Blogiversary and Last Birthday of My Twenties!

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It’s always easy to remember my blogiversary, because I started this blog on my 25th birthday. Today, I turn 29, which means I’ve hit something of a personal record in blogging. Not only have I been chronicling my life and personal soap boxes for four years, but I’ve done so consistently. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a full month without an update, even when I was working two jobs and going to grad school. Here’s hoping the anonymity I’ve employed allows me to do so for years to come and that I’ll have even more reason to celebrate each and every birthday, because I love birthdays. I don’t just mean my own, either. Nope. I’ve already chosen gifts for both Gail and Jake, each of whom I fully intend to celebrate with next month, despite the fact that the former finds birthdays only vaguely appealing and the latter insists that they’re downright juvenile. No one spends a birthday alone on my watch.

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My love of everyone’s birthday stems from the fact that my mother always did them up big, when I was a kid. Still, I always sort of assumed, that as I grew older, mine would lose their appeal, as everyone’s eventually do. I mean, my Facebook feed has been flooded with comments about how old we’re all getting since we were 24. I, myself, used the phrase “staring down the barrel of 30” just weeks before I hit 27, much to Gail’s horror. Surely, birthdays would lose their novelty in time.

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On the contrary, I have come to the very last birthday of my twenties and I could not be more excited about getting older… and this blog deserves much of the credit. For four years, I’ve been sharing every triumph, every failure, every heartache, and every cheesy lovey dovey thought with the 1,400 or so followers who subscribe to my blog. At times, I haven’t known if anyone but Gail was even reading, going off of likes and comments, but I’ve told the tale anyway, because I know one person who will always read and that’s Future Belle. I love to look back at the stories and thoughts I shared in a different time, as a different person. At 25, I never realized how much could change in four years, but here I am struggling to remember what it was like to be the single grad student rushing from one job to another, praying I’d have enough money to make it through the summer without substitute teaching. In another four years, I’m sure I’ll be looking back, wondering what it was like to go home to an empty apartment and have the entire evening to myself… and that’s just so exciting. 

At 16, if asked, I’d have predicted college, career, marriage, home ownership, and babies years ago, because that’s how it’s supposed to go in the South. Certainly, I wouldn’t have anticipated reentering the dating world after a divorce at 23, in tandem with starting graduate school. I wouldn’t have even guessed at the possibility of meeting the love of my life at 27 and still being unmarried at 29, let alone waiting until my 30’s to start a family. I’d have been horrified by what the timeline actually looks like.

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I have so many thrilling moments ahead of me, so much to accomplish and yet, so many achievements to boast. If my life has changed this much in the last four years, I can’t imagine how amazing it’ll be in the next four. Given the choice, I’d so much rather be 29 and where I am than 25 and where I was and I imagine I’ll say the same at 39. Being an adult, moving forward in life, just generally getting older is awesome!

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Blogiversary Number Three!

The trouble with my blogiversary is that it’s actually on my birthday…

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… not that my dad remembers when that is. After I sent the “what’s up?” text, I checked my voicemail to receive his happy birthday wishes.

The man is a parody of himself.

Anyhoo, the blogiversary post is always a tough one to fit in, because I love birthdays. I birthday myself to death. Saturday, I got together with Gaily, Catherine, and Laura. We stuffed ourselves with cookie cake, pizza, and liquor and talked about boys. I told them all about how I drove to Wellston after work on Thursday to see Jake, who made me the boyest and sweetest dinner ever: pork chops and canned peas and corn on paper plates that got soggy before I was finished eating. It was wonderful and he obviously missed me as much as I missed him, so I stayed the night and drove home at 6:00 the next morning.

Monday, Gaily and I drove 40 miles for donuts that aren’t as epic as everyone claims and I illegally downloaded Trainwreck for us to watch while crafting. Last night, Niki brought sushi over and we gorged on leftover cookie cake and caught up on each other’s lives. Tonight, on my actual birthday, I get dinner with my favorite lady in the whole world: my Gramma. Later, I’ll see my work friends at a grown-up arcade. Tomorrow, my guy comes to town for two days to see me and meet Gaily and Terry and then my dad and Lena.

So, if this week is any reflection on how 28 will go, I feel like I’ve come a long way. I started this blog on my 25th birthday, a grad student carefully navigating the dating world, while still coping with a young and tragic divorce. While I’m hoping I’ll get a full time position at the library soon, I’m pretty darned content with my life right now. I have wonderful friends and family, a career I love, and a blog I’ve maintained for three years to the day. I’m excited to see my future entries. It’s not the life I planned at 18. It’s better.

Staring Down the Barrel of 30… at 27?

Me: “He’s 29 years old, lives with his mother, and plays video games all day. He is staring down the barrel of 30 and has nothing to show for it.”
Gail: “Wooooow. That is a really unhealthy way to think about your 30’s.”

30.

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My 27th birthday is just a couple of weeks away. I’m big on birthdays. Every year, I exhaust Gail with birthday hoopla and insistence that we celebrate not just mine, but also hers a few weeks later. Not only is it a holiday that’s all yours, it’s also a time for reflection. Reflection is sort of like a self-imposed grading system and there’s nothing I like more than grades, y’all.

So birthdays, for me, are a time to judge my accomplishments thus far and set new goals for the next year. Most people have a list of things to accomplish by 30. have a list of things to accomplish by 27 and a half. For now, however, I think I’m just going to start with the things that I should probably stop doing before everyone in town releases their fire lit lantern into the sky on the eve of my 30th birthday.

