I declined to celebrate my birthday yesterday. It had nothing to do with getting older; instead, I've had a lot going on the past month or two, and the past couple of weeks particularly I've had some background stress of trying to figure out some relationship stuff in a context of one of my rounds of temporary insanity, and it was just too much for me to organize even anything like asking friends out to dinner. So I decided to skip it, and that worked out well. I spent almost the entire day with various friends anyway (including a co-worker's party, whose birthday was Thursday).
Twenty-Seven ended up being a pretty odd year. I started it out being pretty down about a relationship ending; I ended it with another relationship transitioning out of the dating realm and into something else that comes after that (hopefully being friends). I spent most of Twenty-Seven being a kind of muted version of myself, feeling stuck in my life, feeling like I was putting a lot of effort into generating movement and not getting much for results. I dated a genuinely wonderful girl who's taught me a lot, and that was nice. Toward the end of the year everything cascaded into a flash flood of good changes: I got laid off from the job I didn't like, pretty quickly found a job I love, visited my family, vacationed in Seattle (where I ran into my cousin from D.C., but that's another story). The salary bump from the new job has me looking for a vacation home with a couple I'm good friends with, since (a) buying a home in the Bay Area is kind of dodgy still (Alameda has inflated to the point where the starter home, a 900sqft 2 bedroom/1 bath, is selling for $700,000), (b) we'd all like a place in the woods to get away to, and (c) we live and work relatively far from each other, so buying a duplex or something isn't really practical. If we can make the house happen, I'm sure I'll be learning a lot about home repair and improvement. In terms of what's actually happening in my life, I think I'm more optimistic about Twenty-Eight than I have been about other years.
I think it's a good idea for me to not be dating anyone for a while. I don't say or feel that very often, but the way I'm processing this latest round of temporary insanity--a thing that happens with me where I go from being solid and open and peaceful to freaked out and wildly moody and unable to distinguish or talk about my real feelings--has me seeing that my relationships always have these episodes, which are hard enough on me but are particularly difficult for whoever I'm with, since I can go months as a rock-solid person, being consistent, reliable, unflappable, open, and lots of other good things...and then it switches almost overnight, and it takes days or weeks for me to crawl back to being my regularly scheduled self. These interludes are part of who I am; at various people's suggestion I've modified my diet and tried tweaking my sleep schedule, just to eliminate possibilities, but while avoiding large piles of starches has given me more energy and practically eliminated my depression, the episodes remain. (Which at least means I can keep drinking alcohol and coffee and know that I'm not bothered by any effects.) I've got a substantial pile of projects going on right now--aikido, house-hunting, thoroughly engaging new job--and some time being grounded in myself seems like a good thing for all concerned.
It's worthwhile, you know: not acting from anger.