I mentioned on my first blog post that I wanted to start this blog months ago. I had started writing, but I hadn’t set up any way of getting it out to the world. Here is a piece I wrote on the last day I was 29 years old. Warning: there are a lot of F words.
Sometimes, everything sucks. This is me talking about that.
I’m going to be honest, and you may not like it. I’m pretty okay with that. But then again, maybe you will like it, or love it, or really relate to it. That would be awesome (well, maybe not awesome. I’m going to be talking about some pretty unhappy shit. If you relate to it, well, that will suck. But it will be good to know that you’re not alone, and I’m not alone. That’s awesome).
Tomorrow I turn thirty. That means, today is the last day I am in my twenties. That’s pretty significant, in a lot of ways, for a lot of people. It’s sad. It’s a loss. It means you’re old. For them. Not for me. I’m fucking stoked.
Well, I’m just okay. I’m rarely stoked. Unless there’s a new dinosaur movie, or if they ever decide to make Rise of the Guardians II: Grrrl Guardians, that’s when I get stoked. For thirty, I’m okay.
I remember a few years ago thinking that getting old means getting more of your shit together. I thought, “I’ll have more stuff figured out.” That’s what I wanted: stuff figured out. I’m a smart person. I got degrees. I’ve accomplished shit, academically. But I didn’t feel like I had my shit together (and I still kinda don’t). I worried about traffic routes and traffic. I stressed over getting to places, and then stressed over what to do once I got there. I did well with minor things. I had a job (a kickass job at a bookstore), and I did that shit well. But with other things, life things, paying your bills, and cleaning, and getting out of bed in the morning, I was a fucking mess.
As a kid, I felt like an idiot. Life was confusing. I’m not going to get into it now (maybe/probably one day), but I grew up with a man (my lovely dad) who was bipolar, borderline schizophrenic, who had obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and who was undiagnosed and un-medicated my entire childhood. He finally went in to talk to someone when I was 18 years old (and yes, I judgmentally said finally. He was, and is, a father. As an adult who has children who depend on you and need you to have your shit together, you really do NEED to get your brain fucking balanced. Please.), which means that he was not medicated, not balanced, and not fucking okay my entire fucking childhood (side note: I really don’t want kids, and I’m kinda starting to think that this is where that started). After he figured his shit out, I moved out of my parents’ house and officially became an adult (sort of).
As a result of an unbalanced dad (and probably a whole hell of a lot more), childhood was pretty fucking scary. It was confusing, and frustrating, and not something that I would ever want to relive. So, by default, my adulthood has been better (heads up, it’s still fucking scary, and confusing, and frustrating, and weird, and difficult, and shitty at times. Most people’s adulthood is that way. I’m working on dealing). But, as a result of a shitty childhood and a pretty abrupt entry into adulthood, I haven’t stressed out on aging. I think it’s pretty cool. I like to get older. Maybe one day that’ll change. I hear that when a woman gets to a certain age, like 40 or so, she becomes pretty invisible to the rest of the world. As an introvert who doesn’t like people or attention, I feel like that might be really fucking nice. But, time will tell.
For now, right now, I’m 29 years old (which sounds so different from 30, but visually, on my screen, is pretty much the same). For now, today, I keep thinking, “Am I where I thought I’d be by 30?” For the most part, yeah. I’ve managed to get a job. That’s awesome (in theory. In practice, it kinda sucks). It means I have a steady income, which is fucking fantastic. It’s a job in non-profit, which is awesome (in theory. There are better ones out there that are more life-affirming and rewarding and don’t make you hate your life).
I’ve managed to figure out how to stay pretty healthy. I eat my vegetables. Just now, I paused writing to make breakfast. I made a smoothie with kale in it. Fucking kale. I’m crushing it at eating my veggies. Also, I’m vegan, but that doesn’t make me healthier by default, but it was something that I wanted for a long while. Then, one day, I did it. I’ve worked on being healthy. It took me years to sort out. I grew up eating frozen burritos and fast food. Now I eat fresh burritos and fucking kale in the morning! I used to think splenda was good for you and drink diet soda all the fucking time (and other horrible shit that I’ve choose to ignore). Now I drink water!
