Years ago, in the naivety of my youth, "the future" was always an intangible object. It was something that didn't necessarily exist as long as I kept never changing. When I was seventeen or eighteen years old, the world existed only for what it was: a big, open canvas to kill time and livers with best friends by my side, music ever so present. As the years pass, inevitable change erdes those mountains of routine, only to give way to new mountains and peaks. New land to cross, new bridges to burn after doing so.
Particular priorities of mine over the last few weeks have really put into perspective how much has changed since the days when time was all I had. Sure, I'm still young by most standards, but I'm not an impressionable kid anymore. This is the time to stick to my guns and really focus on what's important all the while continuing to live for what I believe in and remaining young at heart and ignoring the status quo of being an adult.
I had to come to the decision very recently to put down the two pets that were very close to me. The choice was not an easy one, but it was the only humane thing to do. Ten years ago, I might have laughed if you were to have told me that I'd be sick and anxious about having to euthanize two pet rats. It might have seemed silly back then, but that's all part of shifting dynamics. Robin and I are at the point now where the companionship of a pet is something that we don't want to live without.
Our friends and family are all on board with some big life changes including careers, living situations, simply getting their shit together. It's not as easy to see those close to us as often as we want. Some of my best friends I'm lucky to see once a week. The dreariness of workdays apart is a dynamic that I don't think neither Robin or I will ever get used to. As sociable as we are, it's these other factors that contribute to the yearning for a constant companion.
Since Christmas, Robin and I have been working extremely hard to get a turntable stereo setup for our apartment. I've gone through several turntables over the years, some better than others. None of them cost me much at all. I got what I paid for indeed. When the last one we owned finally took a shit on us, we decided then that an investment of sorts was in order.
I've always prided myself on the fact that I am not a materialistic person. My material possessions (short of household items such as pots and pans and so on) consist almost exclusively of books and records. I do not actively seek out the newest, most technologically advanced "smartphone", nor do I waste any time bothering with any sort of frivolity. My biggest passions lie in writing, reading and music; all of them come cheap (or free) if you do it right.
So, with the death of our relatively shitty USB turntable, Robin and I decided to focus on something nice for once. I'm not used to owning nice things, actually. I've had some of the same flannels for so long that the sleeves FELL off. I just got around to getting a new pair of Chucks, but only because they were free. My old pair was at least four years old and had holes in the soles. These are only examples, mind you, but I'd like to think it gets the point across.
We received $150 in gift money for Christmas, which we immediately turned into a Denon fully-automatic direct-drive turntable, a thousand dollar piece of equipment at the least. After spending forty dollars each on a high-powered receiver, we were almost there. Robin's dad then gifted us Bose speakers that he has had since 1985. As much as they meant to him, they were merely collecting dust in the attic and he wanted nothing more than for us to have them. He knew we would greatly appreciate the gesture, and he'd also get the pride of passing on such a sentimental gift.
After purchasing a stand at the local thrift store, our complete vintage set up is up and running. It only set us back fifty bucks collectively, but is worth close to three thousand, if not more. One of our biggest passions has always been music, and investing the time and money into the proper equipment for optimum listening pleasure was well worth it. The sound, at a quarter of the power, shakes the floor. The bass thumps, and a wall of sound blasts your ears. The smiles on our faces when we put that first record on were so big you could have used them as a hammock.
And, finally, with the luxury of health insurance, I am making progress on getting my sinus problems taken care of. With that, though, comes the adult task of contacting doctors, haggling with insurance companies, traveling back and forth across the city to different offices and different specialists. Medical bills have started coming in, and budgeting my finances accordingly is a new priority.
I will be going into surgery on the 27th for endoscopic sinus surgery. My septum is apparently crooked as shit, and there is some chronic swelling of certain parts of my sinuses. The relatively common procedure involves me getting put under (another first for me) and should only take about an hour and a half. My septum (nasal tunnel?...I don't fucking know) will be straightened and other parts of the same area will be repaired as necessary. The plus side is that I get to take a paid week off of work. I am not necessarily looking forward to it, but after dealing with my chronic problems for the past year, I am optimistic about finally getting my face fixed.
All of these things have been part of the fabric of the year already. Some have required more "adult" decision-making than others. There is some part of me that refuses to change, though, and I don't think it should be a stigma. There are things that are important to me now that will ALWAYS be important to me: friends, family, music, camaraderie, shows, roadtrips, books, writing and boozing. These are what drives me, what inspires me. I can carry on with them by my side.