When I started this blog back in early March, I gave the subtitle of “Panic at 26.” I was in a bad place emotionally, mentally, and physically, and I couldn’t find a light at the end of any tunnel. It was actually less like a tunnel, and more like a giant, vast cave of awful. I made a bunch of posts about how I was feeling, and then I made some grand posts about what I should be doing to fix that. I set goals that were unattainable, and I missed them. I then set goals that were attainable, and I missed them as well. For all of the grand designs I had for my life, just getting out of bed most days was an impressive step.
Today, I turn 27. Like every birthday, I expect to wake up and emerge from whatever cocoon I was in beforehand, turning into some reasonable facsimile of adulthood. And like every birthday, I’m the same person, with the same flaws, goals, and abilities as the person from the year (or night) before.
The only change is that this year, I’m more OK with that.
The idea of this blog hasn’t changed, and neither have my feelings behind it. I’m still having my own brand of quarter-life crisis; I look at what I have in front of me and what I have behind me, and try to squeeze it all into a mold that is supposed to resemble a coherent life experience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I didn’t go to four years of school to train to do the one thing I’d be doing for the rest of my life the moment I graduated. I’ve had some great experiences, some crappy experiences, some good times, some bad times, and everything else, and even though it doesn’t make one coherent narrative, that isn’t a bad thing.
Going forward, I have a lot of the same goals that I did when I started this whole process – be healthier, meditate more, write more, spend less time screwing around, and spend more time on the things that are important in my life. I think that list is something that many other people who read this can understand, and we all deal with it in different ways. Some of us bottle it up, some go crazy trying to fix it all, and other complain about it semi-weekly in an online forum and force their friends to read it.
Thanks for being such good sports.
I’ve made progress on a lot of things; this isn’t one of those years where you can look back and go, “Wow, I’m in a worse spot now than I was a year ago.” I finished my Master’s degree. I’ve started on my PhD. I’m getting help for whatever crazy the chemicals in my head create. I’m (sort of) riding a bike. I’m taking more time to read and spending more quality time with my beautiful wife.
I can honestly say I’m in a better place right now than I was a year ago.
I’m not going to sit here and say that this is the new beginning to anything. I’m not going to post a giant list of resolutions that will never resolve, and I’m not going to wring my hands and wonder about what I’ll start doing tomorrow that will change the rest of my life. I’m simply going to keep doing what I’m doing, write a little more, read a little more, bike a little more, and keep upping the progress I’m making right now. All of those grand “TODAY THINGS CHANGE” moments never seem to work anyways.
Happy birthday to me, then. I’ve got about 8 hours of 27 under my belt, and so far, so good. I’ll post this, clean the apartment a bit, and then start to figure out what I want to tackle tomorrow. No countdown until 28, no 366 days until my next birthday. Tomorrow’s just another day, same as today, where I’ll try to make my life a little better.
Thanks for everyone that’s read so far, and thanks for all the birthday wishes. It’s great to know that I’ve got support out there, and it makes this whole “life” thing just a little easier to get through.