chide. None of the handy tricks you use to cut yourself off from your emotions are appropriate here, I scold.
She was my friend. And for the 40 short days I had her back, we never caught all the way up because we were too busy. Because when I wasn’t doing anything particular, I just “didn’t feel like being on the phone.”
What’s left is the reminder that human connection matters. More than likes and photo comments. More than how lit the TL is at the moment. More than how drained I am from mainlining opinions and hot takes 24/7. No matter how cozy my quiet little hole of life feels at the end of a long day, the people I claim to love deserve more than my excuses.
That’s all I’ve got.