Gaily, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that, in addition to bridal and baby showers, coordination of the Synchronized 30th Birthday Disney Lantern Release, also falls to you.

Before I’m 30, I should probably (but likely won’t) stop…

… using the phrase “superraped” to describe a dangerous situation. i.e. “I am so going to get superraped.”

… ironically answering the phone with “Whaddup gangsta?”

… using Xenon’s “zetus lapetus” as a swear word.

… excitedly exclaiming “Oh em jingles!”

… typing out “bee tea double ewe” in text messages.

… watching (and reciting) Hocus Pocus more than 20 times per year.

… arguing with people about Titanic.

… marathoning CW teen dramas and declaring myself a team member. C’mon, Elena. TEAM DAMON!

… engaging people in the Superman vs. Batman debate, only to angrily shout that Superman wins “… BECAUSE HE’S SUPERMAN!”

… deciding a man is just not right for me, because he clearly hasn’t researched the above Superman vs. Batman topic enough for an educated discussion.
* I’m sorry, but he used the phrase “brain beats brawn.” Duuuuuude. No. Superman absorbed all of the knowledge of Krypton, a far more advanced civilization, which included Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Jor El programmed it into his ship, so he knew those things by age three. I don’t care which private school Bruce Wayne went to, he’s not beating that.

… calling everyone dude for emphasis. i.e. “Duuuuuude. No.”

… referring to sketchy scenes as “a wee bit rapey.”

… blurting “That’s what she said!” to the wrong audience. “No, Gramma. It’s a joke. You see, you don’t mean it sexually, but it can be taken that way… never mind.”

… shouting “Emotions belong with the last fucking Horcrux!” when things get dramatic.

… reading fiction that almost exclusively costs 99 cents on Amazon, because it’s about an alien race that saved the people of earth for the low, low cost of our ladies.

… only getting 2 hours of sleep, because I’m almost done yarn bombing the living room, while whispering “… just one more episode.”

… hoarding original packaging and warranty information for everything. Was I really planning to return the kitchen knives I got for Christmas three years ago?

… going to the grocery store just for the free samples and leaving with a bag of cheese cubes and dried okra.

… driving 20 miles to the mall to get assorted bags of candy.

… somehow offending people in sex shops.

… addressing problems with the phrase “I tried to make it better. That wasn’t working, so I figured I might as well make it worse.”

… picking fights with Jane about Disney.

… provoking strangers in sports bars, when they cheer for free throws and field goals, by drunkenly ranting about the Trophy Generation.

… using the phrases “sucks balls” and “go suck a bag of dicks.”

… trying to talk unwitting people into watching Human Centipede, by insisting it’s “a tale of surgical exploration and sensual teamwork.”

That, folks, is how I am going to become one classy lady… in three years.

Blogiversary!

So, today is not just my 26th birthday. It is also my blog’s first birthday. That’s right. One year ago, the night I turned 25, I wrote my first blog post since my Myspace years. The goal was to find something to occupy my time once I finished graduate school, but also to work toward the long-term, vague goal of maybe, possibly, becoming a writer one day. Oddly, I only really read fiction and only really write non-fiction; so I had a David Sedaris/Jenny Lawson style in mind. Over the past year, I’ve changed my blog title numerous times. There was The Babbling Bibliophile, but I was one of an apparent 80. In December, I moved to wordpress and became Atypical Aryan Librarian. Though I was referring to myself as a white chick of German origins, this name had some pretty negative connotations to it. It was eventually clear that the really cool assonance and rhyme didn’t quite combat the implied racism, particularly since Gail was no longer my only follower, as she was September through early December. Blogger sucks, by the way.

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No, no! You misunderstand! Wait!

For awhile, I was Atypical Southern Librarian, which totally ruined the rhyme scheme and was quite the mouthful, but I had to choose something besides Librarian of the Lynch Mob. I briefly wished I had the self-control or any desire to be a vegetarian, just because it would also rhyme, but that’s not even atypical of librarians. It’s an exceptionally liberal profession and vegetarians and vegans are quite common. Finally, I became Belle of the Library and even bought the domain name, developed a theme, and applied pseudonyms to every single blog entry I had written. That was a pain in the ass, by the way.

I realized that my blog wasn’t just a place to to receive feedback or “Big Girl Grades” as Gail calls it, but a space to stress and vent sarcastically and receive support and laughs. I wrote about my heartbreak after failing my graduate portfolio, my bad dates, the stress of finishing my degree, the continual recovery from my divorce, and my struggle with whopping mommy issues. I ranted about that funny sexist ad, quoted a hundred conversations with Gail, and shared my exhalation over passing my portfolio, graduating, and getting a Librarian position. It’s been a terrific year for me and for my blog. I’ve developed a unique writing style and received validation that I am, indeed, fucking hilarious as I get to discuss whatever the hell I want. In the last month, I was even Freshly Pressed and developed a goal I thought was out of reach. It didn’t matter, though, because I love goals. I wanted to get 500 followers by my birthday.

500 Followers

… and I did… just hours ago. So, in the next year, my personal goals are to get a full time Librarian position, actually have a healthy romantic relationship, and get Freshly Pressed again, ultimately increasing my readership by 1,000. I know, I know. It seems out of reach. I’m sure, however, that if I just keep trying, I will eventually date someone who is not a bag of dicks.

… and oh yeah. Remember that series I was writing? The final installment of The Week of 1004 Dates has not been forgotten. I will be posting it next.