Today I am 29.
It’s a Friday. The sun is shining, a rare sight these past gray months on the coast. I’ve got a window open so I can hear and smell the ocean. It’s almost three and I’m at work, winding down for the day. Listening to Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue.” It’s a good album for such an afternoon. Persistent. Full of memories. A little bit sad in a self-indulgent and mostly cheerful way. How’s that go? Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be? Yeah.
All said, 28 wasn’t a bad year. A few big ups and big downs the last 8 months of it, but I’m still standing. A little ragged and disheveled, perhaps, but I do feel that I have the strength to go where I need to go, to do the things I need to do.
I’ve spent the past few months ridding myself of a lot of the old garbage. Ugly clothes I never wear. Negative people who drain my energy and bring me down. Those lingering neuroses that reach so way far back. Old receipts. Just last night I pulled everything out of my medicine cabinet and sorted my way through it. I couldn’t believe how many things were expired, useless. Among the effluvia, I found an old pack of sleeping pills I’d purchased in South Korea when everything had gone to hell and I didn’t sleep for 2 weeks straight. They’d knock me out for 28 hour stretches. Total zombie. And bug bite cream from the time in Mexico when sand fleas tore up my feet so bad I’d scratch until I was weeping. All of it, in the garbage.
On this sunny afternoon, it’s easy to trace the broad arc of my years:
Days on this planet: Roughly 10,593
Years in school: 19
Serious boyfriends: 4
Bad breakups: 4
Beers drank: 11,000 give or take
Countries visited: 32
Cities lived in: 12
Cars crashed: 2
Big regrets: 2
Where to next? I’m just not quite sure. Sometimes I think I’ll unpack my bags and stay in Oregon until I’m old and gray. Other days it’s all I can do not to charge a one-way ticket to Kathmandu and just take off. (I’m not kidding. See: Me at 5:30 yesterday evening.)
Either way, today feels good. Sort of serene in its own messy way. A prodigious day. Today I am 29.