Monday, April 27, 2015

Older. No. Wiser.

This is me, being 26.*

This year I worked on not being grossed out by selfies.
Minimal achievement gains there. 

If we're going to get all technical about it, this is actually me being 25 for about six more minutes. Considering I was driving towards a sub gig in Bellevue there is no picture of me becoming 26. I am firmly against the car selfie, because I have a brain and a healthy respect for large machinery.

That being said, here's a blurry picture of my birthday sunrise from the I-90 bridge (hey! I said car selfie). I wish cameras could capture every single ray of light tinging cloud outlines. I've become obsessed with this interplay lately. Clouds, light, there's a beauty there that's strangely hypnotic.

Blurriness and tilt due to me not looking whilst taking the picture.
You know, that whole not wanting to die on my birthday thing.

This year was a weird one. I didn't want this birthday to happen. Not because I'm aging, because honestly 26 is still way too young and roughly 57 years younger than my actual soul's age. I think it's because it shouldn't have been a year yet. Last year doesn't seem that long ago. Here I am, one full year later, and things should be drastically different.

If you're looking at facts and figures, they are. I am writing this from a two bedroom apartment in Seattle, overlooking a stellar, sunny view of Green Lake and the Olympics. I am no longer in Boston. I am no longer taking classes. I am no longer working three jobs in addition to full-time school. I work out, have mostly kicked my Diet Coke dependence, don't take guff from anybody, and my writing has been published by people that are not me.

But I'm also floating, with temporary work that just makes the lack of steady employment sting even more. It's the first time in my marriage I haven't significantly contributed to our bank account, and it's getting old. I know I won't get a full-time teaching gig until fall, but there's this little voice saying I won't ever get my own classroom. I've been frittering away my early 20s with cross-country moves and graduate school! I should have settled down in Utah! And worked for some district in Utah Valley, where they would have screened every book choice and forced me to hold off teaching Lord of the Flies until senior year!

Ok, let's not get too carried away there.

I thought 26 would be more monumental. Instead I just wanted this birthday to fade away until I was in a place where I could celebrate. Where I could point to the date, point to myself, and say, "look, ma! I've grown!"

Instead, I am myself. Still. Depressive tendencies, wild insecurities, Clint Eastwood-loving, car-dancing, sarcastic-quipping, passionate-fangirling, hot dog/sandwich/TV enthusiast and all.

This is me, being 26.

*I got this concept from one of my old favorites from the Golden Age of blogging (see previous post). Now it's one of those empty Internet houses that makes me sad when I visit, which is still in the weekly range. Anyway, she started her series when she was 26. As someone who loves constant progression and checking for such, this concept appeals to me.

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