Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What Was Lost

Okay, so. Y'all are going to judge me for this post, and that's understandable, but try to stick with me, okay? Because there are some life lessons here, I think.

Sometime in the next year (I decline to say when, exactly), I'm going to reach a milestone birthday: 30. I am in no way prepared for this eventuality, in spite of having had three decades to brace myself for it.

There are many reasons why I'm overwhelmingly trepidatious about turning 30. Most of them have to do with not being where I thought I would be by that age: career, relationship, and so on. But there is one more, decidedly superficial explanation. I will not be getting my spectacular "Happy 30th Birthday!" gift to myself.

Once upon a time, I decided that I would start saving money with the intention of purchasing a (secondhand) Hermés Kelly at 30. It's the pinnacle of luxury--classier than its more popular sister the Birkin and lovingly hand-crafted from the finest materials in the world by master artisans. This was meant to be my way of congratulating myself for making it so far when I had strong suspicions that I wouldn't. Was the price sure to be steep? Yes. Let's not even talk about how outrageous it would be for me to spend all of my money on such an item or how even just five years ago when I hatched this plan, it would have cost MUCH less to accomplish the task.

But I had made other things happen: I wanted to take a trip outside of North America before I hit a quarter-century, and I managed it through an unexpected stroke of good luck as well as some generosity on the part of others; I wanted to have my second chapbook published before I was 30, and I persevered until I signed not one but two publication contracts. So in a way, I failed myself by not getting enough money together for that Kelly.

This hurts me a little. Not just because I'm materialistic and acquisitive--which I definitely am--but also because it's another reminder of the things I've lost along the way. Before you judge me too harshly, I would like to make it clear that I appreciate everything I DO have: a roof over my head (thanks, Mom and Dad), a job (thanks, Nancy and Becky), a modicum of good health (THANKS, OBAMA!), and more. So this is a sort of lament for what could have been in general, rather than a petulant complaint about an item I don't have in my closet.

Obviously I can--and will--live without yet another handbag, and a costly one, at that. But this knowledge doesn't negate the creeping notion that I may, in fact, be some kind of a failure. After more than a year out of my beloved office, I haven't been able to regain a foothold in my previous career track, which hurts enough in and of itself. More than that, though, I'm the girl who had to move back in with her parents (again, thank you, Mom and Dad) and can't even pay her own cell phone bill or feed herself (seriously, thank you). 

So, you see, it isn't really about the bag.

On the plus side, Little Dog is always at my side, my friends stuck around, my current job mostly doesn't suck, and I haven't run out of books to read. Plus, I get to see Niece and Nephew more often. When I start to get gloomy about the state of my life, I have to list these things off so I don't lose sight of this: not everything was lost.


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