Turns out that being sent on an out-of-office errand was just what the doctor ordered. Something about the cold air and the weird thrill of not being at my stupid cubicle for a while. Sitting in the warranty center reading my newspaper, falling asleep sitting up. Nightmares kept me up. Anxieties.
They wipe my boss's device and replace it with a new one. In and out. Easy as pie.
I like when things work. My morning began with my stomach on the fritz and then two different "sick passengers" halting both of my trains this morning, creating a stilted hour-plus commute underground. I'm hauling my guitar and my pool cue because it's my birthday and I always rehearse on my birthday.
For those of you who are unaware, pretty much all "sick passengers" are malnourished people (mostly women) who pass out in the morning. It's rarely a heart attack or something that gums up your commute; it's fashion victims.
So I'm walking around feeling sorry for myself and the walk to the service center was horrible and depressing but, for some reason, the walk back took a turn. Maybe the sight of all the landmarks (the great library! Grand Central! the Chrysler Building!) but I got a kick in the pants right when I needed it.
OK. I'm thirty. And I'm bummed that things haven't gone as planned and I'm not, say, living off the fat of some benefactor or touring with my marvelous new performance piece or innovative rock band. The press clippings have trickled to next-to-nothing. Fine.
My twenties were a mixed bag of great achievements and triumphs and a lot of personal lows. And, yeah, the opposite. I've been all over the map. And I realize that I'm just getting started.
I wish I didn't have to work a day job, but I'm lucky to have the one I do. It pays decent enough and has great benefits, and it doesn't tax me in any significant way physically or emotionally. It puts food on the table and pays for our spontaneous acts of fun and enjoyment. So its not all bad. I can't imagine continuing in the pharmaceutical industry for very much longer, but I'm sure am dithering around on my blog instead of yelling into a phone, and that's something to be grateful for.
And it's not like I'm just sitting around. I'm working up a new band. We booked our first gig, and we're figuring out when we're gonna record our first EP. I'm directing a show and I'm doing a damned good job. I've never been happier in my marriage, and all of our newfound accouterments offer creature comforts I never thought possible or necessary. But they are. Having a new couch and a computer feels good. Feels adult, together.
I've found it rather fitting that the US mourned the 4000th American casualty in Iraq on my 30th birthday. Both are just numbers. Big round numbers so we can all stand and stare, but 29 is no different from 30, really, and I had no problem with being 29. And I probably won't have any problem with turning 31. What is it with our feeble minds and round numbers? 3997 deaths in Iraq is horrible. What's four more, and why is it significant?
I guess its significant in the way anything is significant: human invention. Thirty is weird because we've made thirty weird. And I don't know how I'd feel about thirty if it weren't for the whole career thing. I'm perfectly happy with the rest of my life. I love my wife and I feel lucky to have her. I love my apartment and my neighborhood and my cats and my family and my friends (even if I wish I saw them more). And, most importantly, I love myself. Hell, I adore myself. I think I've really got it going on.
At thirty I'm reflecting not so much on my life but on my life's output. I'm reflecting on what I've brought into this world because I'm perfectly happy with who I am and what it means to be myself. I've carved out a pretty wonderful little life and I'm having a lot of fun living it. I will look back on this as a time without regrets.
The frustrations come from things outside of my control; mainly money and success. I've always had financial problems and I've never been able to really take care of money issues in any meaningful way. It eludes me. I'm too spontaneous. I can't stick to a budget. I'm a bad kid. Luckily, I have a wife who is understanding about such things, and perfectly happy to eat tuna sandwiches and stay in on Saturday when we blow all our money on Friday night. We make a great pair that way.
I guess I'm just coming to grips with the fact that I'm probably not gonna do anything artistic for a living, and after starting out with such promise it's a great disappointment. But there's not much I can do about it but keep chugging. Make that album, direct that play. Once I'm done with this show I'm going to get back to writing. I need to finish a play soon, and then I need to submit it everywhere. I need to keep writing and getting produced. I need to act every once in a while. I just need to keep doing what I love doing.
And, for the most part, I am. And it feels good. Even as I whispered to her last night, "I'm glad you think I'm special, even when I know I'm not." And she kissed me and told that of course I was special, and my honeypot was overflowing with honey. So I'm looking forward to this and I'm looking forward to making more magic in the home studio and I'm looking forward to going home to my clean house and all the animals and the sound of the TV in the background and the buzzing in my ears from another great rehearsal. I'm still quote Jay, two albums too old, but it fits like a glove. This is the life I chose, or rather the life that chose me.
Anyway, thanks Michael.