Thoughts on (Nearly) Turning 40

I am rapidly approaching my 40th birthday. I could pretend to be fine and zen with that fact and, to be honest, I don’t dwell on it too much. Still, I am a bit . . . shall we say off-put by the notion that I’m entering middle age. I mean, really. That’s not cool. Mortality blah blah time passing yadda yadda. I have no thoughts on the matter that are particularly new or interesting. However, while I have a tendency to disparage my achievements because, like a lot of people I expected a grander life for myself, I figured it might be worthwhile to actually think about what I’ve done in the past decade.

I worked for a year (or near enough) as the Office Manager for Perishable Theatre, an organization that has remained dear to me and that inspired me to write and perform The Legend of Steve and to host and produce the poscast Perishable Theatre Presents for them. I also worked for nearly a year as the Office Manager at Olney Theatre Center, as well as working for American Friends of Magen David Adom, an engineering firm, a hospital, a Dean’s office and the BioMed Faculty Affairs office at Brown University.

I went to graduate school and got myself a Master’s degree in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of MD, as well as attending two other schools for a year each: Virginia Commonwealth University and CUNY’s Graduate Center. I’ve had a review published in PAJ and an article accepted for publication in a book that will, hopefully, see print by the end of the year. I’ve also presented my work at three academic conferences.

I’ve been lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii. Twice.

I discovered a talent for theatrical sound design and designed eight shows. In addition, I directed Little Murders, a stage adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper, several one-act plays, and several staged readings. In addition, I wrote ten one act plays and 1.5 full length plays. I wrote around seven short stories and started writing a novel (which I will be getting back to working on shortly). I wrote a handful of good songs (and at least twice as many sucky ones).

I’ve developed a taste for good single malt scotch and sushi.

I created and recorded seven episodes of my own podcast Letters to Lost Friends and now find myself audio producing two podcasts: PodCastle and Perishable Theatre Presents.

I started this blog.

I met J and fell in love and moved in with her which was the first time I lived with a girlfriend. I then went through the pain of losing a relationship that lasted four years and that was both four times as long as my longest previous relationship and, in many ways, the most supportive and kindest romantic relationship I’ve yet experienced. I am terrifically happen that we remain close. I learned a tremendous amount about myself because of our time together and cannot thank her enough for putting up with me!

I lived in Maryland, Virginia, New York City (ok, Brooklyn for all those who consider only Manhattan to be NYC), Rhode Island, and flirted briefly with New Mexico.

I quit smoking.

I met and became friends with Vanessa, Josh, Jeff, Wendy, Natalie, Noelle, Sandro, and Erin . . . to name a few of the people who have touched my life. I’ve reestablished contact with Juliet, JeAnne, Chris, Jon, and Brendan. I’ve become closer still to my friend Jen.

I switched to the Mac. And am still loving it!

I’ve taught Intro to Theatre and Intro to Public Speaking and Public Speaking for Business Majors in addition to privately coaching five clients (including a VP for Paramount Studios) on their public speaking abilities.

I guess, upon reflection, I did accomplish some stuff in the past decade. Some of it stuff to be rather proud of.

I expect the next to be even more productive and exciting and challenging. While I may not be thrilled with my body’s age, I am appreciative of my experiences and life so far. It hasn’t been perfect and has had a number of false starts and mis-adventures that didn’t lead anywhere, but it has placed me here and now and at the start of a new path and I have a new determination to make the most of my mind and my capabilities as a writer, scholar, teacher, and thinker.

(And if you happen to want to do something for my upcoming 40th birthday, your company, or a good bottle of scotch, or a nice sushi dinner are all exceedingly welcome ways to help me celebrate.)

On this day..