Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Art of the Possible

Recently I've been thinking a lot about my impending birthday (I'm about 5 months away). I'm in my mid-30's and am fast approaching sitting on the other side of the "mid." I'm not depressed or embarrassed about my age, but I do feel kind of anxious about the whole thing. It isn't that I care about wrinkles - well okay - that's a lie. I do care about wrinkles and the fact that they are grinding into my face jackhammer-style, but that doesn't give me palpitations. It's not that kind of anxiety.

Lately, I feel a sense of possibility unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I wonder how I can embrace all of my "possibles" in one lifetime. The goals I want to achieve. The trips I want to take. The children I hope to have. How is it all possible? Does planning or choosing to focus on one thing, turn a different possibility into an impossible? Does one choice prohibit another? How can I realistically learn about all the things I'd like to learn about? I feel envious of other people's experiences, not because I regret any of my own, but because I want to have had theirs as well. I'm sure what I'm feeling is natural. Something that comes on for many people in their 30's - like an emotional clock that rides alongside the biological one - but how do you quiet it down?

I feel like a 17-year-old who is sitting down with a guidance counselor and being asked what I'd like to do in my life. The answer: everything. Well, not everything, I think I could live a very full life without ever becoming a proctologist, but I'd love to experience many, many things. I don't really want life experience, I want to have experienced life - in all sorts of different ways.

So how do you begin?

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