Photo: Looking north from my favorite perch next to the Old North Bridge. Beautiful, no? Peaceful, yes? Yeah. That and more. And that’s why I got no work done this morning while I was sitting there. This is no longer the place where I can go on baby-free mornings.
“You know I’m going to give you a lot of shit about being old tomorrow, right?”
“You know that I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to give you shit about this, right?”
“I mean, yeah. But you’re still over a year older than I am, so I still have ammunition.”
“That’s true. All the same. I’ve giving you shit tomorrow. You’ve been calling me old for a really long time.”
This from the man I got up this morning and baked muffins for! Muffins! You can’t be mean to the woman who bakes you muffins every Friday. Can you? Can you?
I’m turning 30 tomorrow. I’ve written this post five different ways for the last hour, but the bottom line is that I’m turning 30 tomorrow and there is really nothing profound about it. Barring something catastrophic, I’ll be the same woman on the same journey tomorrow that I am today. No new rights and privileges will be bestowed upon me, no trust fund opening up with mad dolla bills for me to spend… the debt doesn’t go away, the ambition, the drive, the stress… I just spent the last hour trying to convince you and myself that I’m gonna spend the next 10 years trying to spend more time being quiet and content. To relish the moments of silence and thoughtful reflection and in so doing, derive some sort of satisfaction and self-actualization.
But it’s bullshit. That’s total bullshit. Ambition is my middle name and my hyphened last name is Driven-Impatient-Insatiable. Good qualities? Bad qualities? All that and then some? Probably…
30 really means that I have a shortened time-table to start doing the things I really want to do with any sort of seriousness. This writing thing? I have got to figure out what I’m doing with it now. Yesterday. I see 30 tomorrow and I think, holy shit, I’m so behind!
So bump all the quiet. I’m turning 30 tomorrow and all I can think is, “I really gotta bring the noise!” I’ve gotta get out of bed and keep it moving. I’ve gotta stay focused. I’ve gotta keep learning. I’ve got to learn to hustle better because, right now, I’m losing time.
So there. I said it. No wisdom. No soothing words. This is me screaming: Holy shit, I’m turning 30 tomorrow!
I know that this post is going to come off as a bit ungrateful: I understand that I’m walking out of my 20s way better than how I walked into them. Not all of my friends can say that. The 20s were good to me. But I know that there were parts of my 20s that I could have done better. There were some decisions along the way that I regret, and opportunities that I didn’t take that I’ll never have again. I don’t know what will be presented to me in my 30s–I don’t believe that I have any control over what will happen on the journey as I go–I would, though, like to leave my 30s with the same satisfying exhaustion that I feel right now. On this, the last day of my 20s, I’m exhausted. I did a lot. I feel accomplished. But I feel the sting of the stuff that I left undone, and I don’t want that to happen again.
I’ll bet that some of ya’ll older folk are probably snickering at me. Maybe all 20-somethings rage against the machine. Maybe the 20s aren’t designed to go quietly into that good night. I really thought that I was going to. I wrote 700 words of a “quiet” first draft to this post when I got home from the Old North Bridge this morning. In the still and the quiet, staring at the blue sky and the oranges and the reds of the trees, my brain told me that I should concentrate on the still… the quiet… the peace of the world… and bring more of that into my head. Take more of the peace with me…
And you know what?
I got nothing done this morning.
2 hours of my life in the sunshine with my notebooks in my hands and I wrote 3 sentences.
And I’m pissed at myself.
Should have brought the noise this morning.
I am not meeting my publishing goal tomorrow. I’m writing a story that’s too good to rush. I told my friend this week that I’m a little depressed that I didn’t accomplish my goals. I have a thing about deadlines, I said. I don’t like failure, I said.
No, no. I’m pissed today. Not only did I not meet my goal, I let my failure slow me down and block me for two weeks. Worse, I didn’t set a new goal so I could figure out a new pace and get this thing done. I’ve been sleeping in instead of writing, playing with my sewing machine instead of writing, baking instead of writing.
If I want to make this a thing. A real thing. If I want to be a writer, who writes books and articles and stuff, not just as a hobby, but as a way to contribute to my family, I need to bring the noise and stop sleeping. (And probably stop using commas and learn how to use semi-colons.)
I’m running out of time. 30 means that I’m running out of time. 30 means that I have all of the ambition and the drive and the energy and less of the time.
I’m sure that this is terribly foolish, but I’m not in the business of lying on this blog. This is my headspace today and, from time to time, I know that I’m a great fool. Let me have one more foolish day as the sun sets on my 20s and a new dawn of aged-wisdom begins tomorrow.
Let’s not lie. I’ll be a fool tomorrow, too. 🙂 That’s my Quiet Thought today: Kyra, you are today and you will be tomorrow, a dang fool.
Not only do I have wishes on this colorful and warm New England Friday, I have birthday wishes. First, I wish you a cup of warmed apple cider or hard apple cider if you prefer. Cinnamon optional, though a little is always good. I wish you a beautiful and quiet place, where the sun is warm enough to make you want to stay longer than you should and the breeze moves through playfully vibrant leaves. I wish you a thought, complex and brilliant, that keeps you occupied for hours and lost in possibilities. I wish you a productive time, too, where the time flies quickly and you walk away feeling accomplished. I wish you a moment of kindness–given or received. I wish you a moment of honesty, where you look yourself in the mirror and see yourself fully. I hope when you do, you see someone powerful, wonderful and beautiful. I wish you the opportunity to tell someone that you love them, however you choose to do so, and I hope that they tell you they love you in return. And I wish you time, used wisely, with no regrets (or foolishness).
See you Monday, hopefully with pretty pictures from Mount Washington. Until then, take care.