I’m feeling down tonight. I don’t have a subject to write about. I’ve waited until last minute. I post every other Wednesday, and you would think I could come up with something once every two weeks. I have my oral thesis defense for my MFA tomorrow. It’ll go fine. If I’ve managed to get all this way without someone telling me that I’m in danger of not graduating, many people have fucked up, not just me.
I got my masters degree in publishing in March. By the middle of June, I’ll officially have my MFA, my second masters. I’m the most unremarkable overachiever. I’ll have two masters degrees in three years, but I’m not sure even my parents are impressed. Sure, it’s not a doctorate. It’s not like I’m doing one of those supposedly once in a lifetime major things like getting married (nor do I want to). I’m alternatively proud of myself and dismayed that I’m getting an MFA but I’m still such a nondescript writer. I thought I would have more to show for it. I felt that way when I finished undergrad, too, so I’ve been here before.
I’m turning 30 next week and having a party the following weekend. It’s a combined housewarming/birthday party because I was afraid almost no one would show up if it were just for me. It’s not a completely unfounded fear. I’m not very good at getting even people I regard as close friends to show sometimes. And this one is important. If I decide to never get married, this is the most obligated anyone will be to show up at my party until I die and there’s a funeral, unless I manage to get a Pulitzer or something. (What if they didn’t show up to my funeral?) Maybe when I turn 50, if I still like parties then.
A few weeks ago, I went to see my family and my parents wanted to take me out for an early birthday dinner. I asked if we could celebrate my masters degree instead. Table conversation was all about family illnesses. None of them were even my illnesses. Sickness is more rewarding than success.
This melancholy about turning 30 isn’t about feeling old, exactly. I’m not old, of course. I feel a pining nostalgia for people and places that have faded out of my life like a book falling off my lap as I fall asleep in the seat of an airplane, sedated with anti-nausea pills.