I’ve managed to figure out how to have pretty clear skin. This used to drive me nuts! I’d read all these things about eating clean and detoxing and how the junk I put in by body is clogging my pores. Okay, I just admitted that I ate garbage food and drank shitty, artificially sweetened soda, but I stopped that shit a long time ago. I eat kale now, and I still have breakouts. I’ve learned that there are things I can do to clear my skin and that sometimes, so what, I breakout. I’m human. I’ve accepted it.
I also run. I love to run. When I was in high school (chubby evie with her awkward everything), I wanted to be a runner. I figured it out as an adult. It took me years to figure out what it meant to be a runner. It was intimidating as hell. I thought, as a runner, you had to be fast or be able to run for a really long time or be able to run nonstop. Now I know that running means you run. You, sometimes, whenever you feel like it, get up and run. It can be outdoors. It can be around a track. It can be on a treadmill. It can be daily. You can take weeks or months off and still start up again and be a runner. Now, I sometimes wake up and go for a quick two or three mile run before work (damn, that sounds like I’m hella crushing it!)
Also, I’m in an awesome relationship. I’ve been with John for nearly TWELVE years you guys. That’s nuts to me. Mostly because it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, and mostly because it’s so awesome. I didn’t realize that relationships can last this long and still be pretty great (now, I’m being pretty sappy here, but just give me this one). I also have one awesome cat who bit-kisses you, and one awesome dog who loves everything and everyone. I have a pretty great relationship with my parents. My sister is my best friend. I’m pretty close with my brothers. I have 5 nieces and 5 nephews. I love them and look forward to them growing up and being awesome human beings.
Okay, so these are all the things that I’m doing fairly well with. But there’s a fuck load where I’m crashing. I have anxiety. Most days I feel like I can’t breathe. Yesterday, I tried to think of a good way to explain this feeling. While it feels like I can’t breathe, I am breathing and pretty much getting enough oxygen to keep myself alive. But it FEELS like I can’t breathe. It feels like I take in air for two seconds, pause, and then exhale. Try to do that. Breathe in for two seconds. Pause. Then exhale. Keep doing that for like, a minute. That’s the way I feel for hours at a time. I practiced this yesterday. It was a rare day that I was feeling good and could breathe. I wanted to make sure I had an accurate description of this feeling (just in case I ever try to explain it to some professional type person who can, maybe help me feel better). I did this breathing for about three seconds and had to stop because I felt like I was going to induce a panic attach (which I get from time to time). It gave me anxiety for the next few hours. Fuck.
Speaking of anxiety, I get panic attacks. I had one the other day at the idea of going to my partner’s pod cast’s one-year anniversary. It was at an awesome brewery in Rancho Cucamonga. The people there are super nice. They make great beer. I like nice people and great beer. But the last time I was at this brewery I experienced such anxiety that I had to leave, quick. It was crowded. Not good. It was loud. Not good. And there were people playing games, specifically cards and Jenga. For some reason, the card-playing people kept tapping their cards against the table. It was part of the game, but it made my bones ache. And then, like it does, the Jenga game would fall over and crash to the table. I felt a jolt of panic in my body every time it happened. And, apparently those people were fucking terrible at the god damn game because it happened, like, three times in the roughly ten minutes we were there. What the fuck people? Get better at playing Jenga!
All of this combined resulted in us (my partner and me) leaving and getting into a fight. He didn’t know what my problem was. I thought he was being insensitive because clearly that place was a fucking war zone, and I was going to die! But I didn’t communicate that to him AT ALL. We just left. We fought most of the way home, and then I broke down crying in his arms once there. Then, weeks later, at the idea of going back there, I broke down again. I started crying at the thought of being back in that environment with potentially more people. I had been frustrated all day. I don’t remember what, but I’m pretty sure it was anxiety building up in my body over the whole anniversary party. I told him that I was having anxiety about going. He, like the wonderful human being that he is, told me that I don’t have to go. I thought that I would. I figured I could at least stop by, stay as long as I was comfortable, and then leave when I needed to, but later, at the thought of leaving the house, I just couldn’t go. Instead, I stayed home, watched the entire 7th season of Parks and Recreation, had a fucking blast doing that, and then felt guilt later for not going. Fuck.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still don’t have everything figured out. Yeah, I eat kale for breakfast (some days). I run. I brush and floss and adult well most days. But I still have some shit to figure out. I’m pretty confident I will. Maybe by 40 I’ll be a balanced, fully functional human being.