*(April 20 to May 20)*
Happy birthday, Taurus! I love Taureans: the magnificent kissing capabilities, the insane amount of time it takes you to leave the house (if at all). This month, I have a little advice, and my advice is this: please do one really nice thing for a total stranger every day. Don’t tell anyone about it, just do it for the person and for you. I periodically do these monthly challenges myself, and it’s good for the self-esteem to do an estimable act every day. So while I can’t kiss you through the internet, this is my birthday gift to you — but it’s a good one.
*(May 21 to June 20)*
There are some people with whom we always end up in the same place emotionally no matter how much we swear it will be different this time. If you have to stay in touch with a person like this for work purposes, set boundaries where the contact is strictly as professional as it can be. But if you’re making the choice to willingly be with this person, you should know that nothing changes if nothing changes.
*(June 21 to July 22)*
The gift of desperation is one of my favorites and the place from which the most magical things in my life have happened. If you feel like you’re bottoming out on something, maybe stop digging. Then look to something else you’ve never tried before.
*(July 23 to August 22)*
We are told that even celebrities and the very rich aren’t necessarily happy. We’re told that the acquisition of belongings and achievement can feel empty on the other side. Yet it’s hard to believe this, because the actions of acquiring and achieving serve at least to distract us from having to be with ourselves. We want them to work, even if they don’t. But this month, if ever the idea that happiness is an inside job arises, allow yourself to believe it … and follow it.
*(August 23 to September 22)*
What if all is already well? I know that’s a scary thought, because to do and fix and constantly improve means there is a definitive purpose to being alive — even if that purpose is fleeting. But there might be more to being alive than purpose, and it’s called being. As a Virgo, I don’t particularly like “just being” any more than you do. But we can get more accustomed to the state by repeating to ourselves “All is already well.”
*(September 23 to October 22)*
All I have to say to you this month is the grass really is always greener. That’s the human condition, and it’s just the way things are, for whatever reason. We are going to want what others have because it looks so much more polished on the outside than the way we feel on the inside. But if you can remember that what you are thinking is a condition of reality, and not reality itself, then maybe you might torture yourself a little less.
*(October 23 to November 21)*
What’s the oldest tape you play in your head? You will know it’s a tape if it’s something you hear constantly about what you are doing wrong, the ways in which you will not succeed, and how you are unfit for one thing or another. Other cute tapes include the way things should or shouldn’t be done in the world and “right” ways to live. I’m not telling you to eject the tape. But listen closely so you at least know what it is.
*(November 22 to December 21)*
If astrology is bullshit, which it just might be, then what is the point of this column? I don’t know! You’re the one who is reading it, I just write the shit. Remember that we are all looking for answers, even the people who profess that they already have the answers. Remember that no one knows anymore than you do, and you’ll have access to the freedom you crave.
*(December 22 to January 19)*
Sometimes we just don’t feel like ourselves, and that’s OK. Also, sometimes when we don’t feel like ourselves, we actually are being the most ourselves we could possibly be — it’s just that this version of selves seems incongruent with the image we have projected to others or the way we have trained ourselves to perceive our existence. This month, no matter how divergent your selves seem, trust that your new feelings are not wrong.
*(January 20 to February 18)*
Sometimes it’s a gift to not understand how things work. We can be too smart to allow our lives to get better when we are constantly looking for the man behind the curtain. Maybe the man is none of your business. Maybe your only business is the show.
*(February 19 to March 20)*
Nobody knows why we are on Earth or what happens after we die or whether there is a God. This month, be particularly suspect of anyone who tries to convince you that they know for sure what’s up with existence and that their way is the only way.
*(March 21 to April 19)*
Sometimes, when it finally dawns on us that no one person or possession or goal accomplished is going to rescue us from being ourselves, it’s sad. We don’t usually learn that the first go-round and can actually spend our lives striving for more, only to never be sated. I’m not saying you have to get off the endless carousel. But if you’re on it, at least know you’re on it.
*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.*