Thirty is a weird decade. The first year was be exciting, “Fuck ya I made it without severely screwing up my life.” Then, a shift in perception began to slowly make it’s way into my conscious level of thinking.
As a younger person, 30 was essentially the oldest I imagined myself ever being. Not that I thought I wouldn’t live beyond thirty but I think I just couldn’t process the concept as reality. Now I realize I have my entire life ahead of me and how three decades is a very long period of time that goes by so rapidly. I’ve reached a point where I feel I have no idea how I’m going to go on doing this “living business” for thirty more years let alone the next thirty that will come after that. That’s just so much more life and I’m already so exhausted. (ps, that not a veiled reference to suicidal tendencies but an expression of my sloth like nature. Wait, I can’t just stay in bed from here on out?)
The main concern in my life right now is financial security and all the worries that stem from it. At some point in my life I decided to gauge how well I had my shit together by how comfortable I was financially. Could I afford the occasional Target binge? How much work could I afford to turn down? Can I pick up the tab for date night or splurge on random “thinking of you” gifts for my family and friends because that’s how I say I love you? Not having to check my bank account before making a an unplanned purchase is freedom to me. To be able to be responsible and spontaneous was how I measured how much of a fuck I have to give about other people’s opinions.
I got to experience that freedom for a brief two years. I was working forty hour weeks for a decent wage with comparatively few expenses. That freedom allowed me to blossom into the confident, collected, focused persona that felt the most “right”. For the first tome I wasn’t all that worried about impressing others because fuck’um, I know I’ve got my shit together. Then, as job dissatisfaction began to seep in, I took a gamble and left security behind. While it has been paying off in so many ways, financially secure is not one of them.
My husband likes to remind me that I don’t have to do it alone and that if I need help in any way that he’s there to help me. What I think he doesn’t understand when I’m flopped on the bed, depressed that I “have no money” is what I’m saying is I don’t feel secure. I don’t have freedom. I don’t feel in control. Whatever little amount of savings I can scrap together on my 20 hour work months I cling to like a house elf to a sock. Sometimes I spurge buy, just to feel like maybe I do still have some control.
The scariest part of being thirty is that thirty years is now a perceivable amount of time. It’s as if when I was a child I saw into the future and all the wonderful things that it held and thus ventured forth without fear. Only trouble was my foresight had only gone as far as age thirty. From my premonitions that I would safely arrive at thirty, I had derived the same pleasure and sense of security as someone who had seen their own death. “I know I will survive this, so fuck it I’ll go for it.” But now that self assurance is gone. My 30 year warranty is up. My get out of jail free card is expired.
Pre-thirty, life was a race. There was a boundary and as long as I met the right goals in the right amount of time then I was going to be fine. Graduate from college four years after high school. Get a job. Get married by before I’m “old”. Done done done. Now what? Well kids I guess. I’ve always wanted a family but the idea of that much responsibility wasn’t a conceivable notion. A day dream at most. Now here I am and there’s nothing to hold us back from that reality. The weight of that reality of that came crashing down and my lacking financial security became the abscess that my fears were allowed to fester. If I had to go it alone, how would I be able to do it? Where I am in life now I couldn’t possibly. What if I lost Jack, my partner on so many levels? From there my fears of all the ways I could lose what I have began to blossom. See Reboot for more.
What I’ve realized is growing up is a leap of faith. And this is the falling part of that leap. It’s scary and there can be a lot of terrible, awful, icky bad badness but if I’ve learned anything from Douglas Adams it’s that, when falling, try to miss the ground. I know, the ground is very very big and gravity will always pull you towards it but if you’re going to miss it then you’re going to have to forget about it. Literally just don’t think about.
It’s just that easy, right?
Don’t think about all the things that could go wrong. Don’t question every decision you’ve ever made and what unforeseen consequences those choices may have. Don’t think about all the time you wasted chasing a good time when your only responsibility was to learn and practice. Don’t think about the fact that you have no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life or how you’re going to support the family you have a deadline to start in one year. Don’t think of all the things you could be doing now to secure a stable future but aren’t because you’re too busy going through back to back emotional crises because you can’t stop thinking of all of these things.
This is a weird point because I’m ready to reinvent myself, but I’m so worried about getting it right this time. It’s so easy to get stuck in the details though. What do I want to do, do I want to go back to school; do I want to settle for stable or take a chance for once to take a big risk for a bigger pay off? Will my family support my choices, how will they choose to show that support, will any of them believe me or will they secretly think I’m going to make the same mistakes but will support me anyways because they just want me to be happy? Will my husband agree with my decisions, should I care if he doesn’t? What if I start to pursue something only to find out, like always, it’s not what I really wanted or what I thought it would be? What if I’m feeling overly ambitious, bite off more than I can handle and ruin my entire life because I chased a dream? What the fuck is my dream anyway?
I guess I should start it simple. I have absolutely no idea what it is I want to do with the rest of my life but based on how it has gone so far, I can make some guesses. First, give me the highlands. Give me mountains and rain and snow, dry air. Give me forest and seasons and summers that are possible to enjoy. Give me a job with freedom to travel and to interact with others on a personal level. I want to live free from landlords and HOAs. I want to be there to nurture my children and encourage them and to never tell them something is hard to do. I want my husband and I to be free to pursue our artistic endeavors without feeling the need to sell out to feed our family. I want to work in tandem with nature, I want my children to learn first hand where their food comes from. I want them to understand our responsibility, as beings of consciousness, to be servants of the earth, not conquerors. I want my legacy to have been one of leadership, mentorship, and enlightenment. I want my life to have been about more than me.
I guess the next step is to keep working backwards to figure out how to get to there from here. What kind of career offers freedom to travel, financial security for my family, and a very lax dress code? What can I do that can make an impact?
Is wandering samurai still a career choice?