It's been a long, hot summer. But August has finally arrived. We're that much closer to temperatures that won't scorch our skin. We have access to more of our wardrobes, and we have less hectic social calendars.
August is also great because now, it's the month of the Leo. Yes, those first three glorious weeks of August (and the tail end of July, if you insist) allow us to shake our manes and roar as loudly as possible. It's the month where I can make frivolous purchases and justify them as "treat yo'self" birthday presents.
Yes, I take pride in being a Leo. Sure, I read my horoscope and discuss it loudly with my boyfriend to let him know about the less-than-realistic prospects of such blanket statements.
But for whatever reason, I take the qualities of my star sign very seriously. I am a Leo in the most obvious ways: I'm loyal to a fault, I'm protective, I'm ridiculously determined, I have major ambitions and I enjoy entertaining people.
However, I'm also incredibly stubborn. I have a flair for drama, I'm sensitive and I really can't stand it when people try to impose their beliefs or opinions on me.
It's called balance.
For those of you not of the roaring persuasion, it can be difficult to spot a Leo. While some of us like to shake our manes, others wear theirs close to their ears.
Here's a quick guide to the characteristics of a Leo (with a little help from our favorite lions of Pride Rock):
1. We like to be at the center of attention.
In the beginning of "The Lion King," Simba sings probably one of the greatest Disney songs known to man: "I Just Can't Wait to Be King."
In the song, he says he can't wait to be the king because he wants to reign over the Pride Lands. He doesn't want to have to follow any rules. Rather, he wants to make them.
He wants to be the main event, have the loudest roar and be the one everyone follows. I mean, he literally screams, “Everywhere you look, I'm standing in the spotlight!”
This is one of the most obvious qualities of a Leo. We like to be in the center of attention and have people give us positive affirmations about our skills, talents and prowess. In essence, we want to have the loudest roar, and have everyone love us for it.
This song also shows how stubborn we can be. Simba doesn't want to listen to anyone, and he doesn't need any advice because he's capable of doing everything himself.
It's also a nod to our boastful pride. We take pride in what we do and who we are. We aren't very shy about screaming it from the rooftops. Confidence is key, and we're not really sorry about it.
2. We're impatient.
Right after this song and dance, Simba and Nala lose Zazu so they can head toward the Elephant Graveyard: a place strictly forbidden by Mufasa. Since Simba already has a problem with following orders, he decides it's the place he needs to visit. So, he heads right into disaster, and Mufasa has to save them from the hyenas.
Seriously, how many different ways do we need to discuss how stubborn Leos are? We can sometimes be impatient. We don't want to wait until we're ready/older/etc in order to do something.
We don't want to wait. Even if it's probably not the smartest decision, we're going to do it. No one can tell us not to.
Is it a great quality? Probably not.
But we learn from our mistakes and pretend we'll be more patient next time. But you know we won't be.
Remember the stubbornness?
3. We have a strong desire for power.
Scar has always longed to take Mufasa's place as the king of Pride Rock. He's resented Mufasa, essentially because Mufasa was born first and was therefore the rightful ruler of the lands.
He finally hatches the perfect plan, knowing that Mufasa would do anything to protect his son. He sends Simba into the valley, where a stampede he created would kill both Simba and Mufasa.
Simba survives, but Scar refuses to help his brother and kills him, thus creating one of the most brutal death scenes in all of Disney history.
This scene displays so many qualities Leos have. We have this desire to be number one, as well as a total thirst for power. We want to be the best at what we do, and we'll go to ridiculous measures to accomplish this.
I mean, probably not murder. But we also don't live in the animal kingdom. So, there's that.
As you can see, Simba didn't even question where he was going. Leos have a sense for adventure... as does Simba.
He wanted to do whatever he could to impress everyone and have the loudest roar. Once the stampede starts and Mufasa is alerted about Simba being in danger, he races toward the fray without even thinking.
As Leos, we are very protective about the ones we love. We want to protect them from any and all harm, no matter what it takes.
It's this fierce protection we pride ourselves on.
4. We are loyal to a fault.
After Simba runs off and befriends Timon and Pumbaa, Nala finds him and begs him to return to the Pride Lands, so that he can save them from the crippling reign of Scar. Simba is torn between his loyalty to his homeland and his loyalty to the friends who took him in when he was down and out.
Leos are nothing if not loyal. As I said earlier, I'm loyal to a fault.
I believe in friendship and staying close to someone for as long as possible. I don't just throw my friends away. I'm loyal to employers as well, and I've always been loyal in my relationships.
We take pride in knowing people can always count on us. That's super important to us, even if it sometimes doesn't benefit us in the right way.
5. We love fiercely.
When Nala comes back as a true lioness and reunites with Simba, the two of them realize that maybe their fated love story wasn't such a bad idea after all. Nala convinces Simba to return to Pride Rock, and it's through the love of his people that he rids the lands of Scar. Nala and Simba soon marry, and give the kingdom another heir.
Leos love deeply and fiercely. Mufasa shows us how much he loves his family and his domain up until the very moment Scar lets him fall into the stampede. Simba loves his friends, his family, Nala and his father's legacy.
We Leos will do anything for the ones we love.
There are many parallels between our favorite lions and the star sign I hold so close. We are strong and we are fierce. But we are also sometimes blind to our faults.
We're confident and honest, but also stubborn and impatient. We will always be a sign of extremes, and we're okay with that.
So, to all of my Leos out there, happy birthday! I hope your roar is as loud as ever. Please take pride in the spectacular person you are.