I felt so certain at 28. It felt like that entire year was the first exhale of my life and all the previous years had been one giant inhale. I felt the relief of settling into my late twenties. There was a softening. A certainty of the things that made me happy. I crafted a life the best way I knew how at the time. Piecing together all the unintentional decisions of my early twenties, the missteps, the hard work, the anxiety, the joy. Tossed together and mixed with new passions. I accepted a low-stress job (no practicing tax law, no clients, just writing), danced constantly, and made time for new relationships. When the weather was warm I ate lunch outside (usually a mango and a pepper, biting right into both) while dipping my toes in the neighborhood fountain outside my office. I regularly visited the library and racked up fines that I think single-handedly fund the Arlington Public Library. I learned to cook lots of new vegetarian dishes (okay, mostly just salads with roasted vegetables). It was easy street, and I felt at ease finally enjoying my life.
But lately I’ve lost that a bit. I’m 29 now and feel less sure of myself. Like I should be more ambitious. The jury is still out on whether this is a result of DC/American culture (I feel guilt for being happy sometimes?) or if I really do need to resolve this feeling that I have (the need to be challenged in some way?). I suspect this spiral started with a Bumble date with a guy that started his own coffee shop(s)/company. To sit across the table from someone whose life had taken such shape. Someone that had built something doing what they loved. To stare at it. And then hold my life in my hands. What I’d built. And while it’s good and fine and I’m thankful and content for the most part. It made me realize that maybe some things are missing. That maybe I should reach for more, search for more. And I think the fact that I have this feeling at all is reason enough to explore it.
And if the answer to this question/feeling was in my head then perhaps I would be living differently. Figuring things out wouldn’t even be an issue. But it’s not there and I don’t know what to do next. But I do know that the only way to be certain of what you like is to try a lot of things. Right? And while I think whirling about town and moving from interest to that interest may not be the best way to live a life (I really think there is merit in sticking to one thing and choosing it and loving it despite bad days, etc., and I should probably just do that with dance sometimes I get distracted and bored but really I haven’t found anything that makes me happier than dancing oh no this is turning into stream of consciousness, I digress), I think it’s what I need right now.
So I am going to try to try 30 new things before I turn 30 (in roughly 20 weeks).* First five up:
- Learning about plants at Rewild DC. Taking my first class on Saturday about trimming and propagating pothos (supposedly a very undemanding plant – baby steps!).
- Learning about tea with MeiMei Fine Teas in Fairfax, VA. I e-mailed the owner about a tea associate/apprentice position.
- First pilates class at Pilates ProWorks (this will also help my hips!).
- First official heels class at Cerdafied Studios.
- Hand embroidery at Stitch Sew Shop.
I’ll post updates for each one here and try to write more about dancing. I journal about dancing a lot, but I haven’t taken the time to compile my random thoughts into something coherent that can be turned into a blog post. I’ll work on that though.
P.S. I was trying to decide whether “wile away” or “while away” was correct. So I Googled, of course, and came across one answer here that I loved (“the double entendre of ‘wile’ is tempting. One may ‘wile away time’ in a fashion whereby one ‘tricks’ time to pass quickly, or, to make time pass slowly – like to draw out a moment of lovemaking to feel like an hour of pleasure.”). I once read that if you want time to slow down, you should do a lot of different things (“time lengthens in the presence of novelty” – thus, wiling time away? making it feel as if it is passing slowly?). I need to massage this thought out, but I think I’m on to something here. Here’s to the rest of 29. I shall whirl about town wiling my days away.
xoxo for now
*I reserve the right to fully abandon this if I find something worth sticking to.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Prillaman Photography