Dear Seagoat #4: Crying in the Bathroom (A Rite of Passage)


Dear Seagoat,

I am a queer writer living in a not-queer-friendly home, which is home nonetheless. I just graduated from college, so I’m at this weird turning point in my life where I can’t seem to make any decisions. (Why those are connected I have no idea.) Here are the situations that are strangling me in my current state in random order:

1. To leave my family (who are problematic but whom I love) to pursue opportunities which I may not get, or to stay at home and be under heavy surveillance, cry alone in the bathroom, and hear bigotry daily, but lead a frustrating, yet safe and boring life that allows me to read lots of books and watch the sunset repeatedly.

2. To try to publish my work, (Where? I have no idea.) which is not quite yet to my standards (but will it ever be?) or keep working on it (even though my unemployed self is currently not doing that at all…between thinking about job applications and watching terribly cheesy Bollywood films with my mother, I have no time you see. It’s not like this is the perfect time to write, or anything, it’s not like I’m lazy or anything. No really.)

3. To take or not take a job which isn’t exactly what I want (but will better ever come along?) and I do need money.

— Stay-At-home Taurus
P.S. I am not out to my family.

Dear SAT,

Age 22 bites. (That’s not advice. I’m just saying.)

While I’m sure there are some out there who loved/are loving their early twenties, they are rare and mysterious creatures, much like the unicorn and cheerleaders.

The astrological reason 22 bites so much is our grim friend, Saturn. Saturn rules responsibility and processes of maturation. Each stage of his 29-year cycle marks a new phase of your relationship to reality. At age 7, Saturn woke you up from childhood’s dreamstate; at 14, he gave you a social life (or lack thereof); at 21, you’re heading into the Real World of jobs, bills and adult worries; all building up to your Saturn Return at 29, when you’ll be ready to take concrete steps toward your long-term goals.

Most people feel crappy under Saturn cycles. Usually the younger you are, the worse Saturn feels. For some, this translates to depression. For others, anxiety about the future.

SAT, you began the ¾ phase of your Saturn cycle last November. It will be over mid-September, but before then, Saturn wants to “help” you make some changes.

Especially challenging is that as a loyal, safety-conscious, family-loving Taurus, you like to stick with what you know, even when that requires timeouts to cry in the bathroom. Your family has given you powerful roots; making use of that power is loyalty. Even when they don’t know how to embrace your choices, you serve your family’s lineage by directing that energy outward, into the world. And the only way for you to find out how much you’re capable of (a great deal, I suspect) is to let yourself be tested, and even fuck up.

And that’s exactly what Saturn is pushing you to do.

So, here’s the quickie advice.

1. Crying in the bathroom sounds like symbol for being quietly queer in a loudly anti-queer household. I can see from your chart that your family LOVES you, but can’t always see you. Your Taurus Sun lives in the 12th house of your chart and the 12th house is where we put parts of ourselves we feel our families can’t handle. When the Sun—your source of shiny, special YOU-ness—is in the twelfth house, it’s like burying your personal battery pack in the middle of the ocean. What else besides your queerness are you afraid to express? How small are you making yourself to fit inside that bathroom?

2. Why publish just for publishing’s sake? If you have a piece that’s ready to be seen, by all means, send it somewhere. Or better yet (at this stage), blog or make a zine. Having your work read could be affirming, but more important for your writer-self is continued exploration, on the page and in life. Saturn wants to make sure you’re challenged enough to grow, so if you’re feeling creatively blocked, ask yourself how you can bring more challenges into your writing life. (A concrete goal, writing group or a structured class can help with this.)

3. Take the job! Why not? Saturn loves a paycheck. Your paralysis/anxiety looks like it’s mainly coming from inexperience. If you hate the job, no biggie: that’s what quitting is for. Plus, $$ means you can address whether to stay home or move out as a decision, rather than a helpless response.

The bottom line: the stress is there to get you moving. Saturn wants you to start seeing yourself as an adult. Take heart in knowing that everyone your age—no matter how confident they appear—is going through the Saturn wringer. The only way through is forward, into the unknown. Give yourself the chance to make mistakes, to learn and to grow. It might be more fun than you think.

*For astro-geeks: North Node in Capricorn, Pisces Mars, Sagittarius Moon in the 7th, Sun in the 12th.

Dear Seagoat wants to answer your relationship, career, creative, sexual etc. questions! Send ‘em here. Or, email to schedule an in-depth reading of your own planets & transits.

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