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Twas Brillig

On Turning 43

posted on: April 2, 2015
in: Blog
Waking up at 43.

Waking up 43.

I woke up this morning, and like that, I was 43 years old. I like to keep track of my years, my experiences, my growth as a person on this planet.

Some years, I am successful at this. Other years, not so much.

The year I turned 37, I sold everything I owned, and traveled the world, writing about it daily.

In 2012, I wrote a poem almost every day and posted it online.

I wrote this post when I turned 41 and followed it up with a lot of writing and essays.

Last year, the year I turned 42, my grandmother died a few weeks before my birthday. I wrote about her death in March, and then I didn’t blog again until August, when my baby sister got married. That blank space of almost half a year between posts says a lot about my state of space during that time. It was a year that was filled with a lot of highs and lows, as every year is, but for some reason I felt the rollercoaster of it more deeply than I have probably since I was a teenager.

The highs: Numenera, the game of my heart, won a lot of awards and lots of people had a great time playing it. I love my job. I have a partner who makes me my very best self. We adopted an amazing dog. I lived for the first time ever in a house I owned. My life is full of amazing loved ones. My non-fiction book, “As Kinky As You Wanna Be” came out and is doing well. I had the opportunity to travel and meet some incredible, kind, wonderful people. My little sister, who I love with all my heart, got married and I was her maid of honor. My little brother is following his dream of becoming a police officer. My dad retired, finally, from his job as an engineer and is getting to do some of the things he loves best — being outside, building and making things, spending time with family.

The lows: The world is in a bad place–global warming, ISIS, wars small and large, discrimination and hatred and killings. The world is always in a bad place, I know, but this year felt particularly big and hard and unsolvable. The Internet, a place I loved, a place I felt at home in for so many years — is no longer a safe place for myself and for so many others. Shaming and blaming, dogpiling, lack of human empathy and understanding, death threats, and more have turned the Internet from a safe haven for misfits like me into an emotionally dangerous land. There was a lot of illness and tragedy and sadness among my friends and family this year. I lost far too many amazing people in my life to cancer this year. Fuck cancer so hard. This year, I dealt with some intense depression (which for me brings a binge-eating disorder and a lot of apathy along with it) — all issues I thought I had overcome long ago, but which reared their horrible heads in the midst of everything.

And I didn’t write very much, even though I promised myself I would. And that, right there, sums up the truth of the year for me. I didn’t write very much. That’s how I know my state of space is fucked up. I didn’t write very much. And that means I can’t change the world for the better. I didn’t write very much. And that means I can’t change myself for the better. It means I am not doing what I believe I exist on this planet to do.

Last year, at 42, I was supposed to be the answer to the life, the universe and everything. I’d waited a long time to turn 42 on 4/2/2014. The numbers promised so much. In the end, it turned out I was the answer to nothing. It was my year to be the question instead. Being the question is hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just wasn’t what I was prepared for. I learned a lot, held my seat a lot, listened a lot. I fought hard, sometimes about the wrong things. And sometimes I gave up on the right things. Tough years teach us a lot, and one of things this past year taught me was that I am invincible, fierce, and powerful, even in the midst of difficulty. Perhaps especially so.

43 is a weird number, in the middle of things, half-prime, descending, the interrobang of numbers, sort of this, sort of that, a rhetorical exclamation. I am going in half-cocked this year, like a gun that’s stuck between the mantle and the hand that strokes it. I am going to live fast and dye my hair. I am going to bury the seeds of what could be with no expectation that they will grow. I am going to make promises I can’t keep, because I believe in the power of desires that extend beyond my reach. I will sing to the mermaids when they will not sing to me. I will measure out my life with kisses and coffee spoons and points of punctuation on the page.

Because this is the love song of me.

Do I dare disturb the universe?

Yes. Yes, I fucking do.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

 

 

 

5 comments

  1. posted on Apr 02, 2015 at 5:42 PM

    A whole bunch of “yep” in here. My 45 looks at your 43 and says you’re doing exceptionally well. Proceed with the being of you.

  2. posted on Apr 02, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    whatever path you choose …the medals and sufferings are same…my grand dad planted a mango tree and we all eat them now …put some seed in earth or in this universe that will give fruits even after ur physical disarray ….love from himalyayas

  3. posted on Apr 30, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    I always see one year passing as the chance to make the next even better. Each time the world kicks me I kick back harder, stronger and faster. Gotta improve to be a better person and every day this year that is my goal. Be better as a person, as a friend, as family member but most of all be better to myself.

    Keep kickin the universe in the ass!

  4. Clarissa E
    posted on Jul 05, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    I googled “on turning 43” & it lead me here. I’m turning 43 next week and I need a moment to pause. Thank you for your words. Since your post last year, violence has gotten worse, along with other global concerns. But I’m still hopeful. “Don’t panic”. -HGTG

  5. Peg
    posted on Jan 19, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    Loved your thoughts and words. Today is my 43rd birthday. I too am reflecting …..

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