Happy Birthday to me. I am 34 today.
It doesn't even feel like my birthday. There's too much going on right now, or it snuck up on me too quickly, or it doesn't mean as much to me anymore. I'm not sure what the differences are, exactly. Only that it feels strange to be writing this right now.
I traveled a ton in the last year, all within the country this time though. I traveled through Door County on an off weekend in August. Virginia, to officiate my brother's wedding. Down to St Louis, for a few nights with the kids. Covington, Kentucky to attend a wedding and develop a five-way addiction. Christmas in New York for possibly the last time. Minnesota at the end of winter for a massive conference. Out to Oregon and California for a good chunk of June to see everyone and check to see how my brother's children are growing. I had spent a lot of time cooped up in the city over the last few years, making little trips back home whenever I had some vacation I needed to burn. It was nice to get out for a while and catch up with everyone and drive around.
The last few months did go by in a blur. I was trying to help others through some personal struggles while figuring out how to stay at my job for another little while. Being busy is way better than sitting around and waiting for something to happen, so I will happily take the frantic pace over what was taking up that time before. And the feeling of self worth that is coming back from all of these struggles (even work stuff sometimes) has been really important to me.
I did put out a total of about 500,000 words last year in total, but a lot of that was daily pages or experimental or just stream of consciousness, and aren't really in a usable shape. I pretty much turned the faucet on and let the words out. I want to write a ton more about the experiences that I've had in the last year, and how my life is different. But I'm not sure how to find that voice and how to work those words out just yet.
And I know more about myself, and how I work. I've been pouring a lot of time into figuring out why I feel certain ways, instead of reacting to the feelings and freaking out. I've been keeping a better eye on how healthy I am being, but also not beating myself up for letting things slide or being lazy. I'm meditating regularly, although not going to the tanks as much as I would like. I think I am a more complete, better functioning human being than I was at this time last year, and I am very happy with that progress.
I imagine that the next year will look remarkably like this past year. Work will be different one way or another, but there is definitely a part of me that needs that change to happen. The rest of my life will shift and creek and rattle along, and eventually change into something else. I'm happy with this situation, and I hope that it goes as well as last year did.