It's not a line; it's an arc

This year I turned 27. For the past several years, I had been dreading turning 27—and I'll tell you why. You see, Saturn takes 27-29 years to complete one full orbit around the sun and return to the same zodiac sign it was when you were born. This return is called “Saturn in Return” (also known as a quarter life crisis). Saturn in return lasts 2-3 years, in which time you come face to face with tough life lessons. 

…And I am reporting live from the trenches. 

Saturn in Return

Previously, my view of saturn in return was that I would just be depressed for two whole years. That I would be going backwards in my personal growth. But I am realizing that that is not at all what this phase is about. 

An interesting thought occurred to me while I was visiting Hobuck Beach, on the NorthWestern tip of Washington. The beach forms a long, arcing crescent shape, much like any beach. I was taking a long walk back from one end of the beach where some friends and I were exploring. I was enjoying the walk so much, taking in all the interesting land points from my vantage—the whole time looking out and aiming for a rocky point at the other end of the beach. Overtime on this long walk, I stared out, entranced, at my destination. The shape of the landscape became etched into my vision. Finally, I reached the other end of the beach. And, much like Forrest Gump on his epic run across country, I decided to turn and head back to the other side. 

Arching Beach Walk

I turned 180 degrees and at once saw a whole new expanse of scenery to take in and observe. It was the same beach, but I was seeing it in a completely new way. I excitedly absorbed myself in the new land forms, lush colors, and textures. And it occurred to me—this is exactly like Saturn in Return. During my time alive, I have been looking out, moving forward on a single trajectory. Always looking ahead to the future. And suddenly, I’ve turned around and I am seeing myself and my life through an entirely different lens. I’m still me. I am not going backwards. Everything is the same. But I am noticing all these new things that I couldn’t see before. Maybe because my back was turned, or I was so focused on going forward. 

In that moment, I understood that you can never go backwards in life. It’s an arc and you are now turning your position. It’s a change of perspective, that’s all. And now I am learning to embrace my saturn in return and what it has taught me thus far. 

Winter's Transformation

I get asked a lot about the rain in Seattle. And I gotta tell you, it lives up to the hype. It’s less about the rain and more about the darkness, that is the trouble for a Seattlite. During the winter months the sun sets as early as 3:00—that is, if you could see the sunset. During the daylight hours the sun is often covered by a low and dense layer of grey clouds that diffuse the sun into a soft white light. It can feel stifling, day after day, to live life under this grey blanket. And it can start to chip away at your mood. If you’re not mindful of eating healthy and exercising, you can easily slip into a sleepy, cheese-curd-induced winter coma (*ehem). 

Teahouse
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Despite everyone’s struggle with winter, I think it’s one of the most important times of the year because it gives us a chance to slow down and look inward. 

For me, winter is always a transformative time. I am never the same person as I was going into winter.  It’s like gardening—occasionally you need to prune a plant in order to make room for more blossoms. It’s uncomfortable, but it's a healthy process to go through annually— like a spring cleaning for your mind! I think of winter as a time for pruning away all the negative aspects in my life to make way for fresh experiences and connections in spring. 

Mornings in Seattle