When you turn 30, an odd thing starts to happen. You start noticing the things others chose that you did not. Sometime in our mid 20’s, the ponies start to separate and some folks travel the tried and true path while others seek to forge their own way, riding the coat tails of their passions to the very end.
As Frank Zappa so eloquently puts it:
If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.
Whether you decide to climb the corporate ladder, have babies, travel or launch your own business, do it because you want to. It’s your life. Here’s what I did with mine.
- I traveled. I wandered through castle ruins in Wales, rode a horse after one too many beers in Tennessee. I missed trains, got stranded at bus stops, got lost in Rome. I fell in love in London, got stoned at a commune in Copenhagen, looked for witches in Salem, camped with elks in Colorado and experienced the stench of death in New Orleans.
- I played roller derby in three different states. Learned to ride a horse, a motorcycle, a plane by myself. I raised a dog.
- I had chickens living in my apartment kitchen. Got tattoos. Shaved my head. Traded shoes with drag queens. Wrote a sex advice column.
- I moved to Vermont. I moved to Philly. I lived in a sergeants mess in England. I slept in the back of a car in Brooklyn. I owned a horse, a Ford, a Honda. I helped a sheep give birth on a cold night in New England.
- A boy made a movie about me. I worked at a bar where “lingerie lunch” was a thing, a book store, a dry cleaners. I was a hostess.
- I wrote a lot. I lost my job and so I launched my own business. I paid my way through Europe with my words.
- I dated. I dated a lot. I meditated. I ran. I lost God. I wondered if little girls could be raised by wolves.
- I suffered. I witnessed a friend get raped, another take his own life with a rope. I was a bridesmaid. I was a bartender. I was in a burlesque performance – once.
- I wanted to publish a book. I practiced yoga. I ate fire.
- I found God. Stroked a pet wolf in Portsmouth. Napped in a castle in Cardiff.
- Thought about grad school. Thought about marriage. Contemplated babies. Dismissed them all.
- Dedicated my hours to my art. Locked myself away for months at a time and honed my skill. I wrote. I wrote. I wrote.