I had my birthday recently. First birthday I’ve ever had away from family – which is weird to consider. I was worried it would be really hard. Birthdays aren’t a huge deal after a certain age, and it’s not like I ever really do anything big to celebrate anymore, but there are small things about them that still matter to me. I believe everyone should have a cake on their birthday. If I have to make one for myself, I will (and have before). I also believe people should be sang to – as long as it isn’t in front of a restaurant or something. I hate those occasions. They’re embarrassing to me and make me feel awkward.
I spent my birthday with Melanie, as everyone else was unable to join for one reason or another. It was a bit bittersweet, but overall, it doesn’t matter, because Melanie was there, and we had fun. Not to mention I was exhausted after all of my papers being due the day before. She was the absolute best and made it special for me. We had breakfast together (per my request) where we ate pancakes and drank mimosas. She made me a yellow cake with chocolate icing from scratch, the first she has EVER made, and it was amazing. She wrote me a super sweet (and funny) poem on a card, and I’ve put it up on my mantle with my other birthday cards from my family. I cried when I saw that mammaw had signed her name on the card from her and pawpaw. Seeing her brittle handwriting was hard, but I loved that she was able to sign at all. Heck, I’m crying again just thinking about it. My sister had her oldest son sign my birthday card, and I was so happy seeing he is learning to write already. It meant a lot to me. It all did.
Melanie and I went to dinner together, just the two of us, nothing fancy. We went to a burger shop I had ordered a veggie burger from before and really liked. I think she had wanted to do it big for me, because birthdays are important to her, too. I think she may have been more disappointed at the people who backed out than I was. Her beau joined us for drinks after dinner, but after being fed a few shots from the bartenders (Melanie informed them of my birthday), I was ready to go. I was exhausted and knew I couldn’t handle more, it’s been so long since I’ve drank. When we got home, they fixed the cake for me, put candles on in the shape of an “M” and sang. I gobbled practically the whole thing down, while drunk from our dinner. They really made it great for me, and I’m so grateful for them both.
And so, my birthday has come and gone, and 30 looms ever closer. The nearer I get to 30, the more I have to battle with the standards society has thrown out, dictating directions and achievements to the 30+ woman. I don’t feel ready for anything. Aren’t I supposed to have things figured out now? Have a steady job, a husband, maybe even a family? Shouldn’t I feel like I’m almost 30? Because, I don’t. I don’t feel older, though my body may be starting to look it. I don’t feel like I want to stop going out dancing and drinking in fun clothes. I don’t feel like I want to stop playing video games or watching cartoons. I don’t feel like I want to take out all my piercings, stop wearing trendy clothes, or stop dressing in ways I was never confident enough to before. I don’t feel like I want a husband, or a family, or anything of the sort. I just feel… lost still. I want to travel. That’s the most I know of myself. I want to go across the world, hiking, kayaking, doing all the things I’ve always said “I’ll do that one day” but still have yet to do. I’ve done a lot of this to myself, keeping myself inside and just daydreaming about the life, rather than living it. I’ve hardly explored London, because my time to myself I spend reading alone or watching happy movies. Now I wonder, am I too old to go off hiking across the world? I don’t even know how to hike. I’m not fit, I’m not active. But I want to go. I always have.
I know my personality, for the most part, at least. I’ve always been a dreamer. It has only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. But I also know that this fantasy idealistic life that I want is just that: fantasy. It’s so hard for me to turn away from, though. I know I have unrealistic expectations about life. I’m not completely lost in my head. And yet…I can’t help it. I remember for one of my printmaking assignments in college, we had to make an etching of an image that was 2×2 inches. We had various topics to illustrate which the professor chose, and one of them was our biggest fear. I drew a quaint house with a fence and a dog, then titled it “fear of mediocrity.” Partly to be contrary (look how cool and different I am, watch me wallow in my angst), but also because it was true. I’ve never really wanted the “every day” life. I’ve never wanted a house with a white picket fence. Mediocrity terrifies me. Our lives are just blinks in the grand scheme of things. I’m certainly not about to make some huge difference in scientific breakthroughs, become famous, make a huge political stand, or whatever. And that’s fine. I doubt I’d handle that life well. But I don’t want to just…be. I want to be more. I don’t know if that explains it adequately enough. And now more than ever, with new debt, with maybe an MA being achieved, with all my friends and family moving into their own families and paths, with getting older… shouldn’t I finally have direction? It isn’t here yet. I’m not sure when it will be.
All I know is that Wednesday I have a presentation. Thursday I have a date. Next week there is a conference I can listen in on some days. July 10th my first chapter of my dissertation is due. Past that… I have no idea.
My dissertation topic is officially “Shifts in Polychrome Decoration on 3D Monuments From the Hellenistic to Roman Period.” I’m going to discuss the materials, application and methods, and the effect of coloured marble statues on the people of the time. I may look some on bronze, too, per Dr. Shaggy’s suggestion. I’m excited, I think. I’m nervous I won’t do well. Dr. Shaggy and I talked it through and came up with a basic structure, so I feel better about it in that respect. I just need to research and somehow accomplish it. I’ve got a month to write my first chapter, revolving around the Hellenistic age. I’m not sure if I’m meant to also write my intro… he only said the chapter. Guess I’ll see how it all goes.
Off subject, but I started to read a story on Wattpad and it really got to me for some reason. It isn’t finished yet, but there are multiple points of view, and one of them is told from an abusive boyfriend’s perspective. He’s awful. He’s mainly mentally and verbally abusive, but has started to become physically abusive. He’s cheating on the female character and just reading his chapter made me feel dirty and sick to my stomach. I know this story is completely fictional, I get that. But stuff like this really happens, and it is eating at me. Maybe this is why I don’t really seek out relationships. I have such trust issues with things like this. I either give nothing, or give everything and smother my partner. I have yet to figure out how to balance a relationship, and I have such insecurities with myself. So when this type of thing happens, it pretty much destroys me. Does everyone cheat? I think so, which is terrible. Is every relationship a secret lie? I feel like it is. I’m going to need to watch a Disney movie to wash the story away.