500 Words Per Day

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Countdown to Thirty

It's a little less than 3 days until my 30th birthday and I'm feeling fine. Funny to think that if you asked me about turning 30 back when I was still 25, you would have gotten some wacky, over-dramatic soliloquy out of me. It sucks, I'm getting old and what will I do then would be some of the more choice sentiments found in my ramble. That was a particularly tender time for me, since I was still coming to grips with my "quarter-century crisis". Thirty was looming large and, judging by how quickly my life went from ages 20 - 25, it was really just around the corner for me.

I stand at Thirty's doorstep now and all I can muster is a relieved, "MEH".

A small part of me is grateful that my 20s are over and done with. I spent the better part of those years alternately being very afraid and pretending not to be afraid. I also took many small, stupid risks while shying away from the really colossal, moronic risks that might have really changed my life. There was fun to be had, as well as some experimentation. I just wish I had experimented with things even more. Again, it comes back to my fear. It's the fear and insecurity about myself that I've always had and the same I still carry with me today, like an old coat.

As each year passes, I managed to shrug off more layers of fabric from this coat. Turning 30 is just a blip in what is my life-long process of accepting myself. Each year I realize my weaknesses are not always deal-breakers. I get a better appreciation of my own quirks, learn new lessons from mistakes made long past and slowly but surely, I come to cherish the qualities that others recognize in me and the very ones I rarely give myself credit for.

Oh I'll regret not having the chance to be a complete dumbass doing completely dumbass things as a 20-year old. Come to think of it, I wasn't exactly the most reckless, dumbass 20-year old out there, not by a long shot. I'll just have to settle for getting into dumbass shenanigans in my thirties, when I'm slightly smarter and just slightly more experienced. The thrills may not be the same, they'll just be different.

So in a sense, I am committed to making my thirties my new twenties. My twenties, minus the fear, the anger and the aimlessness. No, this is not about recapturing my youth like they do in Pepsi commercials. This is about forging ahead, taking risks and jumping on new opportunities.

Young, sadly, is not what I feel. I'm feeling lethargic, I am cramps and aches and I generally couldn't feel more like an old man than I do right now. So here's to creeping across that line into thirtydom in true form: creeking and wheezing, yes, but ready to duke it out for at least another 10 years.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pendulum Swings Back to 500WPD Blogging

Job hunting disorientation, the cooler weather today and feelings of borderline sickness all conspired to eat up my hours today and preempt a long overdue post to this humble website of mine.

I never knew managing -- or in my case, failing to manage -- two blogs at once would be so taxing an effort. Just a few months after launching my Xbox 360 blog, I switched full gears into writing video game updates and little else. Much to my surprise, friends began asking about the sudden dearth of posts. Asking is a bit too polite, although I don't want to fault anyone for exercising some good ol'fashioned "bitchin' & moaning". Particularly friends in transit or living abroad were using my blog as live conduit into my life and my extended radio silence left them completely in the dark about little old me.

And now I'm back, not with more empty promises of getting back into regular blogging habits, or even recapping all the petty going-ons that have marred or otherwise enlivened my existence since the end of March.

I just... felt the need to write.

And in the process of my urge to form thoughts and ideas in blog-friendly format, maybe I will ruminate over some things that have been going on in the World of Me.

Unemployment, especially during the height of summer, is a bizarre sort of predicament. The gorgeous weather, uplifting vibe and reams of lovely exposed flesh are not the most conducive motivators for hunkering down inside a job resource centre, library or even at home in front of the online job boards. I've been playing it all off as some free-spirit, happily advertising my unemployed bum status to all who dare to ask and confessing my unadulterated enjoyment of the work-free summer lifestyle. I will say this: of the 3 or 4 times I've found myself without a job, this is undoubtedly my most pleasurable, guilt-free stint ever.

There are a few contributing reasons to my shameless enjoyment. A certain, unhealthy fixation to video games keeps me in the house, out of trouble and away from the general flow of daily consumerism. The weather, at least during one glorious week in May and for much of July so far, as been suitably hot and cheery, and on those days I am tempted out into the beach or the coffee house to wile away precious hours alternately reading or ogling, depending on what affords the best view at the time. My love life has also undergone a bit of a jump-start in defiance of my usual self-bias of someohow being dating-ineligible by mere fact of being unemployed. In that regard, I have pleasantly surprised myself and currently enjoy relearning the ropes: fumbling through the early stages of courtship, or wooing, or whatever sappy formalized term you prefer to use other than simply, "hooking up".

Lastly, I think I'm enjoying my unemployment so much simply because I have progressively let go of my "career transition" stress. Whereas before I might be hell-bent on finding the job, now I have a more positive view on the possibility that the job will find me. Oh, I am still quite in the dark about discovering that magical answer that melds some passion of mine to an actual job title. But I've started to let that go and be at peace with perhaps doing work, any kind of work, and being able to realize quickly if I would derive any satisfaction from doing it.

I wish I could be more clear about that but I feel like I'm rapidly fading in terms of being articulate. My writing ability can feel like it runs on a dusty backup generator: juice fires up for emergency situation, then dissipates quickly. Simply put, my work-free bliss will soon be facing some harsh reality as my employment benefits will run out early next month. The search for a stable, long-term job is taking on a different tactic, the one of finding some stop-gap work ASAP so I can continue my Quest of Finding a Meaningful Career and still have some change left over to eat, sleep on a bed and play more video games.

There are also a couple articles stewing in my Blogger queue, so don't be surprised if you see some new material on these pages in the coming week. Although not a full-fledged promise of a return to consistent blogging, it's the best I can do right now with oh, just SO MUCH ON MY PLATE. You do understand, don't you?

Besides, I love flaunting the irony that is the title of my blog with the actual frequency of my blogging.

Hope everyone is having a semi-interesting July.

p.s. - I've also succumbed to the charms of Facebook. God help us all.