Today I turn 30. As you might recall I love my birthday. Unfortunately last week I caught a (very mild) case of COVID, so birthday celebrations have been a little lower-key than I would have hoped. To cheer myself up, I made this list:
30 things that have brought me joy in the past year*:
the 2021 roséwave playlist
the new James Turrell installation at MassMoCA
Lake Placid, N.Y.
the big blue copy of Moby-Dick that Matt carried around with him all summer
two different impersonations of Freddie Mercury (one from Drag Race, one by my friend Maddi)
the genuine delight with which people responded to me and Matt’s engagement
the “smiling devil” emoji (😈) which I use to convey a kind of gleeful, chaotic joy, an emotion I’m trying to communicate more often that I’d expect
graffiti on a bike path in Providence that says “protect trans kids”
the fried tofu at Water Street Kitchen
the music video for “Silk Chiffon” and then subsequently rewatching But I’m A Cheerleader
candy from BonBon
my grandmother sending me a text message saying I was “wise to choose Matt” after he helped her set up her computer
pizza from White Barn Farm
when visiting DC, getting home from a run and stumbling upon two kids covering “Tibetan Pop Stars” for a small crowd
playing Kentucky Route Zero
the 2021 Falmouth in the Fall road race
the green beret Madeline bought me for Christmas
this inspiring tweet
blondies from Bread Furst
my parents’ neighbors, who put two of those twelve-foot-tall skeletons in their yards for Halloween and then, instead of taking them down after the holiday was over, kept them up and gave them seasonally appropriate outfits for Thanksgiving and Christmas
the Laurie Anderson exhibition at the Hirshhorn and also this profile of her
Perfume Genius live at 9:30 Club
Medium Build covering “Thank U” by Alanis Morissette, karaoke style, at Baby’s All Right
getting to host a couple podcast episodes
getting a shoutout on my friend Thamy’s radio show on WKCO
having a mild Saturn return
every single time someone responded to a constellations email :)
The prospect of turning 30 intimidates me and, alone in my pandemic isolation for the past week, I’ve been trying to figure out why. I have written before about believing I’m maybe just a late bloomer, and about feeling like I’ve aged out of having any excuse for naive mistakes. Well, maybe that about sums it up. Of course, both of those perceptions rest on a lot of assumptions and external timelines; wouldn’t it be nice to question them, dismantle them, shrug them off? Easier said than done, I guess. Anyway, over the past year I’ve come to a better awareness that the world moves on its own timeline, not mine. You might choose to believe that’s due to the universe’s generosity — that it has its own plan for us, one we’d be wise to discern and embrace — or due to its fundamental indifference — that it doesn’t care about us and our desires. Either way it’s begun to feel increasingly foolish for me to try to act otherwise, or to fall too deeply in love with my little plans. I would be wise to cultivate patience, but maybe even more so, I would be wise to make sure I’m ready when the moment comes. I guess that’s my hope for this next year.
Here are some other things I have been consuming lately: Sonic Youth; Diaspora Problems by SOUL GLO; Together by Duster; the Wet Leg record; the entirety of my brother’s favorite season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia; the TV show Severance; the novel Severance by Ling Ma (unrelated to the TV show but also great); 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell; this Twitter thread of wild facts about Chuck E. Cheese; this article about an inspiring polyglot; a livestream of the Boston Marathon; Quordle, a maniacal four-way re-rendering of Wordle that I, embarrassingly, can’t stop playing; strawberry Pocky; so much time alone
Thanks for reading. Please stay safe & please wear a mask! Hope the world is moving at your speed this month.
*Since I already made lists of my favorite songs and albums and books at the end of 2021, it felt like cheating to name them all again here. So there’s a conspicuous lack of music and books in this list; sorry!