Today I am 27 years old. It sounds bizarre to me; I still feel like I’m closer to 25, or 24. My current living situation doesn’t help at all. But I’m not here to complain.
However, I will say: Every year of my life I have considered an improvement on the prior. I look back at previous birthdays and see how much better my life has gotten, how much better I have gotten. Except this year.
About a year ago, I made a fairly large life decision: To change job, cities, and start to develop a plan for the future. To move on to a new, better life. This morning, I woke up at 5am to a dark, rainy, gloomy Portland and decided to feel sorry for myself. It was not the year I designed for myself. I am not where I want to be, and the reason for this felt entirely like the fault of others.
I could have stayed there. It would be easier, simpler, to give in to that sort of self pity and blame. After all, a few of the things that happened to me actually were out of my control: genetics were the root (pun intended) of my gums retracting, I did not choose for myself the other life-upsetting occurrence of this fall, and we all know how difficult it is to thrive in our current economy. So it would have been easy to stay there, except for a few things.
1. My friends. They have always been my salvation. I don’t know if it’s clear from this blog, but I’m kind of a nerd. Luckily, I’ve managed to avoid some of the usual traps for nerds, such as self-involvement and bitterness. This is in part due to my parents’ encouragement in cultivating a rich social group. My early and prolonged interest in the theatre has also been a saving grace–inundating my life with strange and wonderful people, as well as granting me some skills in navigating a social world. My love for the theatrical, as well as my more nerdy inclinations, led to table-top roleplaying, and introduced a whole new group of people into my life I am forever grateful for all of them/you. My theatre professor once told us that gratitude was the most important trait a person could have. It made for great actors, better people, and could actually save lives. It is a much better place to be than self-pity
2. The absolutely horrible tragedies of last week. I feel like it’s completely inappropriate for me to feel bad at all for myself in the wake of these vile incidents. What height of arrogance is it for me to lament my life while I still possess it. I have faced no sort of great tragedy, only the setbacks of a good life, hard as they may seem. I’m not saying that I benefit from this horrible, heart-breaking news. Just that it puts things in perspective.
I am not where I want to be. But the sun came out today for a good while. I ate at my favorite food cart, then went home to write this post and eat a birthday cake my manager gave me. I’ve been out with friends in Eugene and Portland to celebrate my birthday. My dad is taking me to dinner this evening.
“Anyone can face ease and success with confidence. It is the way we face trouble and misfortune that defines us. Self-pity goes with selfishness, and there is nothing more to be deplored…than that.”
Before they are Hanged, by Joe Abercrombie
(Because this is a nerd blog, after all).
When I sat down to write this post, as a sort of pre-New Years resolution, I found this appropriate Cracked article. No amount of self-pity will improve my lot. Only action will. Furthermore, the selfish life is not one worth living. Helping others, cultivating my relationships, and self-discipline are the only ways out, and are rewards in themselves.
I plan on updating this blog a lot more. I’m trying to work more on my future, including working on casting. I’d like to be more involved in environmental causes. And a new blog is coming… Here’s a teaser for you:
So to all my friends, family, and everyone else: thank you. We’re almost halfway through the dark. The night may be dark and full of terrors, but we will fill it with wine, music, and sci-fi flick on Netflix. And next year, I’m going to look back and know that I triumphed.
“happy anniversary of your successful spawning. that you continue to live is a credit to yourself and a shame to your enemies”- Tyler Welty