It was my birthday last week. With all of the goings on for my Fringe Festival show I didn’t have much mental capacity for organising a birthday do, or for contemplating mortality. This week I do! So I’ve been thinking about what it means to be 34.
If I think back to when I was younger, let’s say school leaving age, and what I thought I would have achieved by the time I was in my 30s. It included married/long term relationship, kids, uni, working as a doctor.
I have achieved only one of those things: I successfully completed uni. I have also achieved numerous things that weren’t even remotely on the list: I’ve been in three bands; produced/performed two independent theatre shows; and I’ve published one novel, one zine, and has several short works included in anthologies.
At the end of year 12, when I got my university entrance result, I cried. I had missed out on medicine by less than one point. Sitting at my desk now, I don’t think I would have been very happy as a doctor. I probably wouldn’t have rediscovered my creativity. I wouldn’t have had the self-assurance (or possibly stupidity) to make my own opportunities.
I don’t particularly believe in an all-powerful omniscient being who has a plan for our lives, but I do think some things happen for a reason. I’ve been through some rough patches, and I’ve had some really great patches. Today I’m still trying to refocus my brain from the world of the show into the world of writing. I’m planning to do NaNoWriMo again this November, which will be somewhat more difficult due to spending half the month in Japan. I also don’t have any ideas yet! I’m sure I’ll think of something.
The passage of time has its effect on everyone. I find it interesting to think back on what used to be important to me, and compare it to what is important to me now. I’m proud of the life I’ve created for myself. I hope that my future holds even more stuff that I didn’t expect that makes my life richer. Who knows, this time next year I might have a completely different to-do list.