Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rain, puddles, and tears (Part 2)

Puddles are gifts from the rain. They provide a murky view of the world around it. Shallow pools that mirror everything back at us. A chance to reflect on our distorted reflections.

So I had a chance to recover (a bit) from the earth-shattering, cataclysmic, and traumatic event known as my 30th birthday.

Last year I could tell people I'm in my twenties. Now I have to say I'm in my thirties even though I turned thirty only two days ago! Ughh!!

I didn't even get the chance to join 20-something-bloggers now I have to join 30-something-bloggers instead. Eewwww.

Me ten years ago in college. I didn't like my picture taken!

Looking back, my twenties had so many more downs than ups. Here's a list of the more memorable ones:

- I lived like a recluse for almost two years after graduating art college.
- I deliberately lost contact with my two best college friends.
- I took on a dead-end job and quit five days afterwards.
- Had a quarter-life crisis and left for Ireland, swearing never to come back, only to take a flight back home three days later.
- Got another job and was fired four days after getting hired.
- Became unemployed for a good couple of years.
- My father died.
- Our family dog died the following year.
- I had my heart broken.
- My new best friend, who worked at my current dead-end job, left for a better paying position and now I don't see her that often.
- My current place of employment, due to budget cuts (a.k.a. the economy), pulled all future job openings. It might be like this for the next couple of years meaning I'll be at the bottom level for a while.

A lot of these things I must take accountability for. Certain things are out of my control but for the most part I'm exactly where I am in life because of the choices and decisions I've made or haven't made.

I've detached myself from the world and people around me. Faced the same damn "issues" over and over. Waited, procrastinated, and waited some more until years went by. I let fear, depression, shame, lack of drive, and weakness keep me down.

Here's to hoping my thirties are more productive, fruitful, positive, and focused on my career in art.

That all the garbage and shit of my twenties gets buried and mixed into the ground becoming the foundation for which I build upon from thirty on up.

Only time will tell if what I see reflecting back at me in future rain puddles is good or bad.


Tracey Clarke said...

Happy Birthday! My twenties ran the spectrum, but at least were better than my teens and now that I turned 40, I see that my thirties were a time of tremendous growth. I pray for a great time of growth for you in your third decade! Yee-haw! (hey, and don't sweat the small stuff...this is what distracts us from the real stuff!)

kenflett said...

Interesting and honest blog, l like your writing.

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for the well wishes. Let's hope my thirties (like yours) are a time of tremendous growth too.



I appreciate you stopping by! I'm glad you like what you're seeing/reading so far.


Thank you both!


Anonymous said...

Therapy- Zoloft
I use to go through the same feelings you have. My dad also died- pancreatic cancer.
You are a verrrrry talented person. Don't give up!
Go seek help- go to therapy- try a medication that will help. I didn't want to- but I am so glad I did. I have less anxiety of crowds or new people. I don't get that wash of sadness over me anymore. It is worth it. Move on, Move up, Move outward

L.Holm said...

Whew! You know we've all been down that road in different ways (and cycle back around). It's a ride, isn't it.. and bumpy, joyous, painful, glorious, dreadful and wonderful. I just turned 50 (never thought I'd see it). Happy B'day, Dean...onward and upward. :-)

Leslie Saeta said...

Happy Birthday! Hey ... I turn 50 (yes fifty) in a few weeks so be thankful that you are still so young! Hah!

Hannah Rose said...

i love this blog!! its been added to my check everyday list of favorites, yes im strangly organised in strange ways like that!! your so honest and open on here and i love that!! i can't really help u on the whole thirties thing but you just have to keep hoping things get better right? and try to grab oppertunites where ever you can, im trying this out and the moment and while it hasnt had a major effect yet its working in small ways, maybe i need to start grabbing bigger oppertunities for bigger changes!! sorry im rambling!! anyway really enjoy your blog!!




Dean Grey said...


Is medication really the answer or a short-term fix? Therapy might work but I sure don't have the extra money for a shrink!

But I'll definitely keep moving on, up, and outward!


L. Holm!

Welcome to my blog, Liz!

Yes, life most certainly is a ride. Onward and upward I shall go!



Happy 50th B-Day to you in a few weeks, Leslie!

Looking back on it, I suppose I do have more time and years ahead of me.


Hannah Rose!

I LOVE that you LOVE my blog!

I agree, I definitely need to go after larger opportunities when they come my way.

mwah back at ya!


Thanks to all four of you for the nice comments!


lupus said...

Dean, I've sent you a little present for your 30th birthday, bay e-mail.

¡Happy birthday!

Un abrazo.


Paula Villanova said...

Hey Dean...a belated happy birthday to you and wishes for an inspiring and fantastic year ahead! and hey, so 50's (which scared the daylights out of me initially) have been truly o.k! Kind of liberating in fact with a completely different focus than my 20's-40's. A friend of mine reminds me that life isn't a race, and how right she is. Anyway, you have a truly creative eye and I enjoy the work in your blog and your writing. I hope you see those good reflections in the puddles. They're there!

Dean Grey said...


Gracias tanto por el cumpleaños desea señor!

Oh, and thanks for the kind e-mail, Enrique!



You're absolutely right.

Life isn't a race but I always tend to notice how well everyone else is doing compared to myself.

I have to work on that.


Thank you both for the thoughtful words and well wishes!


eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Happy Birthday! Turning thirty was an amazing gift for me, I was able to find myself, become more decisive on what I wanted from life, and more able to say "no" to things that did not get me to where I want to go. I turned 35 this year and between 30 and 35 I had a few dead end jobs, and used that time to plan and save for my dreams.

Good luck with your life and dreams! Liz

Dean Grey said...


Thanks for the b-day wishes.

Let's hope my thirties are as wonderful as yours!


Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Hey Dean, any time you get to celebrate a birthday, you owe it to everyone who DOESN'T get to celbrate that birthday not to mope! I have not had a birthday that scared me, because I believe God has a plan for us all, and I must be part of it. No, I've never 'accomplished' anything big (YET! I say YET!) except my children, and I really had them before I knew what the He** I was doing! You had a lot of crummy stuff going on in your 20's - your Dad, etc. - and you will not 'get over' it in a year...or two. People are ALL dealing with stuff like that, and you just have to go on. A good therapist could help, but they are $$. Does your job provide health insurance? Keep you eyes open for new opportunities, they're there all the time. OK, my Mom used to say (15 years and I still miss her so much) "God doesn't close a door without opening another... but sometimes you'll miss it if you stare at the closed door too long..." So look for that other open door! Good luck, and find some joy in your very successful blog! Happy Bday!

Dean Grey said...

Oh thank you, Kelley!

What a wonderful words of wisdom from you!

You're right. Not everyone will be lucky to turn a year older in this world due to various reasons.

Fantastic advice from your mother. I guess I've been focused on the "shut door" for a really long time now.

Sorry, I don't have health insurance and not that big of a paycheck either!

Oh, and I DO believe you WILL accomplish big things too!

Thanks again, Kelley!


Unknown said...

I compared myself to my dad and my older cousins who had lots of career success until Dad said the differing times made comparison useless. Their careers were established in strong economies. I moved from recession plagued Utah to recession plagued NC. Growth is not present in shrinking economies.

Dean Grey said...