To celebrate my birthday this year, I did something that I’ve been meaning to do for three years. On the Friday before my birthday, I went to a martini bar at a hotel where I had stayed three years ago. After that, I went to my favourite bar in town and proceeded to have a few beverages. While there, I sat and wrote, like I tend to do.
Here’s what I wrote, with bourbon and beer for company:
20.37 May 1, 2015
I did something tonight that I’ve been wanting to do for about three years. I did it three years to the day, too. I went to the bar at the Pantages hotel.
Doesn’t sound like too momentous an occasion, does it? It was anti-climactic. Still, I feel better for having done it.
I didn’t stay for long, just long enough to have a dirty gin martini and a salad. There was no reason to stay and no compulsion to leave.
It took me three years to go. It took me three years to finally get over the reason I live in Toronto. It took me three years.
What, in three years, has changed?
Let’s count the ways:
- I live in Toronto
- I’m a qualified teacher
- I have a good job and career
- I have a really great group of friends
- I live on my own
- I’m single
- I have a new satchel
- I’m having some real success with quitting smoking
- I have grey hairs
- I have an iPhone again
- My car is registered in Toronto/Ontario
- My sister is doing her Ph.D.
- My sister went to and came back from East Africa
- I’m working my way out of my debt
- I lived in Orillia for a year
- I’ve been on dates
- I’ve had sex with some women
- I have an online dating profile
- I have a different blog
- I have an iPad Mini
- I have a MacBook
- I’ve started to enjoy more casual nights out
- I like wearing shorts in warm weather
- I have a new Facebook account
- I have new pens
- I’ve enjoyed celebrating every birthday I’ve had since moving here
- I filed my own taxes
- I tried growing vegetables
- My grandmother died
- I took out my earrings
- I don’t take pictures as much as I used to
- The last thing that comes to mind: I actually give a shit about what I’m doing in and with my life
It was rather hard to come up with 32 things that have changed in my life in the last three years. Perhaps the significance lies in the quality of the changes.
I briefly entertained the idea of making a list of the things that haven’t changed, but it seems rather unwise. Let us focus on progress tonight, as the bourbon and beer wears on.
I keep asking myself what it is that I might want. Tonight, I just want things to keep going the way that they have been. So, then, what is that?
I want my career to progress, because I’m (really) good at what I’m doing now. I want to be better. I believe in what I do.
I want to get incredibly comfortable with the idea that I will live my life alone. I don’t think that this a matter of choice but of design.
I want to publish a work of writing. I think that I am good enough to be successful. I just have to start putting the work in. I’m too fucking lazy.
I’ve gotten drunk enough tonight, before 23:00, to have to make a real decision: home, dancing, or elsewhere. I should go home. I would like to dance. I really shouldn’t decide to go anywhere else.
This has got to stop. I’ve got tonight and tomorrow before it ends.
I really want to dance.