30. A milestone, and the gateway of a terra incognita. An age that for long has been so far away, behind a dark portent of slender odds, holding equal parts the lure of mystery and the trepidation of the unknown. I’ve always found birthdays rather odd – after all, the next day the sun will rise just as over the one before, unceremoniously crossing the firmament with no awareness of what a milestone this is – and why, indeed, would it. For all but convention, birthdays are very much a social construct. They are, however, a means bagful construct, too. Days of taking stock and setting goals. Back in England in ye olden days, there were four days in a year known as quarter days. On these days rents fell due, debts had to be paid, cases had to be decided or dismissed – they represented the idea that someday all obligations fell due and justice could not be postponed. They, too, were days of stock-taking. But they were also feast days, days of hope and days of planning ahead. Like the quarter days, I take stock today: of what was lost (and much was lost in the last decade of my life, which I started relatively healthy and during which I went through hell, a decade which I started with the firm conviction of where my place in the world was and finding it somewhere entirely else), and more importantly, all the weird and wonderful things that were gained in this decade. And here I sit, next to my gorgeous wife, a head full of ideas and a heart full of hope and optimism. I’ve always believed that the best days are yet to come and so many amazing experiences are still ahead. And remembering all that was lost, I think of all that was gained – among others, the people who have made me a better man and the woman who made stronger and happier than I ever was -, and I can’t help smiling. Bring on the fourth decade. This is going to be a heck of a ride. 🙂

Join the conversation