Friday, August 10, 2012

This Things I Believe About Turning 30

So tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the day I was forcefully expelled from my mother's womb. And though I recognize there's nothing inherently more meaningful about turning 30 than there is any other age, and that the only reason this particular birthday is assigned so much importance is because of our base 10 counting system, it's clearly taken on some significance in our culture. And if there's one thing I've advocated my entire life, it's to always fit in at all costs. As such, I intend to make a big deal out of my 30th birthday.

Anyway, as I understand it, a lot of people make life goals and shit and come up with these big lists of things they want to do by the time they turn 30. The lists are usually pretty boring and are generally dominated by the same few generic major life events: get a good job in my chosen field, marry someone, squeeze out X number of kids, complete a difficult but achievable athletic goal (like running a marathon), do something wacky and semi-memorable (like trying to break the local Mexican restaurant's taco-eating record), and then some really vague pronouncements about finding happiness and fulfillment and, again, more boring shit like that.

I'm not really much of one for planning ahead or making goals, so I never came up with such a list. Since such a list would not only be boring but also impossible for me to complete now that 30 is upon me, I've decided to go the other way and compile a list of notable things I have not done/experienced/completed before turning 30, many (though by no means all) of which I'm actually fairly proud of and would have included on my Not To Do Before Turning 30 list, had I the foresight to make one.

Things I Have Not Done Even Though I'm Now 30:
  1. Gotten married
  2. Eaten foie gras
  3. Punched a goat (Update: Since I conceived of this list, this happened. Well, not so much a punch as more of an open-hand slap. But don't worry, it was completely in self defense. Long story.)
  4. Had nude photos surface on the internet
  5. Ran a marathon. Seriously, those things are stupid. Fuck marathons.
  6. Won an Olympic medal
  7. Been to either of our neighboring nations
  8. Changed a diaper (I'm strangely very proud of this one)
  9. Lived outside the midwest
  10. Climbed any mountains
  11. Had a job that paid more than $20,000/year
  12. Failed to complete an eating challenge (Edit: I was reminded I once lost the Nookie challenge. Must have blocked it out of my mind. My bad. Though to be fair, I had completed it successfully twice before I finally failed, so that's got to be worth something)
  13. Had a child (that I know of)
  14. Seen every episode of the Simpsons ever made (at one point in my life I'm sure this was a goal, though to be fair, had the show maintained that level of quality, I'm sure I would have)
  15. Ever been in debt

But, ok, this being my space for rambling and self-absorbtion, here's some stuff I have done/experienced/completed before 30 most of which I'm somewhat proud of. The list would be a lot longer if I spent some time thinking about it, but I'm just adding it this morning before publishing, so it will be even more scattershot than the previous list.

Things I Have Done Before 30:
  1. Been to jail
  2. Got a job without actually finishing my degree
  3. Various fun celebrity stories (top 3 -- got to interview Harvey Pekar, took Jello Biafra record shopping, had dinner with Chuck D)
  4. Helped establish a still-running alternative theater and newspaper at my undergrad
  5. Won some awards for reasons beyond simply being a participant (two favorites -- human rights leadership award from my undergrad and best grad instructor award from my department)
  6. Been to Iraq multiple times (without a gun, because I'm not a sissy)
  7. Have been paid to perform music and/or act on multiple occasions, thereby technically making me both a professional musician and professional actor
  8. Adopted the world's most awesome dog
  9. Learned how to play a dozen instruments
  10. Lots of other stuff I'm sure...damn, this is a much harder list to complete, so I'll just end it there.
So that's about it. I'm getting old, I've done some stuff, I haven't done some other stuff, I'm completely indistinguishable from the rest of humanity as yet another warm body slowly trudging on the inexorable march toward death. So...uh...happy birthday to me?

1 comment:

Bdiggs said...

1. It rules that you punched a goat. 2. You have no idea how lucky you are not to be in debt to the government and private financial institutions for your education.
3. Happy Birthday, again.