Birthday Post: Twenty-Five!
It’s my birthday tomorrow! Granted, this does happen every year. But tomorrow is rather a milestone. I’m turning twenty-five, you see.
It feels like a big number.
I’m sure I’ll look back on that sentence in ten years and laugh.
Regardless, the idea of twenty-five seems to be settling quite well. It feels like I am exactly where I’m meant to be at this point in time. And a slow realization has been dawning on me…
I’m really, overall, very happy.
There was a time that I didn’t think that would be possible. Frankly, there was a time when I thought I’d be lucky to make it to twenty-five. That period leaves an overwhelming impression of greyness and cold. I was living by my fingernails, and I would’ve been miserable, but everything inside was too frozen for that.
Going into this twenty-fifth year, it’s green-gold and light, all the way through. Honestly, when I think about how happiness looks to me, it’s the same image over and over: those golden summer mornings at the village, early, before the public arrives. When the day’s heat is banked and the air’s shimmering and full of dew, and the dust lies quiet on the road.
Of course, there have been bumps in between Then and Now. There was also an impressive derailment. But overall…
I’ve worked really, really hard to create a life that makes me happy. I’ve learned stuff, too.
It is always, always better to talk things out.
Unexpressed emotions fester. They turn septic, poisoning you from the inside out. It is always better to get them out in the open.
I can’t drink beer and be productive on the same night.
Not at 20, definitely not at 25.
The prevailing narrative isn’t the only valid one.
Grow up, meet significant other, marry, buy house, have 2.1 children, work, retire, etc.
This is the narrative we all receive as children. It’s a fine narrative; there’s nothing wrong with it at all. But it isn’t the only one. Over the last year especially, I’ve learned that my life narrative is NOT going to look like this. And at first, that was really hard to accept—because damn, isn’t something wrong, if you stray from the Approved Story?
But you get to write your story. You can change the ending. Throw in a plot twist. Whatever narrative you end up living is no less valid than the one with the most cultural currency.
The arts really is a matter of taste.
I recently read an award-winning story (from a few years back), and said, “Eh.” Nothing wrong with it. Just not for me. And then I realized, OMG this is what editors do too!!!
See also: my experiences with modern art.
Success is a numbers game.
If you are lucky, talented, and persistent, you will eventually make it.
I’m talented. My Canadian soul quakes to say it, but it’s disingenuous not to. I’m lucky.
The minimum amount of sleep I need to be reasonably functional is 4 hours.
This has been extensively tested. 3 hours is not pretty.
There’s always a line in the sand.
Whenever I go into tailspins, there’s always some line in the sand—something that I am not willing to lose—that pulls me upright again. It’s an impetus to start clawing my way back to the light.
Everyone has their price. It’s a matter of sorting it out, before it’s too late.
My family/friendships are my centre.
I like Being Alone. I like staying up until 4:00 am writing. I like bopping around museums and galleries by myself. I like having my art play a prominent role in my life.
But without you—you, my families; you, my friends; you, my Tribe—there’s nothing.
So that’s twenty-five years. They’ve been good ones, on the whole, made much better by a whole host of wonderful people.
Here’s to a whole bunch more!
What I’m Listening To This Week
More Hamilton, #sorrynotsorry. The musical just works for me, okay? It’s incredibly well-crafted, and the music does hugely interesting things. That’s why I have to keep listening – because you can’t quite get it all, the first time around.
So: the Reynolds Pamphlet. My inner history geek loves this because they quote the actual primary source document. My ear loves the deep-voiced, “Daaaaaamn.” My plotting self loves that this is the moment at which Hamilton’s world crumbles – plotwise, this is pivotal. And my character loving self adores Angelica’s rage and Jefferson’s unrestrained glee.
Quite a lot, for a two-minute song!