On Turning 30—

Birthdays are very hit or miss for me.  I find it hard to have a good time when I have too many expectations going into something—the best moments in life tend to sneak up on me.  But I’d say this whole “turning 30” thing went pretty well.  My birthday also fell during the week that I left Six Circles, so I got to celebrate in all three of my homes.

Six Circles threw a barn party the night before I left, and I got to talk with a bunch of people, listen to my amazing friends perform music, and even play a few songs myself.  At the end of the evening, Thomas, Jackson, Kim, and I done hung out until 3:30 in the morning, just like the good ol’ days of my sleep-deprived youth.  The following morning I packed in a daze in the rain and drank tea and chilled with some fucking stellar people before heading out.  (You know those moments that really set a match to the candle of your soul?  Yeah.)

Upon leaving the farm, I drove to my folks’ house in Webster, where they had cherry pie for me and I crocheted a pretty kick-ass hat.  (See grainy video.)  I spent the night and went for a hike with my parents and brother in the Gosnell Big Woods before I left.  And on my actual birthday in Buffalo, I had a little potluck and illegal bonfire in my back yard with 10-15 friends (and 5 dogs!) along with my birthday-twin Amber.  So all in all, a nice birthday was had, and I got to celebrate with a lot of folks from different parts of my life.

Around the 17th, it suddenly dawned on me that although I’d been telling people I was 30 for months already, I was, in fact, entering the last week of my twenties.  One week left!  What sort of crazy shit should I do?  I couldn’t think of much that was a) realistic and b) appealing.  How to wrap up this decade of my life?

My twenties were kind of rocky.  They started out okay—from 20 to 23, I finished college and did JVC in San Francisco.  23 to 26 mostly sucked ass: grad school, mediocre jobs, and one long unhealthy relationship.  This last segment has been pretty good to me, though, bringing farm adventures, co-op life, new friends, and a kind and compatible romantic partner.

I sort of forgot about finding an appropriate end to my twenties amidst the chaos of leaving the farm and returning to Buffalo.  As it happened, I spent the last night of my twenties, a Tuesday, in a bar I’d never been to before, with Robert, two middle-aged men, and the bartender, listening to my old guitar teacher perform solo.  (During the years I had studied with him, I’d never heard him play outside of lessons.)  At the end of the evening, he let me try out his guitar, and I played a little set for the tiny crowd in the bar.  It was really cool.  I don’t play in front of people much—even the crowd at the Six Circles barn party made me pretty nervous—so that setting was perfect.

So for now I leave you with a song I played in both places, recorded in my apartment today with my crappy laptop microphone: