As the eldest of the founders of Her Image I feel obligated (and weirdly honored) to warn the tribe of the hidden obstacles that are attached to the journey of womanhood as a young black woman. In a few weeks I'll be diving head first into the Dirty 30 and surprisingly I'm ready to get there. In this article, I'll share a little bit of my journey and what I wish someone would've warned me about in my late twenties. - Melinda Marie
Aside from all of the other things we do not talk about in the black community such as sex, money, and mental health, there is also the silent topic of the dreaded quarter life crisis that tends to creep up on us between the ages of 25 and 35 ish. I know when we hear "life crisis" we immediately think mid life and menopause right? Yeah, no this is something you may experience waaay before that. And to make it even more scary, I personally think that in this age of social media, it hits our generation harder than before. The pressures of having it all together not only comes from our parents and society but it is right in the palm of our hands 24/7. It's the notification of [insert your fave insta influencer with the perfect body, life, and man] living it up and twerking on the beaches of Bali while you can't even afford a burger from the value menu and are desperately waiting on that F^<k- boy to respond to your dissertation of an text. It's watching your classmates graduate with Masters degrees when you still haven't picked a major. It comes in the form of watching people younger than you closing on their homes and pulling brand new cars of the lot. Yea, half of it is an illusion but the pressure is still real.
So what exactly is this plague that I speak of? A quarter life crisis is basically a temporary psychological phase filled with cycles of anxiety, frustration, and depression that a person constantly goes through while they thinking about the direction and status of their life over and over again. If you feel lost AF, worthless, and no matter how many congratulations you get you still feel like you aren't doing enough...you, my friend, just maybe having a Quarter-Life Crisis. This is how hard it hit me and how I'm currently dealing with it.... (yea, ya girl is still struggling)
Umkay, so it all started around my 25th birthday. At that point, I had spent 8 years in the military and after a big argument between me and my Chief ( supervisor), I just knew that I no longer belonged in the military. I had had those thoughts before but this time felt different. The feelings were physical. I felt dead driving to work in the morning. I felt like I was watching me live my life from a far. I would have mental breakdowns on Sunday nights where I felt like the world was closing in on me. I was literally having outer-body experiences on a weekly basis. To be honest it was the scariest thing I had ever experienced. I was too ashamed to seek mental health so I did what any responsible, grown woman with common sense would do... I called my mama!
Luckily instead of telling me that there was nothing wrong with me or trying to convince me to pray it away she explained that the symptoms sounded like panic attacks and shared her own experiences. Damn, I love that woman. She always has the answer. That helped a lot and made me feel connect to my mom on a more mature level but it didn't cure the crisis. Soon after, I transferred from the command ( job) and the change of scenery made me feel like things were getting better. I was wrong. After just a few months I was right back in that black hole dreading work and my whole entire life for that matter. I went from back to back Sailor of the Year awards to back to back counseling chits. The worst part about it is that I genuinely, whole heartedly DGAF. I was convinced that this experience was all the Navys fault, so after 10 years I got out. Yep, I walked away from a decent position with decent pay to pursue entrepreneurship. I assumed that this would finally solve all of my problems. Although it did relief a ton of stress and was defiantly a great decision, it was not the cure for the crisis either. At the age of 28 I had complete control of my life and was doing absolutely nothing with it. I was fresh out of a failed engagement that I had no business in in the first place and had already blew through my entire savings in less than a year. The struggle was back and didn't ease up until I stopped looking for outside sources to blame and started doing some self discovery.
In the midst of one of my infamous wine, journal, and binge watch youtube sessions I stumbled into astrology and fell in love with the vast amount of knowledge that connects the universal aspects to human behavior. This is what sparked the self discovery journey. I have always had in interest in symbolism, greek mythology, and astrology but only on a shallow "what's you sign" level. This time I became a tad bit obsessive and read for hours on end about natal charts and planetary placements. That's how I discovered The Saturn Return. Speaking from the astrology perspective, The Saturn Return is when the planet Saturn makes a complete orbit and returns to the same position it was in on the day and time you were born. It takes approximately 29.5 years to complete one full cycle which means this astrological event happens approximately somewhere in between your 27th and 31st birthday. It also takes about 3 years to complete. That's 3 years of going through it!
Okay, back to my life. By dissecting my natal chart and reading up on the Saturn Return, I learned that in 2016, when I first became unsatisfied with my career path, the planet Saturn had just began orbiting into the sign of Capricorn. For me that went down my Saturn in my house and sign that revolves around careers. I also learned that my rising sign, which represents how I am presented to the world is a Leo and my North Node is in Aquarius. Which essentially means that I came into this realm as a leader/loner and learning how to be more of a team player is part of my life lesson. My mind was blown.
I was like ohhhhh so I'm supposed to be a hot mess right now. Welp, let me just chill and ride this thing out because according to the cosmos, I'm going to come out a better me in the end. Sure enough, once I realized that the person I was before was a representation of what others groomed me to be and it's the perfect time for me to grow up and make my own choices I began to feel at ease. For the first time in a long time I felt like there was hope. I still don't have this life thing totally figured out but I'm more present and I feel like I am in control of my life. Besides, if I start to run this thing too far into the ground the universe will be there to smack me back on track.
Whether you see my journey as a coincidence or divine order we can all agree that this is the time of our lives when society expects us to have it all together and it sucks. Let's face it, until our mid twenties we are pretty much just doing what our parents, employers, and peers told us it was okay to do. Then, when we finally get the chance to be who we want to be we freak out and that's okay. However, don't just stay in that space and then crawl back into the box that you were placed in. Embrace it, evaluate things, and decide for yourself what you want your life to look like. Then go for it. Yes you'll probably fail but so what. That's better than just staying in that rut right?
Here are the lessons I've learned so far. Maybe you can use them as tips to help you survive your Saturn Return/ Mid-Life Crisis:
1. Stop Competing
Your natal chart is sort of like a map that shows you exactly where the planets were at the second that you were born. A really good one from an astrologer will even consider your life experiences, location, and time zone. Which means everyone has a unique chart. We are all different so stop comparing where you are in life to the next person. We all started with different obstacles and advantages so cut out the comparison game, it's pointless.
2. Make amends with the Men
The planet Saturn represents the father or older masculine energy so this may be a time where your daddy issues are exposed. I grew up without my biological father in my life physically so reaching out to him allowed me to see what parts of my personality came from him. This gave me a greater understanding about who I am. I also reflected on past relationships and let go of grudges. I realized that every relationship taught me something new about love and what I wanted from a man. Think about your mindset around men without the influence of social media and society. What do you want from a Man? Give it to yourself first.
3. Push Through on Paper
Saturn also represents hard work and this time in your life is like a battle that only you understand. No matter how horrible it may feel commit to getting through it and journal during the process. This will give you an outlet to vent, strategize, and relax without judgment.
Is astrology is a law that we should live by or just a healthy distraction from all the worries of the world? Idk, I’m still trying to figure that part out. Regardless of how you feel about the esoteric realm taking a look at your natal chart may at-least give you a culprit to blame for all of the chaos going on during your last years as a 20 something. Here is where you can download one for free --> https://www.secretlanguageofastrology.com/