Concern 111: Birthday

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I’m 34. I have been on this planet for 34 years. Which is kind of a long time – it’s not half as long as some, it’s unfortunately double what some others managed to experience. I don’t think it matters which end of that polar scale you speak to, they’d probably give you the same sort of reflective comment about not feeling any different than they did yesterday and how it’s all a measure of the sum of years, not just the present.

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My birthday has served as a marker for me, the past three years. Ever since I turned 30, it’s been an indicator as to how deep the rut I’m standing in has become in the preceding twelve months. The desperate job hunt started three years ago; the downward slope started three years ago; the complete loss of traction started three years ago; the trying-really-hard-but-pinwheeling-like-I’m-a-Hanna-Barbera-cartoon started three years ago.

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I’m financially considerably worse off than this time last year; I’ve taken massive steps backwards in terms of my progress with my mental health; I’m certainly measurably unhappier than Spring 2016, though it was the bough that literally broke and started me tumbling in the first place.

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I think it speaks to how I’ve managed to pull myself together in the past thirteen days that I can actually say I sat down this afternoon and refused to be upset about my situation. I refused to use my birthday as a marker of negativity; instead I decided to use it as a marker of reality. This is how things are. You can’t change that today, you can’t change that tomorrow, but you can change how you deal with that information.

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That’s easier said than done a lot of the time, but today it worked. I finished my CV — well, I finished page 1 of my CV…I normally only have a 1-page CV anyway, but I’ve decided to include an optional page 2, which will be my creative CV, but I haven’t got the patience to spend on that as well today — and it wasn’t horrific.

It wasn’t a torturous experience. I decided that today I had to do something positive, I had to acknowledge the situation and decide that I had to do something to change that, not invite another twelve months of backwards rotation.

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I’m pleased with what I’ve done. Not just the CV, but the mental attitude. Because it wasn’t just me telling myself “you must do something positive!” it was actually a genuine pull somewhere inside me saying DO THAT. BE THE BOSS. YOUR LIFE, YOUR DECISION.

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If you follow the Concern, you like what you read and you also like movies — scratch that, you also LOVE movies — please go have a look at my other blog, The Onslaught, which is all about the love of movies. You’ll find it here:

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