Wednesday, February 07, 2007


My birthday is fast approaching and for the first time in my life I'm not feeling all that excited. In fact, you might even call it cold dread; if you were so dramatically inclined. Twenty-nine isn't a milestone year necessarily but after much thought I've realized that for me, it's a big one. This is the first birthday where I haven't had a world of opportunities facing me in the coming year. Last year I had just started a new job and still didn't know what it would hold. The year before that I was living in Asia and was getting married and going traveling. Before that, just got engaged and in grad school. I could go on and on all the way back to my teen years and every year has offered hope of the unknown. A year of opportunities and excitement and endless possibilities. I never knew for sure where I would be at the same time the following year. This year I think I can guess where I will be on Feb. 15th, 2008. In Calgary, probably living in the same place, maybe working at the same job and Brian will still be in school. I'll still be broke and not much will have changed. Obviously I can't be sure of any of this and things could always happen but I just feel like at this point in my life a lot of the big decisions are made. Marriage, a career, a house, a city. This is my life, my real life.

For so many years I looked forward to when my "real, adult" life started. I imagined what it would be like to own a home and put down roots and drive to the office everyday. At 25 I thought I would have a family by now and I would be at least a part-time writer, writing witty columns in the newspaper or plugging away on another book. I thought I would be shopping at nice stores and not worrying about the bills. It's not that I don't like my life because I do, I've just never had the same life for so long.

I think some of this is coming from the whole diabetes thing which has kind of bitch-slapped me when I least expected it. Just when I thought I was getting things together, something like that comes along and turns it all upside down. When I said I wanted a little more of the unexpected, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

I feel annoyed at myself because I've always loved birthdays and could never understand those people who moped around in stodgy anticipation of the big day. My birthday has always been a cause for celebration, another year behind and a fresh start with a new number attached to my identity. It's just such a cliche to feel the way I do. I hate cliches. (almost as much as I hate computer programs that refuse to automatically add the accent on the "e" in cliche).


Hungry J said...

My buddy Sean called them pinches when he had his "turning 24 (or 25 or something)" crisis. How your life gets pinched into a tighter and tighter funnel.

Of course then you can embrace a higher-dimensional kind of thinking in which all those possibilities are happening (that your 4th dimensional spacetime worm isn't inevitable). Is that helpful?

I can get a super soaker if that'd work better.

linda said...

OK, first of all I love it because you are so witty and I wondered why your post is called "Aigu" and then at the end I find out, and I love that.

Secondly, I hear ya. On so many levels. One of which is that I am tripping out because I for the first time know where I'm going to be a year from now and two years from now, too. (In law school.) I have the benefit, though, of having two gloriously undetermined summers in which I am going to attempt to do very far-flung international human rights work internships. Otherwise, I'd quake in my birthday boots much like you are. Except my birthday's a couple months from now, but you know what I mean.

I so don't know the answer. "Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans" and all that?