Friday, January 8, 2016

Any Prize That I Desire

I've mentioned on more than one occasion that I was never excited to by in my 30s.  I owe this partially to my high-flying goals of what I would be before 30, and partially to the fact that my 20s were really quite amazing.  In my 20s, I studied abroad in Japan, had a spring break trip to Cancun, graduated with an Industrial Engineering degree, bought a house, got a dog, studied Six Sigma in California with the CEO of my supplier, studied kung fu with the warrior monks at the Shaolin Temple in China, bought a first year Chevrolet Volt and paraded it around in electric car shows and parades, got an MBA which included a second stint in China, dated lots of men, studied glassblowing, auditioned for a reality TV show, partied in Las Vegas, started a brewery tour business, tackled and completed some very ambitious hikes, went on a cruise vacation of a lifetime with my family, and a hell of a lot more.  I started this blog in my 20s, after a rough breakup, intending it to be a comedic dating blog, only to be cut short by a really wonderful relationship that put an end to my comically tragic single life.  I am reminded of a passage in Evita; musicals, in my opinion, are so powerful because they have a way of speaking to all emotions and aspects of life, no matter where you are in your life or what kind of life you lead.  Here's what Eva sings:
The choice was mine and mine completely
I could have any prize that I desired
I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire
Or else--or else I could choose time
Remember I was very young then
And a year was forever and a day
So what use could fifty, sixty, seventy be?
I saw the lights and I was on my way

And how I lived! How they shone!
But how soon the lights were gone!

I think this is why I dreaded turning 30, and why I am still not convinced that my 30s will be better than my 20s, as so many others ahead of me have tried to assure me from their experience.  I had a kick ass decade in my 20s, and I really struggle with how I can top it.  What's more, I'm somewhat paying for it now, by way of being overweight, having debt from my schooling, and being tied to a house that has until recently been under water.  In my 20s I consumed life, anything and everything it had to offer.  Fly to California to deliver a presentation?  Sure!  Join kenpo so that I could study martial arts in China?  Sounds good!  Go on a date with a midget and his buddy?  Good for a laugh!  Try my hand at interior decorating?  Let's do it! 

I feel like in my 30s, I should have a focus, and I struggle with what my focus should be, and so I tend not to dive into anything because I'm afraid it's not the right focus.  I feel the burden of responsibility and adulthood weighing on me, in combination with the reality that my life plan hasn't panned out completely - I was going to be rich and in management by now - and it has the effect of indecisive paralysis.  I am grateful for all the things I do have, even little things like the ability to dance and move and think - I learned not to take those things for granted from immobilizing back injuries and migraine headaches.  I am loopy right now from a migraine semi-smothered by drugs, so I hope you'll excuse my if I am a bit tangential.  I am not sure how my sentences will end as I start them, and by the time I finish them I can't remember how they started - that's what I call migraine brain.  I can't hold a full thought in my head, so it becomes something like streaming consciousness. 

I remember the worst migraine brain moment I ever had was when I was working at Honeywell - my head hurt so badly that I realized work was actually not possible because I couldn't think, and it was in the afternoon so I figured I had put in enough time.  I got halfway down the outdoor stairwell when I realized I didn't have my jacket with me.  So I turned around and walked back towards my desk.  But my jacket wasn't at my desk.  It was on a desk in a completely different row than mine where nobody was sitting.  I could not remember placing the jacket there, or even grabbing the jacket in the first place, or dropping it, or walking down that row.  It was as if my migraine caused a five-minute blackout in which I did something that made no sense at all.  I drove home that day, and vomited from the pain immediately after parking in my garage - I almost puked in my car!  After about an hour, I was able to hold down a piece of bread. 

Migraines are no fun, but I am not very eager to try any more serious medication because I saw such treatment destroy my sister's health.  She's better now, thankfully, but she has to avoid her "triggers" and has a cocktail of drugs she uses when a migraine hits.  I use meditation, heat, massage, aromatherapy, and if necessary, OTC drugs to deal with my migraines.  And usually something will work sufficiently for about a day, and the migraine will persist for three days so I have to keep at it until the thing finally leaves. 

But I digress...  my point that I think I was going for was that I haven't been very positive about my 30s because I'm weighed down and have nothing to lift me up.  That is to say that I have no real big aspirations that I'm super stoked for.  I've done so much that I just can't imagine topping it.  I've wanted to go

back to Japan for several years now, in fact, I started yearning to go back during that whole nuclear crisis following the tsunami, which seemed like a bad time to visit but seeing it on the news just stirred me up.  Yet, even as Jaiman and I plan a trip to Japan, I'm not super excited about it.  I want to be, but I'm not.  I love all trips with Jaiman, we have a lot of fun together, and really, I just like spending time with him.  He's a great travel partner, and puts up with my early rising, tackle the world, no rest for the weary attitude.  I think what pains me is the fact that I've wanted to go to Australia for, like, ever, and instead of doing Australia, we're going back to a place I've already been.  Now, granted, I spent my time in Hiroshima, and we're mostly staying in Tokyo, so there is a difference there.  But to most Americans, Japan is Japan is Japan, and Australia is completely different.  I suppose that if we knock out Japan, that Australia will naturally be the next big trip, if I don't ship off to Germany or somewhere in Europe first.  More and more I want to get moved to Europe, and I've been working diligently on my German, despite my dislike for the language and the difficulty I've had with it.  I don't particularly like most German foods or beer, and I hear the weather is pretty dreary there.  Still, it's an adventure of a lifetime to move to a foreign country temporarily, and to be able to take weekend trips to one of many nearby countries that I have yet to explore.  I think it will be great.  But where does Australia play in to all of this? 

I think I first planned Australia in 2009.  When that didn't happen, I was determine to ring in the new year of 2010 there with Rick.  Something fell through, I think it was too expensive, so it didn't happen.  So Christy and I were going to do it in 2011.  School and work got in the way, so it would be 2012, and so on.  Here I am not 7 years later and still haven't made it below the Equator.  Argentina and Brazil are also on the list.  So maybe I need to make my 30s about exploring other continents, like, all the other ones.  And, starting a new business.  And, making my day-to-day life a little better.  I mean really, I have proven to myself that I can accomplish a lot if I set my mind to it, so I just need to name the prize that I want in my 30s. 

It may start with people.  I have done a lot on my own in the last few years, and I spend a lot of time with Jaiman (usually just watching TV, though).  I think I've ostracized myself from my friends, and I think it's time to correct that.  I have found time and time again that sometimes just sharing with someone what is on my mind or what I am trying to achieve has spurred generous contributions to help me achieve my goals.  Even if I don't directly benefit from my friends in that way, having good conversations always energizes me, and I have been feeling a little lackluster lately.  So, I will improve my life by meeting with friends more, and by finding other ways to make my life easier. 

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