*(July 23 to August 22)*
If you’re going to beat yourself up, don’t beat yourself up for beating yourself up. Somewhere in the chain of beatings, there has to be a letting go. How do you let go? It’s not casual. It’s actively saying “QUIET,” and saying it again and again. Letting go is work, but it’s ultimately less tiring than the voices themselves. Happy birthday.
*(August 23 to September 22)*
I’m not going to tell you to love yourself or accept yourself, because what even is that? It’s another seemingly impossible goal for a goal-oriented person in a goal-oriented culture. All I’m going to say is when you catch yourself loving yourself, let yourself keep going. It’s safe.
*(September 23 to October 22)*
If you think you can be anything other than human, you’re wrong. If you think you have to be anything other than human, you’re wrong. If anyone is expecting you to be anything other than human, they’re wrong. If you’re expecting anyone to be anything other than human, you’re wrong.
*(October 23 to November 21)*
You’re in touch with death. Face it, you’re deathy. Sometimes it seems weird that no one else is as affected by all the little deaths: the end of an evening, the end of an era, Sunday nights. Make this month your day of the dead. Find one death a day and revel in it rather than running from the feelings it produces. Anticipate an even better life on the other side.
*(November 22 to December 21)*
Let me remind you that you contain 1,000 selves. The world will ask you to reduce this number to between one and eight, but that does not negate the 1,000. This is why it feels like your insides are bumping up against you sometimes. Don’t believe anyone when they say you are asking too much to even consider a ninth.
*(December 22 to January 19)*
Whose shame is it, the world’s or yours? Where did it come from, your family or your soul? What is an actual obligation and what just feels like one? When night comes, it’s your head on the pillow and no one else’s.
*(January 20 to February 18)*
I have no advice for you, only my own experiences that I can see more clearly reflected back when I look at you. I have only stories and suggestions. Being human, you are probably the same way. Remember that when you give advice this month.
*(February 19 to March 20)*
Just a gentle reminder that no one knows what they’re doing, and the ones who seem convinced that they have it all figured out probably know the least. Remember that this month when you compare your feelings of doubt to their apparent confidence. You’re probably better off than they are.
*(March 21 to April 19)*
Sometimes we are hungrier for more than the world can provide for us, and that is OK. The trick is to recognize that this is what is going on. I’m not going to tell you to seek a spiritual solution for your existential hunger, because that sounds lofty and you don’t want to hear it. But if you feel annoyed with the world this month for not being enough, you should know there is another untapped world inside you too.
*(April 20 to May 20)*
You can’t please all the people all the time, and thank God you can’t, because it would be exhausting to try. I think you’ve finally learned that. But what you might forget is that even the people you please most of the time cannot be pleased all the time. And if you find yourself this month displeasing the people you usually please, it’s not you being “bad” or “wrong.” It’s just human nature doing its thing.
*(May 21 to June 20)*
We often read our horoscopes to be told that the uphill climb is officially over. But do astrologers know any more than any other human being? I know I don’t. Life may always be an uphill climb, but you know how to dance sideways. You don’t need me to give you permission to do it.
*(June 21 to July 22)*
Now is the time for you to finally make a move — the change you’ve been craving for a while. But a move doesn’t have to be a physical, geographic change or a massive overhaul. When we do that we usually end up just taking the thing that’s bothering us with us. Think in terms of micro-movements, as those are the most lasting changes and ultimately have the most impact. Is there something small you’ve been thinking of trying or giving up? Do that.
*Melissa Broder is the author of four collections of poems, including* Last Sext *(Tin House 2016), as well as* So Sad Today, *a book of essays from Grand Central.*