7.08.2009

Still Alive at 35; 18-Year-Old Self Rues the Day

From what I can remember, I was supposed to be dead by 35. Since I was 18, I don’t know, 21 maybe? I was supposed to be dead by now. I swore by this. I would not live to see this day.

Not entirely sure how this was going to happen. At 18, I’m guessing I was probably attributing it to drugs. At 21, who knows? Cancer, maybe. Car wreck. Suicide. Murder. You name it.

And it’s funny thinking back because I never had a life so out of control, but I guess I really wanted one. Like, fucked up beyond repair, and thus…dead.

But here I am today, very much a 35 year old, and very much alive, unless I choke on that next baby carrot.

I did not choke, but there’s six more to go.

It’s strange how I’ve hung on to the fears of my youth. At 18, or 21, I did not want to see my 35th year for reasons I can’t really explain, don’t even remember now. I think I wanted to have so much accomplished before 35 that I wouldn’t have any other reason to hang around, grow old, be a burden to my sister, her husband, my niece or nephew. And by “accomplished,” I don’t know what I meant, but I think I meant published novel, published novel, published novel. I think I mean notoriety. I think I mean living in Europe near a hillside, with beaten-down old shoes, a small vegetable garden, dog hair everywhere, and someone who loves me.

It’s funny, because I have almost all these things, minus Europe, the hillside, and the garden.

I don’t have the published novel. I have the novel, though. I also have the next four years to get to the published part. I had wanted this accomplishment before I was 30, but my college friend was right when she told a mutual acquaintance that this was a goal difficult to achieve. So then I moved it to 35. Now, today, it moves to 40.

Other things to accomplish in my 35th year:

1. Learn peace and forgiveness.
2. Try extroversion, then recoil nightly into comfortable, natural-born, dark state of the opposite.
3. Get fighter’s body without the busted up face.
4. EAT ALL FUTURE QDOBA VEGETARIAN BURRITOS WITOUT THE TORTILLA, FOR FUCK’S SAKE, AND SAVE 350 CALORIES. They’re good and all, but not 900 calories good!
5. Buy a Kia Soul like the hamsters, or something comparable.
6. Run a race of any length.
7. Rid house of all things unnecessary.
8. Hug the dogs more.
9. Go to Europe.
10. Plant baby carrots in backyard.

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