Today, I turn 29, which really means I’m starting my 30th year. Of course, time being all-ecompassing, ever-progressing or just a ridiculous construct that has us inventing seconds, this means that entering my 30th year is either important, not at all important, or maybe.
This uncertainty continues when I try to examine how far into my life I may have gone. To use simple fractions, I’m perhaps already halfway over (the drinking, carousing, stressing and bad-luck heart attack 60), only one-third there (dying at 90, hopefully aware of it) or the futurist’s one-fourth or less (21st century medicine’s 120 to forever)!
So, we know nothing at all, much as usual. What may I say then? Well, I can look to the past, that old stalwart, ever constant except for the constant spin we put on its events. Here’s what I think, then, if I can’t know: 28 was my favorite year, and possibly my best.
I live in a great city that’s getting better (albeit fucking more expensive) and at the epicenter of the beautiful tragedy that is our national politics. I have a job that gives me creative freedom and leverage and a path forward, and tops that off with wonderful co-workers. I run a blog, for cryin’ out loud, and get to know amazing writers and thinkers throughout the U.S. (and some amazingly persistent PR people).
I’ve gotten to know amazing people elsewhere in the area while hanging on to some old friends. And back home, I have family and little kids from my “adopted” family that are just about the coolest, even though they cry a lot (because they are little). I can travel to cities around the country for work (Los Angeles, Nashville, etc.) or for friends and fun (New York, Chicago, Baltimore, etc.). I didn’t have to go anywhere to see the Yankees and Nationals play a game with my brother and my best friend — something that took six months of logistics but was utterly worth every second.
I have a work bar and a local bar, a local baseball team, intriguing neighborhood, a maligned but useful mass transit system just steps away and an apartment building that actually feels somewhat like a home. I’ve gone to bed at 5:30 a.m. on some nights, and woken up at 5 a.m. for work on others. I also got to live through an earthquake and derecho — one at the office and one at home. Check off “courting death in the safest way possible.”
So, 28 was quite good, and quite better than I deserved, and that’s omitting a thousand other events. All that means is that I’d better not fuck up 29. I don’t plan on it. I don’t have all of it planned — who can possibly say they do. But if I can’t look back in 365 days and say, hey, I did the best I could and leaped at opportunities, then everything at 28 won’t mean much.
Let the clock begin.