January 21, 2008
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‘pologies for disappearing for a while, but I’ve been very busy. And then I turned 30. I would say I’ve been very busy turning 30 but all I had to do was not stop breathing and it pretty much happened all by itself. I appreciate that many people have crises about the reaching the 30 mark, but I really haven’t… less a loss of youth than a definite acceptance of being grown-up.
I had one thing planned to do for turning 30 (and not even before I turned 30), and that was to go to Japan in spring 2008 – but then, almost by accident, I acquired the flat and the cat so I have no problems postponing Japan for a few years. It’s not like it’s going anywhere. And I’ve traded a holiday for… what? Control. And freedom. Not being at the whim of a landlord any more. I am 30. I am free from the nightmare of bailiffs coming after the man who takes my rent, or the washing machine that floods every three months, or the proffered solution to a freezing cold house of "turn the thermostat up". 30 represents two fingers to every shitty landlord I ever had.
And two fingers to all the people who ever asked me when I was "coming home" – back to Leeds. As though chasing a life away from closed Yorkshire suburbs was a silly fantasy I’d soon grow out of. I’m 30 now. The people who tried to tell me how I should be living my life have stopped talking. Or I stopped listening. One of the two.
I’m 30. Dreams and ambitions have crystallised, no longer the fuzzy shapes seen through a 20-something alcoholic haze. I know what I believe in. I know who I am. Teenage angst has served its purpose and left the building. I am content. And what’s more, I’m content that when I am 40 I will be able to say, again, that I’m content, that I got what I wanted and had the wisdom to let the rest go without getting all hung up. Maybe that’s the secret of getting older – to realise you’re never going to have everything, but what you don’t have won’t kill you?
Unless what you don’t have is the antidote to that spider bite, of course.