Tag Archives: growing up

Updating

I’m not feeling so good today, so to be productive, I decided to update my address book.  I’m sending belated Christmas cards to a few people, and decided it was a good time to do it– before I send.  Lest I immediately lose the addresses.  

At my age (mid-twenties), updating my address book is like updating my life.  

Today I:

Separated out businesses/school contacts and doctors/medical contacts into their own lists.
Separated out exes and school acquaintances I rarely speak to into their own list.
Added new grad school friends
Updated addresses and phone numbers for old friends
Changed last names, added spouses and children’s names

These last two were the big ones.  So many of my friends have– over the past two years– gotten married, moved in with a significant other, had a child (or two), moved into a new apartment, bought a house, etc.  It’s staggering.  I go through the M’s… the S’s… and as I update, my friends move across the page– to the H’s, the G’s.  A second line lists their children.  I have my own apartment.  People are or will be doing this with me, too, I’m sure.  But it’s amazing to me.  Updating an address book shouldn’t feel this emotional.  But, when did we all grow up?

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The R-word.

An innocent question this weekend (ie, “what are your plans for today?”) brought on a full-on rant to an unsuspecting friend of mine.  As this is a creative blog, I try not to blog about my personal life here… but there’s also some necessity when personal thoughts begin “blocking” your creative flow.  For more on this, I strongly recommend The Artist’s Way.  Seriously, at least check out the book from your local library.  It’s worth it to try even if you don’t finish it.  I return to this book, and its ideas, pretty often when I reach a turning point or plateau.  Or when parts of my life obviously start feeling a bit stale or “bleh.”

I bring this up because, in the book, Cameron instructs readers to write “morning pages.”  The idea is that by hand-writing three stream-of-consciousness pages first thing each day, you get all the “blech” and “yech” thoughts out.

She describes it this way:
“All that angry, whiny, petty stuff that you write down in the morning stands between you and your creativity.  Worrying about the job, the laundry, the funny knock in the car, the weird look in your lover’s eye– this stuff eddies through our subconscious and muddies our days.” (page 11, The Artist’s Way)

I had a moment like this when my friend asked that question and got a rant-of-sorts about the people I hold dearest.  And, as I apologized for said semi-rant, I heard myself say, “I didn’t know that was upsetting me…”

Because, in truth, I’m not upset with my friends.  But I am adjusting to the changes we’re experiencing.  It is the hard thing about having good, dear, old friends.  Life keeps happening.  And we are not in grade school anymore to see each other every day and witness the changes.  The changes often come now via text message or random phone call.  Announcing engagements, jobs, grad school acceptances, babies, and moving days to places far enough away to warrant airline tickets– or passports.

I have five friends who I would say are my closest.  Of the six of us (myself included), we now stand on a relational continuum:

Married (2 years, with 1 year old daughter)
Engaged
Serious Relationship
Relationship (unofficial):not-sure-where-this-is-going-but-hopeful
Single:getting-over-someone-waiting-for-really-good-guy
Single:I-don’t-wanna-talk-about-it

Now, those last three (again, myself included) were hard to write, mostly because I wish them to not be taken the wrong way.  I’ll put in the disclaimer that I have been in both of these places and love these girls as sisters.

I am not bitter or jealous.  I am thrilled and contented (and occasionally temporarily worried) by each new announcement.  When you truly love someone, their victories feel like your own.  However, there is a give-and-take in all of this.  Buying your closest girlfriend a toaster.  Learning to talk to her as though she were a couple– because the amount of one-on-one time you have has significantly decreased.  Learning that friendships survive in balance; and that you do still need to find alone time to talk.  The challenge of finding that time that is not taken up by jobs, significant others, children, parents, chores.  And, in the midst of your changing lives, finding out what common ground you still share.  What you can still commiserate– and laugh about– together.

newly in college or heading off-to-college

First Wedding

First Baby's First Christmas


my graduation party, and our expanding circle of friendship

Our lives are clogged with relationships.
My coming challenge:  to (wo)man up and put in the effort mine need to continue to blossom.  And to create using this love, rather than letting the changes in my life keep me blocked, ineffective, and irritable.


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The Twenties

After a very busy couple of weeks, I found myself at I-CON this past weekend.  I had an amazing time and got the chance to sit in on some amazing discussions, which I’ll talk about in another post soon.  But I also got to do a lot of thinking.

I realized that over the past couple years, I’ve given a lot of thought to how I will live.  Each of us is raised under some kind of tradition, and when we grow up, we need to decide which traditions we will continue and which we’ll leave behind.  We also choose what we’ll start that’s new.

I thought about how I’ve pictured my life a couple of different ways.  And realized that, sometimes, these different possibilities I’ve envisioned have resulted from the people in my life at the times.  Particularly, the guys in my life at the time.

I’ve pictured my life as a teacher of some sort (probably a professor) with a beach house where my kids grow up always by the water.  I’ve pictured my life as a professor-researcher-artist who brings her kids to the city on weekends for family dance classes.  I realize I’ve used these pictures to explore different parts of myself– different versions of the future I can create– the options I have to choose from.

I thought about how, in your teens, you decide you you are.  You experiment, and maybe rebel.  You find your friends and explore what you like and don’t like.  You pursue hobbies.  You pick a college, and a major.

In your twenties, you decide how you will live.  Maybe this is somewhat obvious.  You find a job.  You decide where you’ll live (at least semi-permanently).  You start thinking more seriously about getting married and having kids– and who you might want to do that with.

In your twenties, you use the knowledge of who you are (that you discovered as a teen), to decide what’s next.

I’m almost half-way through this process, and have only just become conscious of it.  More decisions to come.

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