|On milestones and millstones.
||[Nov. 29th, 2009|07:45 pm]
It's been a while since I've felt actually compelled to write anything, much less anything here- nevertheless, I have been moved, so here's what you get.
In about 8 days, I'm going to be 40 years old. I'm not sure if or what I'm supposed to do or feel about that, so I'm largely doing nothing. Last year, I had this grand plot to avoid turning 40 on this continent, but that plan required details which were beyond my control, so it went bye-bye. I had no back-up plan, and thus my day will be just like the ones on either side of it, and I'll just age without ceremony, which is probably for the better.
I wish I had something insightful to share, some secret bit of knowledge 40 years in the finding, but I'm no closer to knowing how to do all this living stuff properly than I was when I was birthed 40 years back. I've learned things along the way, lessons and losses and even some love, so I think I'm fumbling along in roughly the correct direction, or at least I think I am. I wish I could have avoided some of the bigger mistakes, maybe not said some of the really stupid or hurtful things I said, and maybe kept some of the friends I've managed to lose along the way, in that whole hindsight manner of looking at things, but what's done is mostly done.
I'm feeling the days a bit more than I used to, probably as a result of not being 100% happy or satisfied with my current work situation, but that seems to be par for everyone's course, of late. I've lingered at this one for longer than I have managed in any of my previous engagements, including my marriage (which was absolutely work, albeit for diminishing compensation), and I'm starting to feel a little ragged around the edges. I think this is what a career feels like, and I don't like it one damn bit. I'm thankful for the employment, and I enjoy the company of my peers (mostly), but there are days that are absolutely soul crushing and I wonder how many more of them I have to endure. More than ever before, I'm trying to just keep my head down and watch my tongue, be a good worker bee and get the job done. The less I carry home with me, the better. In the long run, it's probably going to be my saving grace, but right now if feels like I'm living on borrowed time, and that's a pretty stressful way to live.
I'm taking measures to regain some of the ground I've lost or surrendered over the past few years, while I'm still young enough at heart to rally and make an effort. I've set my sights on a pair of photography classes in the first quarter of 2010, and I'm going to see if that leads to more classes/workshops going beyond that. I know enough to take the sort of pictures I like to look at, mostly, but I know that what I don't know is volumes and volumes of knowledge that will take some of the luck out of what I've been able to get and make my understanding of the fundamental underpinnings of exposure and composition a little more of a foundation to build on.
I cleaned my room this weekend, which sounds like such a minor task, but I've let clutter and messiness create this thing that I just didn't want to ever invest the time to correct, and as a result, I lived like a shut-in, surrounded by filth and the leavings of my lifestyle. It contributed to my mood and made me a pretty miserable soul around the house. Cleaning it up, disposing of the junk and weeding out things I no longer have a purpose for felt very cathartic, like the more free space I created, the more alive my space became. It's such a little thing, but it feels like an immense burden has been lifted. Suddenly I have this space that I'm proud of again, which I haven't had for a long time. In the process, I uncovered dozens of books I've accumulated over the last year and haven't gotten around to reading, or ones that I started and never finished- more evidence of how disjointed my life has become. I'm going to make a real effort to spend this winter knocking some of those books off of my "to-do" list, and I am eagerly anticipating the task.
I think with that last bit, I've said all I care to commit to the interwebs about this whole turning 40 and where I am in the whole process. Nothing insightful, just as I suspected. Maybe that's just par for this course. I know we all search for meaning or purpose, but maybe that meaning or purpose isn't ours to see or determine. Maybe our legacy is the only thing that can ever accurately define us. To that end, I am investing in trying to add to my own legacy, and maybe that's what this is all about. Or maybe it isn't.