29 Year Cycle

Beginning at birth, there are successive periods of about seven years in a person’s life, each one a stage of important adjustments to reality. At about 7 years of age, the first quarter of the transiting Saturn cycle, the first crisis of maturity occurs and self-awareness takes form. At about ages 14 or 15, the change from child to adult occurs. About 21-22 years of age brings another adjustment to the demands of society. When Saturn completes its first cycle at about 29 years, people must come to terms with themselves and the society in which they live. This point in the cycle is called the Saturn return. It is almost always a time of important commitments, decisions, and the acceptance of responsibilities and changes of lifestyle.

I don’t remember much about my first Saturnism at age 7. I remember running around alot, doing my Kumon homework and playing the piano. At the second cycle of 14/15, that was the awkward time. I was coming out of my shell, previously sheltered and protected by my parents. All of a sudden I’d discovered girls! (I’d also discovered that they had no interest in me, a chubby, pimple faced Chinaman who didn’t wear the coolest clothes or say the smoothest things.) At age 14 was also when I realized I could be an athlete and so I did and I excelled at it and thus was my identity for 7 years.

21. Ahh, good ol’ 21. In hindsight now, looking back at the stage of the planets and moons and all that jazz, it makes sense. Or rather, it fits into the story nicely. I had not a worry in the world. The minute responsibilities of a recent university graduate who had every option of the world in front of him. I travelled in packs like hunting wolves, with 30 of my closest boys (not kidding…30…) with me everywhere we went. Big Bamboo, Hotshots, Hong Lok Yuen, No. 9, BP, everywhere. We had girls with us and because we were all gentlemen, they loved us. The weekends and weeknights were spent racing down the highways in our garage made rice rockets with the +10hp stickers, going from restaurant to pool hall to kareoke bar, laughing all the way. It was quite the change from my restricted popularity in high school, going from ugly duckling to swan (albiet a ruff gruff manly swan..argh!) We thought ourselves to be complete bad asses. Brotherhood, blood brothers, if one of us got into trouble, the other 29 would be there with a beep of the pager. (Only one of us had a cell phone so his bill was always the highest: hey Gurt, can I borrow your phone?) We were respected by our peers, looked up to by those younger. Guys wanted to hang out with us, girls wanted to get with us. (Or so that was our mentality, I mean, with a pimped out honda civic with stickers on the door and chopped springs so that you’d bottom out on every speed bump, who wouldn’t want to be with us!) We ruled the world. Those were the days when we had no worries (mortgage? bills? what are those things? responsiblities? ugh, kill the word.) We were in the middle, grown out of the childish restraints that society places on teenagers but not quite at adulthood status yet. We were armed with the positive outlook that our futures were still unwritten, that we could become anything we wanted to be and our destinies and fates were like a fresh jar of play-doh, soft and moldable.

7 years later. 29 years old. Commitments, decisions and responsibilites. Over the years my 30 man crew turned into a 4 man entourage. Our consecutive 4 night party days turned into once a month and the weight of adulthood comes crashing down hard onto our shoulders. How easy is it to manage your own life, while simultaneously attempting to balance those of your friends, family and colleagues? To try to make their lives fit into yours and not become a selfish hermit. Never in my 29 years of life have I faced such a daunting task and a more difficult year. I left my secure job of 3+ years due to changes out of my control. I ended a relationship of 5 years with a girl I loved with all my heart, though was no longer in-love. I bought a 2nd Condo before the market crashed and now am down on the investment. And now, my two best friends are moving away, one of them for good, one of them for 2 years. To those who think they’ve been knocked off of their comfort zone, I’ll join you in the parade. Hell, I’ll organize it. Change is good and it is what I need. This past several years, I’ve been too comfortable, too relaxed and my fire has died down a bit. I remember the ambition and drive I had when I was 21, and I felt alive and motivated. I want it back, and I’ll get it back. But for now, I just want to turn 30 in 4 months, and get 29 over with. This ‘Saturn Return’ cycle isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. The Play-doh’s been left out too long, long forgotten by the first hands that started to mold it. It’s become hard and stiff. Four months to go.

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