In a pre-pandemic world, my 30th birthday celebrations were supposed to involve good food, a Grecian sunset and drinking many drinks with my friends.
A few years back, I had the idea that I would enjoy my birthday in summer, for the first time in my life.
I decided on Greece, brought on by an episode of World’s Most Extraordinary Homes on Netflix, where the hosts spent one evening watching the most incredible sunset from Antiparos. I wanted that for myself.
Anyways, we all know how the story ends. I didn’t get to plan any Grecian birthday, the world is burning and all in all, it’s enough that I have my health.
We can plan as much as we want, but life will happen. It won’t make sense and it’s not all predetermined but it happens.
Personally? I love getting older. It’s a privilege and a joy to see another year. A clean slate to do some new shit.
I love celebrating my birthday because it’s important to me and no matter what, Leo season is a time of warmth, generosity and silliness.
But, in the midst of everything we’re dealing with, I know this time of year simply doesn’t have the same shine.
It’s hard to find moments of joy when we’re dealing with anguish, mourning and fear around our own health.
29 has been filled with loss, sudden change and many come to Jesus moments. I am happy to see the last of my 20s go. It’s been a great time, to quote Kourtney Kardashian, “just live life” and while I’ve met some wonderful people, you truly couldn’t pay me to be 23 again.
To be honest, my twenties have been full of fear and uncertainty. A lot of unsafe experiences, dangerous people and anxiety about my future. A lot of trapped energy and I don’t want any of that for my next chapter. I started my 20s mourning the death of my best friend and now I’m ending it off with monumental loss.
Earlier this year, my favourite astrologer Alice Sparkly Kat wrote about the importance of birthday magic and solar returns (aka your birthday).
Solar returns are really just about you and what you want. They’re not about other people and they’re not about performing joy. Solar returns are moments in which you consider the idea that your desires are valid enough to move you through life—they’re moments in which you find the courage to believe that desire can create a future.Alice Sparkly Kat
The magic of a solar return is that you are asked to clear and actively do something for yourself—to make your desires so clear to yourself that you are able to create a ritual that shows the world that you hope for the thing that you want.Alice Sparkly Kat
This year, I’m spending my birthday going up Table Mountain for free (first time I’ve used that offer) and prioritising the things I say I’m going to try but never do. I want to spend time making more memories with friends and not take that for granted.
It’s not a sunset in Greece, but there’s still a lot to be grateful for.
And that’ll have to do for now.
Cover image by @matialonsor