My Next Thirty Years

The last couple months have been pretty eventful. A few of the highlights:

  1. I went to the wedding of my math grad school besties in Canada! So beautiful. I wish I could move back up there.
  2. I spent a week in Seattle for an environmental statistics workshop. I got to see some old friends and hang out with new ones.
  3. I spent a week at home, during which I saw The Book of Mormon at the Pantages Theatre. Amazing and so hilarious!
  4. I turned 30.
  5. My roommate started teaching me to cook. So far, we’ve made an omelet, pancakes, and pan-fried steak!
  6. I (finally) started the Ph.D. program. I’m one week in and I’m incredibly stressed out already.
  7. I’ve continued seeing a therapist. It’s been helpful to acknowledge my issues and slowly work through them.

When I turned 30 about a month ago, I did a lot of reflecting on my life, where I’ve been and where I’m going. I grew up a lot in my twenties. I accomplished a lot (on paper) and became a lot more comfortable in my own skin, but I still have a long way to go. I know that my thirties are going to be even better than my twenties.

I love this song by Tim McGraw called “My Next Thirty Years.” I made sure to listen to it on my birthday this year, as it seemed especially appropriate.


Birthday Week

My birthday was some time last week. The whole week ended up being a celebration!

Every year since 1996, I’ve been gathering a large group of my friends for my birthday. It started out with my high school friends, and I slowly added my college friends. My high school friends and college friends never mingled very well (they always stuck with their own groups), so my one birthday party started feeling like two separate parties happening at the same time.

This year, I decided to try separating the groups into two parties on different days. I hosted the parties on consecutive Saturdays. Both parties had different vibes to them; the college party was smaller and more intimate, while the high school party was larger and had more alcohol.

As a special bonus, my sister and brother-in-law surprised me by coming to my high school party! I invited them to both parties (they somehow get along with all of my friends), but they told me they couldn’t come to either one. I don’t see my sister as often as I would like to, so it’s always great to spend some time with her.

During the week between the two Saturday parties, I visited the Canadian city where I went to graduate school (the first time). It had been almost two years since my last visit, but the city still felt like home. Many of the people I knew from graduate school have already moved on with their lives and left the city, but I still got to see most of my friends who are still in town.

I stayed with my best friends from graduate school who had twins in June. Their babies are so adorable! I helped (or at least tried to help) my friends take care of the twins by being an extra set of eyes and arms whenever I was needed (except I still haven’t learned how to change a diaper). There are few feelings as amazing as having a baby fall asleep in your arms. It makes me really want one of my own.

As the final icing on the cake, my best friend from elementary school was in town earlier this week, so we got to hang out for an evening. I’m glad I got to see so many of my friends before I move away to my new graduate school. I only have a few days left at home!

Separate Parties

My birthday party this year was bigger than it had ever been before, but it was also more divided. While the tradition of having a big party for my birthday began with my high school friends, I started inviting my college friends in recent years. Unfortunately, my high school friends and college friends never really mixed, so I end up having to shuffle between what seems like two parties under the same roof.

This year was the first year that more college friends were in attendance than high school friends, so the divide was even more apparent. My high school friends barely acknowledged the existence of my college friends, and they exiled themselves to one room of the house and watched sports on TV. On the other side, a couple college friends who I hadn’t seen in almost four years were visiting LA for the long weekend, so my party was a perfect way to have a mini-reunion. Since I’ve never been a sports fan, it was difficult for me to split my time equally between catching up with my college friends and watching football with my high school friends.

From the few people I’ve talked to since the party, it seems like everyone still enjoyed themselves, but I feel like I neglected the high school group too much that night. Even though I’m friends with both groups, and it’s great to see everyone all at one time, I probably should split the party into two different days so that I don’t feel pressured to jump between parties.

Reading back over this post, I must sound so whiny. To have so many people with whom to share my birthday that I have to spread my party into two days is a blessing that isn’t lost on me. I’m a very lucky guy. Despite having two separate parties at one time, I had an awesome birthday celebration.

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So Much Better Than Last Year

I’ve had a really good week. Even though my boss is back in the office, I’ve still had close to zero interaction with her. I’m pretty much on top of everything at work, so I have immediate and preemptive answers for both my boss and big boss whenever they ask anything. There’s a lot less stress and fear when you know what you’re doing and you’re confident that you’re right.

My birthday was awesome. I was in a great mood, work was painless (see previous paragraph), and I kept getting “Happy Birthday” wishes all throughout the day (mostly through Facebook). A coworker bought me lunch, and I went to Maggiano’s with my parents for dinner. The waiter we had at dinner was really good. Not only did he give excellent service, but he was also cute. He put his hand on my shoulder whenever he said Happy Birthday to me, which was at least twice. Needless to say, I had a great time (oh yeah, and the food was good too).

This year’s birthday was so much better than last year’s. Most of what I remember from last year’s birthday was being yelled at by my friend/boss and being stressed out the whole day. There was none of that this time! Yay!

I’m gathering a large group of my friends together for a big birthday party tomorrow. I started the tradition of having a big party in 1996, during the summer between junior high and high school, and I’ve had one every year since. This year, I will be bringing my high school friends, my college friends, my sister (and her sister), and my best friend from elementary school together. There should be around 20 people. It’s going to be so much fun!

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The Climb

It’s almost my birthday. Every year around this time, I reflect (even more than I usually do) about life, where I am, and where I’m going. This year, I really don’t like where I am or where I’m going (if I continue to stay where I am).

No matter how much I’ve tried to convince myself, I have yet to take any real action. I’m both comfortable and frustrated by my current situation. But soon, very soon, the frustration will outweigh the comfort.

Ever since I watched Hannah Montana: The Movie, I’ve been keeping one of the main messages/quotes in my head to motivate myself: “Life’s a climb, but the view is great.”

Miley Cyrus isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I like her!

Old Boss/Friend

I went out to dinner last night with my old boss/friend and his friends for his birthday. I rarely ever hang out with him outside of work; the last time I did was at least six months ago. Wishing my friend a happy birthday has always been fun for me (I always remember his and he never remembers mine), so I immediately said yes when I was invited to his birthday dinner, even though I didn’t know any of his non-work friends.

During work hours, my old boss/friend is still very serious and all business, so I’m glad I got to see him cut loose a little and be himself. Just being a part of his birthday dinner was a great feeling. Since I’ve been feeling isolated and a bit awkward at work lately because the people who used to be my friends aren’t anymore, it’s really nice to know that I still have a friend in him.

Birthday At Work

I love birthdays. Not so much because it means I’m a year older (that’s the downside), but it’s the one day a year when I get to feel special. I try to downplay my birthday a little, but I really do love it when people wish me happy birthday or when I get presents.

I had to work on my birthday this year. It was a bad day, actually. I felt like nothing was going my way all day, so I was really stressed out. I also didn’t tell anyone at work about my birthday because I was hoping my friend/boss would remember (I remember his birthday every year and he always forgets mine).

At the end of the day, after my daily meeting with him, my friend/boss said he had to take me out for a snack. When I asked him why, he said because it was my birthday! I thought he remembered, but actually someone tipped him off (but he wouldn’t tell me who). Either way, it was nice. He took me out for a small snack and some boba tea before I went home. At least the day ended better than it started.

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