“The Less You Expect of the Next Year, the More Deep It’s Going to Be”
*(November 22 to December 21)*
Happy birthday, Sag! The best gift I can give you this month is a reminder that expectations are the sticking points that make life feel disappointing, dull, sad, and halfway over. The less you expect of the next year, the more exciting, surprising, and, well, deep it’s going to be.
*(December 22 to January 19)*
This is the month when we want the shiny shit — not just materially, but good feelings, inner glitter, and intoxicating juju. The theme for you this month is recycling. What if you already have all the resources you need? What if they are mostly internal?
*(January 20 to February 18)*
If you feel like there is no boundary left between you and the news cycle, the scandal du jour, the next click, or the last “like”, that’s because there isn’t. The barrier has been penetrated, the paper doll perforated, the skin dissolved. The thing is, we don’t repair the psychic boundary by adding anything to it. We repair by taking away. What can you delete?
*(February 19 to March 20)*
This month, show someone each day that you care about their suffering. It’s great if the person is someone you like, but bonus points if it’s someone you dislike. What do you get for the bonus points? You’ll suffer less.
*(March 21 to April 19)*
What if the fact that everything is always changing on a cellular level, a cosmic level, and all the levels in between is the best news of the day? What if the changes we fear, resent, or disdain are the best things for you? I’m not saying they are, but what if?
*(April 20 to May 20)*
Astrologers are always talking about Taurus on the sofa, Taurus moving slowly, Taurus never getting out of the house. This month, I want you to reimagine your sign not as an Earth sign but as air: Taurus the flying bull. To be honest, I think you kind of already are that.
*(May 21 to June 20)*
If you’ve been walking around feeling like there is a hole inside of you, there probably is. The good news is that this hole does not need to be filled with anything external. There is nothing wrong with this hole. There is nothing to do to this hole. It’s actually a really beautiful hole. When you stop trying to fill it, it’s kind of like the best clubhouse ever.
*(June 21 to July 22)*
Write a letter to yourself nine years from now. I’m not kidding. Write a letter by hand, put it in a little container, and bury it somewhere. Burying shit is fun, especially if you live in a city. Feel the cold dirt on your hands. Be reminded that you even are a self. Life is weird, but it’s kind of real.
*(July 23 to August 22)*
Intimacy sounds kind of cute, and like it should not be a challenge for the “people-oriented” Leo. But intimacy is a challenge for all of us who are afraid to be seen naked, sans costume, which is most of us. This month, ask yourself what it would look like to take off a costume — just one of the many you wear — and not put on another one.
*(August 23 to September 22)*
It’s a very solstice-y month. It’s a good month to think about death. I’m not saying go to Hot Topic and start writing poetry (though that never hurt anyone) — I’m just saying that if you were so inclined to remember that one day you are going to die, and then sit with that fact, this month would be a good time to do it.
*(September 23 to October 22)*
It’s weird, but you aren’t responsible for how other people feel. It’s crazy, but if someone is mad, it doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong. It’s bananas, but the only things that are under our control are our own thoughts and feelings. It’s unbelievable, but your own approval is actually more important than the approval of anyone else.
*(October 23 to November 21)*
OK, I want you to forget coolness this month. I want you to look at coolness as a by-product of middle-school trauma, high-school trauma, consumerism, and some other shit. I want you to not worry about being cool for the whole month. Obviously you aren’t going to make it a full month, but let’s try a day. This goes for beauty, “relevance,” and anything in the orbit of the words *personal brand*.
*Melissa Broder is the author of four collections of poems, including* (1) *(Tin House 2016), as well as* (2), *a book of essays from Grand Central.*