My 22nd birthday was the hardest I’ve ever had to face. I had such hopes, such standards for myself. I had a plan, a very strict one at that, that didn’t account for hiccups, that didn’t take into account how my personality would be an obstacle to my goals. No, my eyes were on the future, of the person I would be by 22.
My birthdays, while enjoyable during the week I celebrate are generally light hearted, the day itself is faced in dread. On more year, one (or more) less thing(s) I’ve done with my life that I’d hoped for.
But that doesn’t stop me from making milestone plans based on age. I’m facing the nearing of the big 3-0. Granted, it’s not a big number, nor is it coming this year. But this year is the year. My final year that I can honestly say I’m in my 20s. There is so much I wanted to accomplish by 30, that the tasks feel near impossible (and realistically are). But does that stop my mind from looking at them, pushing for them to come to be? Of course not (see personality issues previously mentioned). And I know, I know… I have to smell the roses. I have to enjoy the now, I have to take it a day at a time, but (excuse the immaturity) all of that might as well be ‘blah, blah, blah’ to me. I’ve never been carefree. I’ve always been serious, intense. I’ve had a lot of fun, but even during my ‘carefree happy youth’ (and I use that term incredibly loosely), I was intense. It’s just who I am.
I’m one of those people that confuses laziness for relaxation, because I do the former very well and the later terribly.
Which comes back to the reasons I haven’t accomplished a lot of what I’ve set out to do. I read a review of a book in the New Yorker once that described the protagonist as someone who’s ‘aspirations always outweigh his ability’. This single sentence can sum me up. I dream big but do little. It’s yet another flaw.
And so I sit here, 54 weeks and 2 days away from turning 30, thinking about the goals I had by the time I hit the milestone:
– Visit all 50 states
– Move to the east coast
– Take a solo cross country trip
– Finish graduate school / Ph.d program
– Pay off all my debt (i.e. be financially independent and sound)
– Swim with the jellyfish in Palau
– Become fluent in another language
– Have a career
As you can see, there are a couple more traditional items that were never on the list, namely be married and have children. Neither was ever a priority in my life, mostly because after witnessing what love can do to people I’ve known, and what it did to me the first time I was in it, I had no desire to ever experience anything like it again.
And now, well it’s still not a priority (and I’m definitely not having children) but I’m not as revolted by the idea of marriage.
Regardless. I know most of those things won’t happen, but it won’t stop me from making goals for 32 (I don’t know why 32 and not 35, but I like that number better).
And yes, all that blah blah blah smelling roses and playing in open fields of grass (and ticks) has it’s time and place. But there’s so much in life that one can accomplish, I get more satisfaction from the completion of goals than sniffing flowers.
I have allergies, you know.