Welcome to my life: Irony piled on irony, like a seven layer irony cake with ironic icing. A bitterbitter treat, no sweet to be had.
(I wonder about my understanding of the meaning of the word irony. I think in a post-Alanis Morissette world, what is considered ironic isn’t really what irony is.)
# 13 on the 30×30: Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. Having lived in DC for two years, I was distressed that I had never seen the Tidal Basin in all its spring glory, gobs of tourists or no. As you may recall, cherry blossoms have a special meaning for me, with the tattoo and its reminder to enjoy the shit out of life because it won’t last. Plus DC = Good Friends, so any excuse to get me out of NYC and into the arms of my unconditionally loving loved ones is wonderful.
Bonus: taking pretty pictures, my favorite compulsive hobby. I found a sunrise cherry blossom photography class, focusing on using a digital camera’s manual settings that I usually ignore. I would knock two things off my 30×30 at once (#15: Take a photography class).
Little could I predict how everything would go horribly wrong. And yet since everything always goes horribly wrong in my life, you would think I could predict.
Being financially unstable (despite unexpected hours at my primary job – thankfully, blessedly, gratefully), I’ve been working two jobs lately, 60 hours a week that suck my soul and make my brain bleed but might mean I get to go to Europe. But I didn’t think I’d be able to scrape two days off in a row to go to DC. Job #2 gave me guilt for skipping out and leaving my responsibilities to an overworked colleague. Even my mother indicated maybe this wasn’t the time to go away, I should take the hours and money while I could, and – wait for it – there was always next year.
This is when I started screaming.
THAT’S THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE 30X30 – TO STOP PUTTING THINGS OFF UNTIL NEXT MONTH OR YEAR OR LIFETIME. TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT, TO SEIZE THE DAY, TO STOP AND SMELL THE [CHERRY BLOSSOMS]. TO STOP PROCRASTINATING ON THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME. THIS IS WHAT THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS THEMSELVES MEAN: ENJOY TODAY BECAUSE EVERYTHING COULD BE GONE TOMORROW. TO NOT GO IS TO ADMIT DEFEAT, IS TO LET “THE MAN” BEAT ME DOWN, IS TO MAKE MONEY MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIVING ITSELF.
So, I jumped through all the hoops, I got my days off, I sucked up the guilt and stress and 60 hour weeks, so I could get my ass to DC for some relaxation and natural beauty.
And then, and then, and then.
I received an email saying the photo class was cancelled because
THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS HAD PEAKED AND FALLEN AWAY.
I missed it. Despite all my determination, I failed.
Why did I wait until the end of the festival, why didn’t I research the usual peak blossoming, why does nothing ever fucking work out for me, no matter how hard I try?
The cherry blossoms, they mock me. I fail, I fail, I fail.
The 30×30 is an interesting exercise. It doesn’t matter to anyone if I ever get a single thing on the list done. It didn’t ever matter to me since I had never taken the time to do them. Yet now that it’s written down, out there in the ether of the universe, failing at any task makes me tormentedly disappointed in myself.
It’s kind of masochistic, huh? Self-imposed, inconsequential missions that won’t make me live or die, won’t make the sun rise or set, and I hate myself for fucking this one up even though I tried.
Tried is one of those words that can be so fantastically meaningless embarrassing ugly.
I don’t cope well with disappointment. Maybe the 30×30 will teach me how to handle crushed dreams with grace, with humor, with a philosophical shrug of the shoulders.
Because I have a feeling this won’t be my only fail.
I cringe to think, “I’ll try again next year.” Not to sound dramatic, but I could be dead next year. That’s the whole point of SEIZING THE DAY!
But. I will try again next year. Thankfully, blessedly, gratefully, I have dear friends in DC, whom I’ll want to visit next spring. I’ll still have a cherry blossom tattoo to remind me that life is short, but beautiful so live it to the extreme. I’ll still love taking beautiful naturey pictures. So…I’ll be back.
So long as I’m still alive, I’ll still – bleh – try.
In the meantime, not having the CBF to consume me, I still find myself with TWO DAYS OFF IN A ROW, in DC, with friends I spend most of my life aching for. I have time to sit still and breathe and write, which, God, I have missed lately. The sitting still parts are just as important as the getting things done parts. Seeing kindred spirits is worth more than missed income.
So. It’s a fail. But it’s a fail I’ll take.