Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thirty. Something.

One of the cool things about being an Aquarian, in addition to our futuristic genius and severe allergy to patience, is that each new calendar year also marks the beginning of a new age. Which I guess is also true of Capricorns with January birthdays, but I’m venturing to guess that Aquarians probably spend more time dwelling.

As I look out over the now-calm Pacific, about to ring in my 33rd year, I am reminded of a conversation I had on this very ship with Missy Mott over a year ago. In sharing stories about feeling lost at times, and finding the balance between wanderlust and security, she expressed the query she had pondered over regarding her own daughter, Jill, my near doppelganger. “I wonder what her life would be like if she had never gone on this ship?”

Her point, which was subtle, was that perhaps she, or I, would be more content if I had never ventured outside of the box and had stayed the more traditional course. House. Marriage. 401k and health insurance … in both cases, the path of our younger siblings. Sometimes I think about it ... where would I be right now had I never heard the calling to join this ship?

I’d probably still be working in the entertainment industry. I’d perhaps own my own place, have a newish car. Nicer clothes and enough discretionary money to pay for my own cell phone. But as I re-enter this floating academical village, I cannot help but to immediately feel reminded of the visions that were forever imprinted on my callow brain the day I traded a semester of USC film school for a mind-blowing peephole into the actual world where "reality" could never and probably will never end: more than half of the world lives on less than $2 a day, and even more than that do not have access to clean water. I know this here and I know this now, but what about that future moment when I temporarily forget that whether or not my hair should have high or low lights is really not important?


endicott said...


Happy Birthday!

Patrick Cavan Brown said...

Beautiful photograph!!! Love it... Miss you... Happy birthday! Mine was on the 27th... 33 for me too. When was yours?

clarice said...

I think people like us who have had a taste of what is out there and realize how narrow the expectations of the "typical" American life are will always feel this way. While I am thankful for my job and my medical insurance, my heart yearns to be challenged by interaction with people and places that are outside of my comfort zone. It truly depresses me when I realize how small my world has become out of a sense of responsibility and expectations. I admire and envy your journeys.

Elizabeth said...

I love this post Courtney and can relate so very much. You are such an amazing and inspiring person.