Happy New Year, Barrett
It's my birthday. Shit.
I've appear to have made another orbit 'round the sun. I'm 27 today.
Each birthday makes me think. I forgot my own birthday at 19, I was too depressed to do anything for my 25th. This year, as I'm slowly creeping toward 30, I remember where I've been and acknowledge where I am now.
This time last year, I was manager of a local bakery to [barely] make ends meet while freelancing. I admit that I loved my coworkers and employees - they made the job, how do I say, sweet?
This year, I'm working a salaried position as a content writer, with a couple side gigs writing for a local magazine and editing for a boutique book publisher, plus I have this new blog. Time sure does fly, but sometimes it's stark to see the difference 365 days (and some hustle) can make.
Before my next orbit, I'll celebrate seven years with my partner, my pup will have his fourth birthday, and I will be - if things go as planned - in the [final?] editing stage of my first anthology project.
But at this age, my father had a four year old son (me). He met my mom (my birth mother had left the picture two years prior). I have friends my age who have children, who are getting married, and who are buying houses.
I can't help but sometimes wonder if I'm running late. Granted, my dad and my birth mother, and my [straight] friends were able to create children without the costly and time consuming processes that come with adoption or surrogacy - the only options available to my partner and me.
That said, should I be engaged or married? Should I be in the process of figuring out... procuring offspring?
These are all things I want to do... eventually. Currently, I don't feel like I can take care of myself, let alone a child (there's only so much Lexapro can do). Perhaps that's how all parents, prospective parents, and, well, people, feel. I haven't figured that out yet.
My mom often talks about how the arrival of new decades never scared her: 30, 40. It was always the 'nines' that did her in. Now that she's approaching 49 later this year, she's terrified like she was when she turned 29. "It feels like the end of the diving board," she says to me. I'm still two years shy of my own 29, but it begs food for thought as life hurls onward.
So often I feel like a kid navigating the world with untamed naiveté. Someone who shouldn't be allowed to wear the button-downs and slacks to work like I do. Car keys? Hand them to an adult, please.
It occurs to me that, wow, I am approaching thirty. These projects, this blog, this career, perhaps should have began much earlier, and I should be readying to settle down. But I must ask myself if these feelings valid, or are they merely sweet, Southern ideals and normalizations that I need to unlearn in order to forge my own path?
Whatever they are, I'll continue to grow at my own rate, learn to embrace the trajectory of my own life - and to slow down, rather. I'll get there when I get there; it's not a race. Not against anyone but myself.
From my table at Bush Intercontinental Airport, I will let my own insecurities fade so I can get back to what's important right now in 2019: The work in front of me that will be the center of my universe for the rest of the week. Be back soon, HTX.