Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Slouching toward ...

I guess I'm still thinking about Joan Didion hence the title of this post. This year feels like the most anticlimactic holiday season I've experienced in years and I still have two weeks to go. I'll be boarding a plane headed to Seattle in a few days and for once, I'm rather ambivalent about making the trip. I anticipate rather mediocre holidays mostly because my brother has taken it upon himself to be a sour puss who communicates like a caveman the last few months and because I frankly wish I was going to a new place that is warm, sunny and has a beach. How many more times do I need to experience winter in the Pacific Northwest?!
Okay, the complaining portion of the program is over. I tend to write on this blog when I'm feeling:
A. emotional
B. apirational
C. inspired
Today, I'm not feeling any of those three categories. I feel present. Last night, I shared a few beers with one of my close writer friends and mentioned that I haven't slept well in a long time. I don't know why, I explained, but I think it might have to do with anxiety. About what? he asked. I couldn't come up with an exact answer so I rambled on about my family and then I said, maybe it's the whole turning 30 thing. And he said, You're still dealing with that? As if that was so passé. I tried to explain that the older I get, the more I realize how disappointing life feels, which of course, just sounded like a vague complaint.
During my morning routine today, another answer came to mind about my turning-thirty-conundrum. I think I've reached a point where I know and understand a lot of things much better than in the past and therefore, I have fewer reasons to not be happy or not accomplish my goals. By time you hit thirty, you should be ready to focus. No more of that let me experiment, fuck-around BS attitude from your twenties. Not that I was some sort of slacker during my twenties — I delved into journalism, went to grad school, lived in a lot of different places, traveled abroad a few times. Sure, I did some "exploring" but I never felt like I was stuck or that I couldn't recover from making mistakes and I still don't. What's different is that now I know I don't need to explore as much because I sort of know what behaviors/conditions/choices lead to what outcomes. I'm not pretending to know everything by any means. I just know, for example, that I ever want to lose weight/finish my book/save money, I'm going to have to put in time, effort and patience and that all starts now, not next week or next year and definitely not when I feel "ready." The dress rehearsal's over!
So I guess my anxiety comes from a deep dark place inside of me that's afraid I won't act now and then I might die in some freak accident involving a curling iron and someone will go through my laptop, bank accounts and the room I rent and discover that in thirty years, I could have done so much more or should have focused more on my priorities.
I don't want that to happen, so I have no choice. Time to loose the panoramic view and zoom in.

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