Aging in Reverse

In the last month, I have seen a ridiculous number of bands.  (Final assessment of Music Month: forthcoming.)  This month, accidentally, I have let music take over.  In a good way.  It’s been a process.  Long about April, when I was this close to being taken out by the tornado that wobbled around my house, I decided that the best way to spend the golden Carolina warm-weather months would be to bask in as much music as possible.  Investing heavily in music potentially involves a series of things which, as a huge dork, I am not typically good at:  staying out past midnight on a school night, throwing caution to the wind, smiling at handsome cowboys in bars, spending untold amounts of money on things that are not strictly a “need,” and recruiting a crowd of compadres to aid and abet in this whimsical plan.

It’s been close to six months since Tornado Day, and the warm weather months have come, and just about gone.  Here is my progress update so far:  I am pretty good now at staying out past midnight on a school night, throwing caution to the wind, spending untold amounts of money on tickets and gas, and recruiting compadres.   (I am still bad at smiling at handsome cowboys in bars, because no matter how much I like them, I am stricken by attacks of shyness and am compelled to blush and look at my feet.  Every damn time.  But I’m working on it.) I’ve also become a lot better at discerning what I like, musically speaking; have become fascinated by songwriting and songwriters, have sung out loud in front of at least one person, and made noises about recruiting a honky tonk band. I have written a whole song, and have started five others.  I’m better about owning up to and embracing my emotions, and have widened my circle of music-loving friends, and am having a heck of a lot of fun.

I have, in fact, seen so many bands lately that I am falling down on the task of being a responsible adult.  I am staying up too late.  My yard needs weeding.  I have a foot-high stack of papers to file.  I owe thank-you notes.  I have a row of squash and other assorted ignored vegetables in my refrigerator which need attention.  They have forgotten who I am at the Y.

Further: in a three-day span last week, I received a citation for “encroachment of vegetation on a public right-of-way,” a ticket for parking in a taxi zone (who knew Raleigh had taxi zones?) and a warning from a Virginia cop for failing to move expediently enough into the left lane, while passing said cop giving someone else a ticket.  (Tangent story: Mustache Cop took my license and registration sternly and marched severely to his car to call in my information.  He came back to my car laughing, and let me off with a warning.  Why?  Why the laughing?)

These brushes with authority in rapid succession left me wondering: where did the responsible me go?  It’s been noted, for whatever it’s worth, that we Capricorns tend to age in reverse.  I certainly have.  I was a worrier as a child, and a goody-goody as a teenager, and was painfully responsible and conscientious as a twenty-something, and there were good reasons for all of that.  Now?  I just finished a grueling graduate program, which at its peak involved 120 hours a week at my desk.  I was twice diagnosed with exhaustion and ordered to stop working so hard.  For 3 1/2 years, I stayed short on sleep, friend time, family time, cash, and any fun that didn’t take place in the studio.  I made it, and it was good for me, and it changed the way I see the world, and I’m not sorry.  But I don’t feel like being responsible again, just yet.

There’s a slew of good music coming up, and also weddings and parties and festivals and fairs.  At some point soon, I’ll rein it in, balance my budget, and do my chores.  I’ll be early-to-bed, early-to-rise girl, and I’ll worry more about my IRA, and appointments, and whatever career ladder I decide to climb, and start being serious about adulthood.

But not today.

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