I was riding the train home today and suddenly realized, Wow. This is my last night to be 29. This is my last night in my twenties! and quickly went, as you do, holy crap! Should I do something? Did I turn in all my assignments? Did I infuse enough AWESOME into my twenties to justify an ENTIRE DECADE?
(Let's leave aside for the time being the part where, as Julian Crankypants Bashir once said, "In many human cultures, the 30th birthday is seen as the end of youth and the beginning of the slow march into middle age," because I'm getting to that. I'll start atrophying for you in a sec. For now, TWENTIES HOLY CRAP.)
And then I decided yes, yes I did infuse enough awesome into my twenties. My twenties were chock full of me awesoming all over my little corner of planet Earth (my corner being a ten-foot radius around me at all times, plus anywhere "mylittleredgirl" can be found by Google). Let me think aloud about this at you for a moment! Since turning 20, I have:
- Made a lot of new friends, including almost all of you reading this! I didn't know you 10 years ago. You'd never heard of me! I'd never heard of you! Isn't that nuts?
- I've also had the awesome experience of watching the friends I made before that grow up into amazing adult people (all my King House pi-frenz and Kripalu kids, you know who you are). I mean, pi! Weddings, babies (well, baby + 1 on the way since Htebazile seems to have that covered for us so far unless you people are keeping secrets from me because it takes a long time to knit a starfleet academy layette you know, just saying), professorships, houses... I mean, NPR calls (some of) us up as experts! (WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO WE USED TO HAVE TO HAVE HOUSE MEETINGS ABOUT HOW TO FLUSH TOILETS OH MY GOD AND THESE PEOPLE ARE COUNTING ON OUR GENERATION NOW.)
- I got a career! I left school, I moved across the country to a city I'd basically never been to before, and I busted out a life where I make money and have an apartment and don't have 30 pet rats anymore and it looks like a self-sufficient adult lives here (who maybe also runs an in-house daycare that requires bins and bins and BINS of craft supplies, but I qualify adulthood on a sliding scale). I made life decisions feeling like I was barely staying in front of a moving train and now I make life decisions from the chill awesome comfort of my own damn couch!
- I lost a beloved dog. I gained another beloved dog.
- I went to one sister's wedding and will go to the other's this summer. (I'm cool with that, sisters. Get married all you want. Just chill out on the babies until I can take a few deep breaths about not doing that first so I can figure out how the baby-raising works for you because I feel like I'm letting you down in my big sisterly duties!)
- I had quite a health experience, I guess you could say: This time 10 years ago I had mono. Real mono. First mono, before it mutated into that other batshit suck-your-life-for-years-rawrrr-ness. Then there was what we're now calling bipolar disorder but unmedicated felt just like BATSHIT CRAZY. Then I fixed it. All of it. I learned my body and mind inside and out. (And it's like Microsoft - just because it's fixed doesn't mean there aren't 36 more updates next Monday you need to download and apply and goddamn it now nothing works where the hell are the printers oh for fuck's sake let's reboot again because health, especially mental health, is like that.)
- I learned about love, and about what isn't love, and how there is considerable overlap where things are both love and not something you want, and I took a few mental notes on how to enjoy the first kind while you have it and move past the other two, and hopefully I'll remember one or two of those lessons in the future. (I was fixing a powerpoint for someone in another department today and she called the key points "learnings" - I think my lolcats have been affecting our company grammar.)
- I grew up. (For those keeping track at home, I think the real tipping-point age between kid and adult was 26, but 29 has been the year when I really chilled out about it.)
I bolded that because it's of interest to most of you, and also because havocthecat said A Decade Of Fandom would be a good post title (and perhaps a better post! But it's my birthday so you can't complain to my face about it!).
(First online fandom: X-Files Season 9, discovered around my 20th birthday. This was my first posted fic, if you're curious - I'm pretty sure you'd all recognize it as mine in a fic pepsi challenge. Then SG-1, which brought me to LJ and all these great writers we had in that fandom. Then Atlantis, and eventually seeing the way my writing was influencing other people. It's the FANFIC CIRCLE OF LIFE over here and it's magical. Doesn't it make us all feel really important to put it that way?)
Okay, so, the part where Julian Bashir thinks I'm basically dead: he changes his tune by the end of the episode so I'm not too worried about it. Also most of the cool people I know got to 30 before me so it automatically MAKES ME COOLER! It's SCIENCE.
And to the people in my office who keep saying I'm "turning 29, again!" ... no, thanks. I think I did it well enough the first time. :)