Somehow, in the blink of a bloody eye, I’ve found myself at the end of yet another month. Having survived acting in one play and then been cast in another; having briefly disappeared to Manhattan for a New York minute and returned both enlightened and inspired and in some ways even more confused. I’ve also, weirdly enough, in my search for some sort of clarity or direction as the swirling elements of my life keep stubbornly failing to coalesce smoothly, found myself getting into astrology; and thus wondering if all the ups and downs of my life lately can be at least partially explained by something called a Saturn Return.
Happening only every 27-29 years, this “transit,” as it’s called, is known for teaching us hard lessons; as well as for facilitating major life transitions, and especially the transition from youth-and-early-twenties into something more like a full adulthood. Major career shifts are common, as are major relationship shifts; themes of restriction, limitations, and anxiety can abound. As one source describes it:
Saturn returns are about understanding your growth edges. They have a way of bringing up realities about yourself or your situation that you have avoided in the past. They’re the moments you realize there’s no one else to do this work. While that can feel daunting at first, this is exactly how you move into the next stage of realizing your potential.
Maybe, at least partially, I’m resorting to rambling about the stars as a way of obliquely alluding to things I’m not sure I should necessarily be talking about; but suffice it to say, the idea resonates. In more than one area of my life, I’ve found myself being asked to take on things I don’t necessarily know how to handle; I’m being confronted with the consequences of some of my more regrettable tendencies, and asked, sometimes directly, the question: is this the way you want to keep living your life?
In quite a few senses, I’m not sure. Everything I’m doing right now is aligned with my passions, but in many ways not fully satisfying; my life isn’t an outright disaster, but nor do I really feel like I’m doing anything more than treading water, and often embarrassing myself horribly in the process. Escapism, I wager, whether it takes the form of workaholism, procrastination, or something even more sinister, is beginning to run its course as an effective or acceptable coping method— but to what, exactly, am I supposed to turn instead?
I’m not sure the stars have that answer for me; which doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily stop looking at them, and contemplating what they’re supposed to signify according to my silly little apps. In the meantime; one foot, one step, one breath after another, hoping clarity will emerge in time.
Ilana Jael earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Writing and Psychology from Florida Atlantic University’s Wilkes Honors College. She also served as co-founder of the student theatre troupe “Theatre in the Raw.” She has been dabbling in both playwriting and acting since high school. A few favorite roles include Rebel in Columbinus (Bob Carter’s Actor’s Rep), The Fearful One in The Cave (G-Star School of The Arts), and Amanda in The Glass Menagerie (Theatre In The Raw). Her one-act plays Goodbye, Karma’s A Bitch, Certainly Not About Him, and Open Heart have also been previously performed at Actor’s Rep and/or at Florida Atlantic University. More recently, Ilana appeared in and created the original musical ZeeZou’s Stardust Extravaganza with Area Stage’s Miami Queer Theatre Collective. Her short plays have been produced virtually by New City Players, Theatre Lab, and Femuscripts. She is also a current company member of New City Players, and you can check out her theatre blog at ilanaintheatreland.com!