Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It’s my Birthday and I’ll feel unsettled if I want to.

I’m pretty sure when I was 10 and writing about where I wanted to be in 20 years, I said, “Be married and have 2 kids”, because that’s what everyone says. Maybe there’s a little variation with everything else, but most people, at least when they’re 10 and they’ve never had a real relationship, says they want to be settled down, and this means married with kids. Despite dysfunctional family TV.

I’m married, I have 2 kids and I’m not sure what settled means.

Today I am 30. I have a college degree, I’m an English teacher, I have an island I call home, and a fridge that I can open the door of and eat anything I want out of. I put a 4 year old in time out. I clean my floor with an electronic mop I bought off the internet. I have to choose a new medical plan during open enrollment. I know what “open enrollment” actually means. I’m pretty sure this is what it means to be an adult.

When I woke up I felt crappy. I couldn’t decide if I should just shake the funk of night wakings and sore ipples and move on. I sat down with the baby and yelled to Amaya to bring me stuff while I wrote e-mails one-handed. Then I felt bad about what I haven’t accomplished in 30 years and at least I could accomplish something today. I changed and thought about lunch. I put the rice on and immediately felt like I should have made something else. I sat down and started researching grass fed beef in Hawaii and made an order to pick up at the Farmer’s market on Thursday. I started feeling very guilty about buying chicken nuggets last time I was at Costco. I realized that Amaya was basically running wild and decided to make lunch for us to eat outside. Then I sat in front of the computer because I was worried about going back to work in January. This seemed like a solution of some kind. I flipped through the Momofuku cookbook and made notes for challenge #6 for my food blog. Then I felt guilty for basically spending the whole day thinking about food. So I did what I do best: I started getting out stuff to make molten chocolate cakes.

Jake came back and asked me what I wanted to do. I didn’t know.  What do you do when you’re trying to eat healthy and making molten chocolate cakes? What do you do when you’re too tired to go out but find it weird that your birthday has become a day that you still have to live your regular life? What do you do when you’re 30?

I started worrying. Is this what 30 is like? Not knowing and feeling guilty and fighting urges? I’m thinking that if I could go back in time to my 10 year old self, I would say, “You should learn how to organize your stuff, control your impulses, and only shop green. Maybe then you’ll feel settled when you’re married and have 2 kids.”

Then I thought, this is probably not what 30 feels like.

This is probably just what a day after a night of waking up 6 times to feed a baby feels like.

Jake came to the rescue and made us go to the beach, eat out, and wolf down molten chocolate cakes with Haagen dazs. I felt pretty settled.

Especially in my stomach.

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