I turned 30 in October. I built it up in my mind as a really intense thing that was to happen to me, that suddenly I would not be young and fun in my twenties, but wiser and methodical in my thirties.
Things were going badly, really badly, that week and it felt like my life was out of control. All I really wanted was to do something fun and adventurous for my thirty years on earth. There was a football game, away in Mississippi, on that Saturday and I planned to go there. Things kept falling through. I was out of money, The Friend forced me to ride in his (gas guzzling) car and I refused to say anything about it, and my aunt got sick and couldn’t go. At midnight I popped a bottle of champagne and drank it myself on my back porch, while The Friend sat inside watching TV and talking to whoever online. At six in the morning we left for Mississippi.
I posted a few things on social media about what I wanted in my next thirty years. But mostly I was left that weekend feeling like my “turning thirty” adventure really sucked.
Flash forward to now, six months later, and boy am I on an adventure. New city, new job, and trying to make some new friends. Everything feels foreign. I moved two hours away but it feels like halfway around the globe.
I was, for better or worse, good at my job that I had previously. I had it for nearly nine years and knew it inside and out. I was comfortable, had made connections, and did it to the best of my ability. I had thoughts on what the future should look like with my responsibilities and had a court of people who cared to listen to those thoughts and determine what was useful and accepted my input. I had some power and some swag, and I had some influence. I worked with people who knew my intellectual abilities and respected them.
I should have found a better adventure to go on, because the adventure that found me is a hard one. I lost my social network when I moved. My social network is now my parents and my aunt and uncle. The ladies I work with are nice but definitely are curious about why I am not married and love to remind me of biological clocks that cannot be rewound. I don’t tell a soul here what my story is and where I have come from beyond the basics. But if you really knew me, you wouldn’t push me about why I’m not married. Everything happens for a reason and but for the grace of God I haven’t married anyone I’ve come across yet nor bored them children. So I smile politely and play the “I don’t have a soul” card with them. I pretend that I am cold and unmoved by romantic gestures for the benefit of not having to say that I pick poor partners. That I do have a heart and it is in constant disconnect and disagreement with my brain.
The work itself is easy and something I am interested in. There is some travel involved, which is nice. And I am given wide liberties with time and direction. The individuals I serve are the best part, as I can do what I do best–advise and counsel and encourage. But the individuals that I must work with to service these great people are difficult. They don’t know me, and I don’t know how they will. They don’t get to see my real skills. I am not trusted yet because I am new. I am still navigating the office politics waters and seeing who really runs the show and who doesn’t. When I was 23 I was often “bossed around” by people who didn’t have the authority to do so, simply because I was younger. As I aged and acquired largess and showed my prowess at my previous job, the respect came along. I forgot how utterly helpless I would feel at times, though, when someone was hateful to me just because I was new. I have tried to the approach of an old friend–“make them your best friend”. I am overly nice at all times. It gets old.
It was hard to pretend like everything was fine in my old life. Seeing people who knew what was wrong with me didn’t help. There was always a brave face to put on but there was also knowledge that nobody believed you. I wasn’t ever sure what to say to anyone. I was drowning and nobody grabbed my hand. There was a lot of blame tossed at me. Rightfully so.
So in some ways there is a sense of relief for me. At times, during the entire duration of the stay of The Friend in my home, I prayed for change. Because it felt like I would break if things didn’t change. Eventually breaking became more attractive than anything. Many nights I wanted to simply not “be” any more. I am too chicken shit to hurt myself, but I wanted someone else to do it. Maybe a car crash or finally he’d just hit me hard enough to do real damage. Something, anything, that would put me in a state of floating away and not struggling to keep my head above the water of life. And that’s over. I don’t have to struggle with that anymore. I don’t have to be abused or harmed when I go home. I live in a safe place where nobody hurts me. I am straightening out my finances. I am getting in touch with what is wrong with me and what I can do to fix it. I am reading more, hoping to study something in grad school. Seriously hoping that, and not just saying it for the benefit of others.
Because everything is different, I can forget the last six months and just never talk about them to anyone else.
It’s an adventure in a strange place. With nobody here to guide me. I wanted to do something big at 30.
Here I am.