Thirty Four

A big, scary number. Closer than ever to forty. Far, far away from twenty.

Physically, I’m older. But sometimes I catch myself still acting like a child. I wonder if that will always be the case.

What sort of things occupy other people’s mind upon waking?

These days, I find myself checking my watch to see if I woke up yet again in the middle of the night. If I sleep with my phone under my pillow, I reach for it and check for notifications. I turned off my notifications for majority of the apps on my phone, but that doesn’t stop me from checking anyway.

Throughout the day, usually after my husband has gone to work, I catch myself wondering if this is all I would ever amount to. If I would ever want to be more than what I am, and if I even have the energy and motivation to pursue a life that’s more than this.

I think about the person I have become. How the people I consider friends have steadily decreased over the last few years. How I’ve come to dislike some of the people (i.e. men) I used to hang out with regularly because I realized I can no longer tolerate both the shit they do and say, and that which they don’t. How I occasionally find myself envying people who don’t find the need to share details of their lives on the internet, and then console myself by thinking it’s okay to want to share.

I have not outgrown my capacity to live in my own head, it seems.

Sometimes, I think about writing stories again. But when I sit down to write, I am reminded of how laborious writing is, of how many other people are far better writers than I ever will be, of how little the chance is that I’d ever be a serious, successful writer. And then I find something else to do. Something easier, like doom scrolling on Twitter and lurking on Reddit.

I wish I could convert my anger and frustration into energy I could use for more noble pursuits. But the truth is it only sucks whatever energy I have left from living my unremarkable life.

But that’s just how it is for most of us, isn’t it? Truth is, most of us will only ever be ordinary people leading ordinay lives. Telling myself this is oddly comforting, mostly because I know it’s true, and knowing makes me feel less alone in my ordinariness.