I turned 30 last week.
I originally thought about posting that traditional post about all the things I’ve learned, or thirty things about something something something. In my experience that’s generally how the blogosphere handles birthdays, with advice and knowledge and wisdom. I’ve certainly made those types of posts before.
But this year, even though thirty is a big deal milestone type year (only because it’s a new decade, really. a new beginning to the overall number) I don’t feel like making a list of things I already know/ knew but needed to personally learn. I don’t feel like writing out the things I’ve posted about before, or forcing insightfulness where it’s not necessary. Nope.
Instead I want to tell you about time.
We view time as linear, it moves in a straight line further and further away from our start, someone’s start, The Start. We talk to ourselves about how time goes by so fast, and it’s already the next season, and what happened to age 29? But what if time doesn’t work like what? What if time slows down when we do things intentionally and pay attention? What if time becomes more valuable because of the way we live our lives?
So THIRTY is going to be about intention.
My time off is weird because I often don’t have weekends off like I used to, which are the days that everyone else has off. So often I’m off during the week and I’m not sure how I want to spend my time (though I know how I should be spending it). I recently texted a friend telling her that I wanted to be productive that day, and she asked me what I was hoping to accomplished. For some reason I hadn’t put the two together, as if in order to be productive I have to have a goal in mind. I’ve been spending a lot of time feeling a bit suspended and lost. I think it’s because either I’ve let my goals slide away (Ahem, like NaNoWriMo) or I just failed to make them.
I’m busy wandering, unsure of what to do with myself, even though there are things to be done. I forget who I am or who I want to be and fail to do the things to make me That Person. I don’t do yoga or dance or write or simplify/ declutter or try cooking a recipe or anything. I just don’t.
And so time, no matter if it’s moving forward or in circles, is just slipping away.
And suddenly I’m thirty. And I feel like I should have just turned twenty-five. I’m not sure where the years went, but there wasn’t much intention in them. I didn’t save the money I wanted to save, exercise the way I wanted to exercise or figure out how to eat in a way that works for me.
I just didn’t do these things.
And if you keep not doing the things that resonate with you, even if they’re hard, even if you have to force yourself to do them, even if they make you cry, then you’re not living with intention. You’re just surviving, drifting and suddenly the years are gone.
And that, my dears, is time. And how I feel in the beginning of my thirties. I hope that next year when I turn thirty-one I’ll feel a bit better about all this. We shall see.
Where do we go from here?
Where is here, anyway? Where are we? And what are we doing? It’s 8:30 on a Friday night and I’m watching Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix (Even though I own all seven seasons). I’m in a constant mind battle with myself. Do more. Be more. IMPRESS YOURSELF. etc. etc.
Let’s back up a little bit.
Toward the end of September I quit my full time bank job. I left behind benefits, an okay salary (not okay enough to afford to live on my own but getting there), a supervisor position and almost six years worth of experience as a teller. I’d like to say that I quit to become a full time writer, to support myself solely online (from how often I update this blog you can tell that’s not it) or become an entrepreneur. I’d like to say I quit so I could work full time in a library in a position of my dreams, as that’s what I’m working on a degree for.
I quit for freedom and time. I left structure so I could have a little instability. I needed flexility and a few seconds to become myself. I left to work as a barista. I left for less pay and less hours. Benefits are coming, sometime in the future, fortunately. I left in hopes of finding something library-like to supplement. Internships are impossible to find. Job postings are mostly for positions that are hours away, or way out of my experience range.
So now what?
I keep on working at it. I’m happy I left. I feel like I’ve found people I can relate to. I have access to too much coffee and lots of sugary syrups to flavor those drinks. And espresso.
My car always smells like coffee, and I like that.
Then I dated a guy for a month until he went to California to visit his brother and decided to stay there. (And to tell me on my birthday).
And now I’m here trying to remind myself to write, to breathe and to be. I’m trying to remind myself to take advantage of the extra time that I find myself. I’m trying to stop myself from spending a lot of money on food, from eating things that make me feel sick. I’m trying to. I don’t know. But at least I’m trying, right?
I want to feel reconnected to something. I miss dancing. I miss devouring books. I miss reaching out and reaching back and high fives and following dreams. I miss something.
And I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.
“I’m just a girl who likes coffee shops, books and the ocean.”
That should be my entire online dating profile.
I have the NaNo guilt. I have the I-should-be-writing-but-I-can’t-do-I-want-to-keep-doing-this-I’m-so-tired-so-many-stories-too-far-behind guilt. The kind that brings you back to a blog you’ve neglected, convinces you to buy Christmas scented candles from Bath and Body Works and makes sure you buy ridiculous side project music about romancing with robots and digging to China (Zac Hanson have I ever told you that you’re my favorite?).
So this year I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. I decide to participate almost every year. If you aren’t sure what NaNoWriMo (Nano for short) is, you may not know enough writers. Or you’re living under a rock (or you’re normal). Anyway, NaNoWriMo stands for: National Novel Writing Month, aka the month of November. Thousands of writers all over the world come together online and try to write 50,000+ words of a novel in the month. It’s doable, if you’re crazy. I’ve done it before.
Last year I wrote about 25,000 words of nonsense while trying to find a story that needed to be heavily revamped before I could add more words. I started a new story. Then I tried to write the story of my life. All while dating a guy I was infatuated with and working full time. It didn’t pan out. Let’s also remember that my birthday is in November, and so is Thanksgiving. Oh yeah. And Library School, the never ending masters program that eats up my will do to things that aren’t sitting on the couch/ laying down/ watching YouTube videos and Gilmore Girls.
This year I’m dating someone, working part time and still in the never ending Library School circle of homework, message board posts and trying to get the most out of experiences.
And yet. Maybe this is all too much.
Or maybe I’m not pushing myself enough.
I can’t be sure. All I know is that it’s driving me to blog. So that’s something?