27 June 2011

Reflects on my 28th year

I did this last year, so I think I will do it this year too.

To be honest, I felt much more on the edge of something last year than what ultimately panned out. That's not to say that things didn't change in very, very big ways last year: if you had told me this time last year that we were going to be having a baby, I would have laughed at you, I'm sure.
Over my dead body, I would have said.
Don't worry, you might have also said, you'll have a vasectomy, too.
Great! I would have said, I've always wanted to have one of those. But how does that gel with the having a baby thing.
You'll have it afterwards, you'd have said.
Oh well, I guess it couldn't have been helped, I would have said.
Right, you would have said, you're already starting to learn what you're going learn in your 28th year.
Really? I would have said, might you tell me now, to avoid the heartache I am sure to cause and suffer?
No, you would have said, you just gotta do it.
What did I accomplish in my 28th year. Well, let's think about it:
  1. I passed Introduction to French.
  2. I gave a well-attended presentation at an importantish conference in Scotland.
  3. I got Yoko pregnant.
  4. We took the kids to Spain for a week.
  5. I got my article finally accepted to Language@Internet.
  6. I decided to have a vasectomy.
  7. I ran just under a marathon.
  8. I lost 12 kgs and kept it off.
  9. I taught three classes over two terms at Middlesex and got some financial impregnability.
  10. I became a much better marker at Birmingham.
  11. I read War and Peace.
  12. I went to Chicago and learned that I was not a religious studies scholar or an American.
  13. I was asked to contribute my first chapter to a book.
  14. I successfully supervised to completion my first two MA theses: one on Korean translations of US News and World Report articles and one perceptions of motivating factors for Turkish tertiary students in learning English.
  15. We took the kids to Turkey. 
  16. I had a vasectomy.
  17. I gave another well-attended talk at a conference in Bristol and met some important people for gave me some important feedback.
  18. I went to Spain again for a conference on metaphor and had a very good talk with my (hopefully) future employer.
  19. I applied for and didn't get five jobs (an accomplishment, I think)
  20. I gave a talk at Lancaster University and agreed to do a funding bid with a couple of good scholars.
  21. We had another baby.
These are all things. I want, however, so much to write more abstract things like 'I became a better husband and father'. I have not. I've gotten worse, actually. I want to say I am more passionate. I'm not. I've lost most of my passion for the body. For sex and passion and art and wine and... all those things. I'm only 29: where did all my passion for the body go.

In one year, I want to only write one thing on my list:
  1. I wrote a book.
Or:
  1. I wrote most of a book.
That's all I need in my 29th year. Year thirty can be big things again, moves and futures and travels and minor surgeries, but in the next 12 months, I have one, singular focus that will consume me. The book.

So. I learned something, right? I must have learned something.
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