about my impending birthday. In a week or so I will turn 30. My post, sitting in the drafts pile, is full of angst and dismay. I am on the verge of a mid-life crisis. It happens for everyone at different ages. I didn’t give a shit about 18, 21, or 25 – as a friend pointed out to me “I bet you were the same on those birthdays”. I wasn’t. Yes, I’ve always hated the self-analysing that hits me when I have a birthday due, and I rarely feel good when I am in self-analytical mode. But those other birthdays were no big deal in themselves. This one is tart as lemon:
Am I thin enough?
Am I successful enough?
Do people like me?
Why do I have to be this way?
You get the picture. I’m distracted and distraught. I’m a tangle of motions, emotions, reflexes and pinballing thoughts that hold me in headlock.
I decided not to post my angsty post just now, though the flavour of it comes through in what I’ve said above. I decided, instead, to hash something out. A wispy thing that is not holding form but has been present for enough months for me to suspect it will transmute into a firmer thing. An idea. A plan.
For ages I’ve felt there’s a thing inside me that I’m not letting out. An inner scream, if you like. I live my life in this safe way that is utterly stultifying. I needed it once. My head was too messy to allow my life to be anything but the opposite. Now, I want change.
The only thing is that, possibly with this 30-thing drawing up in a tarnished horse-drawn carriage, my ideas for change are sort of wild and loopy. I’ve lived with a safety net for so long that the change I’m considering is, well, not well-considered at all. It’s like an urge to do something dramatically different, because my life has been so undramatic for five years, since I left uni and had a nervous breakdown.
I think maybe I should just piss off somewhere, like pick a country, find a youth hostel and take it from there. Or just start doing things for no other reason than to experience them before I die: get a tattoo, get arrested (never been arrested), take some chances.
I want to say I love writing, because I used to love writing. Now love is too strong a word. I don’t love anything. It’s all about passing time pleasurably, killing hours, before I can end the day again. How sad that is?
I am a terrible organiser (mainly because I am afraid that if I organise a birthday celebration and people don’t come, I will feel rejected), so having been asked by a few people “are you doing anything for your birthday?” I have been forced to confront the imminence of the sodding day. I have told my few close friends that I am dreading said day and that I will just be glad if I get through it without having a meltdown. The responsibility for organising something is now in the hands of someone else.
In these visions I’m having of escaping somewhere, the ideal would be to fuck off before my birthday, but as my family and friends would be worried, I won’t be doing anything before then. I think because they know my mental status is far from healthy, to go missing around my 30th birthday would be more than a bit selfish.
So, no. I am going to try to ride this week out as best I can and early next week be around to smile and blow candles out or whatever.
What’s happening for me internally at the moment is a feeling that I’m now numb to the numbness in my life. I’m just going through the motions. I don’t know if the prozac is a protagonist in the numbing, but, whilst numbness was once highly desirable, now it is tired.
I’m sure life should have more colour than the spectrum in front of me right now. I don’t have children, so theoretically I have no ties. If I can’t find a way to ignite some passion: for life, for love, for endeavour of some sort, then it’s a sorry little life. I am feeling unfulfilled, as well as untapped. I had the potential to be interested in life once.
Who knows if these are the ramblings of a person in the midst of an age-related crisis. All I do know is this idea of going somewhere, trying to kick start some change, is not new and it is growing more insistent as the months go by.
If I did pack a bag, I’d need to leave a tidy space. My room is a bombsite and full of private things that I’ve long forgotten I’ve kept. Diaries, therapy stuff, books and clippings. I’d want to either get rid of that stuff or put it somewhere safe (my family wouldn’t understand the weird things I’ve latched onto at one time or another). But, privacy secured, there would be little else stopping me from just making a break for it.
This blog would be a lot more fucking interesting too if I had some passion to write with. If I do this it won’t be for a few weeks. Birthday first. Then room-sorting. Then…
I have enough money to get me somewhere and to feed and accommodate myself for a short time. I’d just see what happened. If I needed to come back I could. I would also make sure my family knew I wasn’t insane – a phonecall to reassure etc. But, as much as I do care about my family, I don’t think I can keep going in this soul-deadening way for any longer. I need change.