To celebrate my turning 29 for the 11th time, we held a small party here at Throbbing Manor last Saturday in which I invited close friends and new neighbors. The turn out was good, last person was kicked out shortly before 4 AM, we ate party left overs for days and I did not, unfortunately, wake up in my own puke as I have been known to do before.
TheHusband, who is not so much socially awkward but that he hates people, wanted “TheHusband time” on Sunday, the actual day of my birth, to balance out all the socializing he did the night before. With TheHusband off doing whatever it is he does when he’s alone (namely, reading the interwebs, listen to podcasts and watching sports), I figured it was a good time to start unpacking boxes of books and journals for my office that I had not seen in years. Our living room bookcases finally arrived a few days before and in the process of unpacking and organizing those, I discovered more stuff for my office and I knew, likewise, that more items would be in the boxes marked the office that belong downstairs.
[In contrast to the recently arrived living room bookcases, my office bookcases have been here for months and I’ve not done a thing with them. Boxes in the guest room have been silently waiting for me to unpack them. The glare of the unpacked boxes is much like the glare of the pug when she thinks you’re up to no good.]
For the better part of that Sunday afternoon, I spent time reading old journals dating back to my teens and 20s. Some entries were difficult because it was clear I thought of myself as being this sophisticated teenager when I was obviously so wholly naive. Other pieces were just sad in that back of hand to the forehead type of way and others were painful just for the memories they stirred. In addition, I also ended up reading some of the short stories I wrote through high school and it seemed that a lot of them ended the same way: someone dies a violent death. It’s pretty clear some things never change.
As I was reading, sorting and unboxing, I thought of these papers in several ways:
- As an archivist and with that in mind, how future generations are going to look at my work and attempt to figure out chronological order and such. Also how to preserve these materials in their current state AND move them digitally? Seventeen year old Lisa did not think to buy everything on acid-free paper. Seventeen year old Lisa was also hugely romantic.
- Collection fodder for story telling and telling of stories. I’ve long known I have had a habit of writing down bits and bobs on scraps of paper, which I’ve now collected into a folder with hopes to turn them into something solid instead of just collecting random bits of paper.
Re-reading these old tomes of mine sent me into two equal, but separate, trains of thoughts: I have accomplished much, have had experience and seen much of the world that most do not. Go team Lisa! On the flip side: Jesus Christ, I’ve pissed away a lot of opportunities, I’m soon to be officially old and there is still so much work to be done. Will I be able to get it all completed? Recently, my lovely friend John wrote an interesting spec on his own life plans and the fluidity of his life plans (from game Reindeer to game Caribou) as things in his own life have changed. This got me thinking about my own life and how I plan for the short term, not the long term. I have game ThinkAboutItTomorrow! TheHusband gets on me about this quite a bit whenever we talk about moving to Europe. He points out that if we go abroad every year, as I want to do, our chances of getting a home across the pond will either take longer or cost us more. Logic does not bode well with my own reasoning. I’m about instant gratification, I could be dead next year from a car accident and where will my savings get me then?
Since we’ve moved into Throbbing Manor, I’ve been having this minor existential crisis, of sorts, on a near weekly basis. But after reading John’s post, I began to wonder: If I spent more time living and less time wondering about this life I think I am supposed to be living, how different would my life really be?