Come on ride the train (whoo-whoooo)

March is here, along with some notable dates fo yo calendar. There are the Ides of March, of which you should beware if you are ever head of an ancient empire. Then there is St. Patrick's Day, which is pretty much about avoiding insistent pinchers in green, and is often celebrated by binge drinking [I think St. Patrick might have been the patron saint of Guinness(1)]...

Then there is March 19 - my birthday. This year marks the twenty-sixth anniversary of my birth. Since my loving and thoughtful husband decided to book a tour for his band over my birthday (again), I decided that the best place to celebrate year XXVI would be in New Orleans, LA (where the weather forecast for said birthday is currently 77 degrees and sunny). All I really want for my birthday this year is a tan ("melanoma" is clearly a conspiracy fabricated by Coppertone(2)), and maybe a tattoo of a Julius Caesar dressed as a leprechaun...

As 26 approaches, I find myself in a scenery defined by an unprecedented permanence. No longer a student awaiting the next semester or graduation, no longer hanging on to my current job just long enough to find the next best thing, no longer a newlywed (you lose that title after the first year, right?)...I am profoundly settled. This is pretty new to me, this being settled- not really knowing what's around the corner, or where I'm headed or how I'm going to get there. Instead of thinking in terms of semesters, or years....I start to think about 5-year plans...or even 10-year plans (3).

This is partially comforting, as anticipating change often comes with its fair share of anxiety. But, it is also uncomfortable to be so settled. You start asking yourself questions you've never asked yourself before, like, "Wait, what am I really doing with my life, and why does it matter?" or, "What if I spend my whole life [insert some seemingly futile activity], and never find my true purpose?" Suddenly, we don't have our "whole lives" ahead of us anymore... we're down to like 70% - if we are lucky (4).

I know that if someone else were to actually read this blog, and if that someone happened to be a bit older than me, that they might laugh to themselves in a "wait til you're my age" sort of way. I know that 26 is still young - and it's not that I have a fear of growing older, or even a fear of dying. As I reflect upon my little life, it's not fear I feel, but an odd slow-motion type self-reflection...in which I feel a bit of pressure to reevaluate the course of my life - as if my twenties is a train depot and I've got to choose the train I'll be on for a good long while.

On a rational level, I know the train depot analogy doesn't have to hold true, that there is plenty of time to change trains, but the sense of urgency still lingers in my subconscious.

This year, I have awakened my desire to seek guidance in regards to my life's purpose from a higher power, namely, God. I have been reading the bible with renewed interest and studiousness (couldn't think of a better word). I am trying to push aside some of the cynicism and skepticism I cultivated throughout my early twenties, in order to rediscover (or, perhaps, discover) the childlike faith that Jesus instructs his disciples to have.

So far the results are inconclusive - but I'll keep you updated.

One thing I do know is that I'm going to work hard on that tan.


(1) He is actually the patron saint of Ireland, but that's no fun.
(2) The author of this blog in no way advocates the prolonged exposure to UVA or UVB rays without adequate SPF protection.
(3) Any references to spawning/acquiring children have been ommitted for purposes of avoiding annoying nosy inquiries regarding time frames and intentions of said spawning.
(4) Calculation barring both an untimely death and any significant scientific advancements prolonging the human lifespan.

1 comment:

  1. Care(rie, -the first e),

    Every once in a while I come across a blog post that makes me think: Dang, that is such a good idea, it should have been mine! Footnotes is one of those ideas. Love it! I also wanted to let you know that even though your page doesn't say so I am following your blog via google reader. Sorry it doesn't show up and pump up your stats. I know those are important to you. Aside from those comments I really like the content of this blog. I think Julie and I are feeling very similar. There is something about settling that makes you think, "I know I pretended like I was thinking about what to do with my life when I was in college, but now I'm really thinking about it." Maybe it just feels like in college "the rest of your life" was ahead of you, but now we're living in the midst of "the rest of your life" if that makes sense.