31 May Happy Birthday Me, It’s Been A Crazy Old Life
So I’m thirty two today. It is not what one would call a pivotal age, it does not have the grandeur of say your 18th, your 30th, 40th etc. But I am at a point in my life where more than the number itself, what is happening around the number is nothing short of pivotal and remarkable.
So at 32 what have I achieved, failed at, acquired and lost?
Well, I survived my somewhat less than ideal youth relatively unscathed and able to find silver linings in all that happened in those formative years (the sanitized version for the curious is on my about me page), and managed to achieve, see and be the following things, places and people.
I have had a multitude of careers. I drove forklifts and briefly worked on a farm as a teenager. I worked in a fish factory in Scotland. I made props for Hollywood movies in London. I was a fitness instructor and personal trainer at Fitness First in London. I worked at and was let go from a security position at an Internet Hosting Company (sleeping on the job). I worked security for the London Stock Exchange and Heathrow’s Terminal 5 during construction. I worked as a Graphic Designer in Perth after teaching myself Photoshop (while working night shift security). I created over a hundred pieces of original artwork for display homes in Perth (as seen in their advert on telly and an article about me in the local paper, my 5 minutes of fame), all while working as a sign installer (self taught and thank God I didn’t kill anybody with my unique use of power tools).
I then became a self employed graphic designer before leaving Perth. I taught myself Web Design and various 3D applications and now get to create what I think are unique and interesting websites for people who want it, but don’t want to pay stupid money for it. I am also writing a soon to be New York Times Best Seller Science Fiction novel. Go me.
There are 7 tattoos on my body and I don’t even regret the ugly one with the spelling mistake. I have been 110kgs of muscle, 65kgs of skinny and now have 93kgs of fat hanging from my bones. In my early teens I gave being gay a shot and realized for sure I was straight. I got married and divorced in my late teens, and then found my girlfriend Sarah, who despite our ups and downs am still grateful to be with after seven years.
In my time I have seen new lives begin and will likely watch them grow and develop into adults themselves, and I have had conversations with people who are no longer with us through age, illness and suicide. I have known personal loss and the loss of others. I have known personal gain and the gain of others. I have helped make the lives of those around me and those who’s lives I have briefly entered a little bit better. And I have made the lives of some a little bit worse. I have made so many mistakes, been a bad person and an exceedingly good person. But I have done more things right than wrong and have excelled in my life because of it.
I give great advice and occasionally even take it. I have not made a serious mistake in a long time, and am grateful for what or whoever has granted me this reprieve from being too human.
I have lived on four continents. Seventeen years in Africa (South Africa). Ten years in Europe (London). Four Years in Australia (I think it’s a continent), and now at least a year in Central America (Mexico).
I have visited around two dozen countries. Including South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales (it counts!), Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, France, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Australia, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, China, Mexico. With many more countries to come.
I have seen, touched and walked through ruins, buildings, beaches, seas, oceans, jungles, forests, mountain ranges, valleys, snow, rain, mountain slides and Glaciers. Elephants, lions, rhinos, orangutangs, monkeys, kangaroos, squirrels, snakes and flamingos; I have seen all these amazing things and thousands more.
I have snow boarded, skydived, scootered, driven, flown, rowed, swum, ran and walked over terrain, through water and across the sky. I have met people from around the globe and exchanged chuckles with them through fumbling, broken sentences in dozens of different languages. I have ten thousand photographs of ten thousand different things. And ten thousand photographs of the same things in different places.
And now I live in Mexico. I am thirty two years old. A fairly unremarkable age. But it is made remarkable because of who and where I am in life. I am semi-retired, I have almost no responsibilities, and I am living a life which is almost completely void of “if only”. I still have my demons and the demons of others, and I still crave more than I have, because I am human.
But, I have enough to honestly say, I am living my life, I am living the life I want, I have all I need to be happy and content, I have made the right decisions and choices at the right times, and now I get to be the me I always wanted to be.
Happy Birthday to me, may I have many more just like it.