The first time I listened to Explosions in the Sky was June, 2007. I’m not sure why I remember that month specifically or why it’s important, because it really isn’t, but it sticks out to me for some reason. I have a crazy good memory, I suppose, but that’s neither here nor there. A friend of mine had posted a link to “First Breath After Coma,” which is the opening song to “The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place,” an album that has subsequently changed my life in ways that only music can do.
I never knew my great Uncle Gordie very well, but the memories I have of him have stuck with me over the course of my life. I can’t say that I remember a lot about him, or that I remember each memory very specifically, but I know that I always really liked him, and vice versa, and that was enough for me. He lived in Ontario with his partner, and I’ve lived in BC for almost my entire life (save for 9 months or so in 1998-1999 when my family and I did a stint in Alberta before moving back, but that’s a different story), so I’d maybe only met him a handful of times. I think the last time I saw him I was not even five years old, at Christmas at my grandmother’s in Cranbrook, and the rest of the times were phone-calls during holiday seasons or cards and gifts in the mail. Every time he called, though, he made a point of making sure he’d talk to me, and I always got really excited when my grandmother would pass me the phone and tell me my Uncle Gordie wanted to talk to me. We’d chat for a few minutes – sometimes it felt like eons because time does when you’re a kid – and I’d give the phone back and my heart would be happy and I’d look forward to the next time we talked. It would always be “soon” and I liked that.
Last summer I did something I’d never done before: I bought a dress online. Buying a dress online is a lot different than buying t-shirts from threadless dot com, or any websites of the like, because you don’t know if it’ll look good, if it’ll be as cute as you thought it was online and, most importantly, if it’ll fit.
I’d found this dress on a website I’d been surfing through and fell in love with literally every single dress but could only buy one, at least for the time being. I would buy more later; oh, yes, I would (spoiler alert: I haven’t). The dress was on sale for relatively cheap and if, when it came, it didn’t fit, I’d just find someone to give it to, or motivate myself to fit into if it was too small. Easy peasy.
A few weeks later, I had some family visiting me. They came around the time I was expecting the package to come in the mail and, one day after work, after I’d been checking the mail on a daily basis to see if it’d come yet, it was finally there. I snatched the package out of my mail slot and ran down the stairs to my basement suite so I could try it on immediately. There was no time to be wasted.
You might think differently than I do about this, but something big is happening in the next six months. No, I’m not pregnant, nor am I getting married or buying a house or moving away to a land far, far away. It’s nothing life-changing in any way, shape or form and sure it’s small, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a stepping stone in this great adventure we call life, nonetheless. Next February (February 25, 2014, to be exact), I turn 30.
I know what you’re thinking: that’s it? That’s the ‘big thing’ that’s happening to Jocelyn? Is that really all she’s got going for herself?
(… yikes, way to make it personal!)
Ever since I turned 29 just over 6 months ago, I’ve literally been counting down the last days of my twenties, trying to figure out what I’ve done during this decade of my life and getting comfortable enough to being 100 per cent okay with the fact that I’m not where I thought I’d be at ten years ago. At times it’s been difficult because for a couple of months after my 29th birthday I clung to the idea of my 20’s, like after I turn 30 I’ll no longer be youthful: I’ll be a washed up old hag and I won’t be allowed to do anything fun anymore. I’ll be repulsive to men because when they ask how old I am and I say “30” they’ll turn a blind eye at me and lose all interest and I’ll be forever alone with my two cats, watching Wheel of Fortune and eating digestive cookies, drinking tea and knitting. It all sounds completely ridiculous and I see it even more now, as I write this at 1:30 am on a Wednesday morning. But, at 19 and evidently in my late twenties, I pictured someone at 30 as someone who really had their shit together. Like, really, you know? Owning a house and a car; having a career; being married; having a couple of kids; not having fun anymore; the sort of thing you think ‘real adults’ are supposed to do.
Not entirely true.