Thursday was my thirtieth birthday.
I like a birthday, it’s the only day of the year I feel unashamed of unabashedly seeking attention, of feeding my desire to be (temporarily) the center of attention.
Following every birthday, however, is the massive sucking depression, the big let down that follows every holiday, that unavoidable expectation of unending joy that turns out to be, as all things are, finite, and the despair at the intrusion of reality into fantasy.
However, I can mope on my own time and depression doesn’t sell (unless you’re a trite YA author. Those bastards make bank). So, instead of whining, I’ve decided to write a list of thirty things better about my thirtieth year than those preceding.
They’re in no particular order, save that of when they come to me.
1> I wrote a god damned book. Never before could I claim that, I’ve always had to demur and change the conversation’s focus to the myriad of short fictions I’ve written, but now, rather than three or four near novel length piles of words, I have an actual rough draft, stem to stern, balls to bone book.
2> I’ve lost eight pounds since 29. Given the season and its penchant for pushing candy and gluttony, and my lackluster gym attendance, the loss is a welcome surprise.
3> I have a functioning plant business that has earned me literally tens of dollars!
4> This time last year I was a recent college un-dropout (or maybe re-attender, a having quit quitter?) This year I’m a college graduate, having finished magna cum laude, on my way to an exciting graduate program in who knows what.
This is the first time in the twelve years since I was graduated from high school I didn’t have the burden of undergraduate incompletion staring me in the ego.
5> I taught myself to drive stick, and find I prefer it, now begrudgingly joining the ranks of yet another antiquarian set with another esoteric skill. When I can afford a sports car, though, I’ll be set.
6> My kung fu is getting quite strong. I forget this while working with the senior students of my school, but find myself casually swatting away strikes thrown from most others. Or not bothering. Mary says that punching me hurts her hands.
7> My city, Harrisburg, is more interesting than I’ve ever found it to be before. It has shops, restaurants, and a new vitality that makes living here not half bad. It’s the only place I know of that has a monthly, juried craft market.
8> Belatedly, I have become more a part of Harrisburg. I’ve begun to recognize my neighbors and they me. Soon I’ll have to give up my days spent under the various bridges, eating un-wily billy goats.
9> I’ve finally managed to clean the house well enough to have people over. We’ve held over two dinner parties this year (three)!
10> I’ve met my submissions quota for the year and am on my way to the next one. I may be able to brute force my way past the ivory gates of publishdom!
11> Despite my frequent complaints regarding the acid crystals wont to form in my blood, and the declarations by doctors of the impossibility of one doing so, I’ve managed to control the worst of my gout through diet.
12> I have more houseplants than ever before, at this rate the air inside might become so healthy and oxygenated that I’ll have to start marketing it. That or I’ll just avoid any chance of seasonal affective disorder.
-While this entry is mostly in jest, we’ve just had an air quality alert for the region, something by which I was unaffected until today when I spent more time out of doors. I really think the plants do an amazing job of cleaning up my indoor air.-
13> My jewelry’s made it into a museum, albeit in the gift shop, but even so, I think that accomplishment returns me to professional artist status, and locally so at that.
14> Derpy the cat has ceased to be a complete shit and is now quite an affectionate companion. Perhaps by this time next half decade he’ll be full on friendly.
15> Despite my loathing of, and problems with, twitter, I’m doing quite well with instagram. Finally, one of my interests coincides with the global zeitgeist. Next thing you know everyone will be wearing beards– err… well shit.
That’s it for the first fifteen. If you’re even half as exhausted reading this as I am writing it, you’ll understand my dissection of the post. I think we all need a break.
Thanks to all of you, my friendly readers, for making the difference between the post 28th and post 29th so grand, and for your continued interest.