13 things I learnt in 30 years

I turned 30 today.

The past 29 years have been one heck of a ride, but 21 to 28 was absolutely nothing compared to 29.

This year has been just a roller coaster. It beat me down and lifted me up, I’ve lost and gained much. Today, I’m richer for it in both spirit and mind. Just what have I learnt? Well, here it is.

  1. I had the opportunity to write for some great online publications. I’ve learnt to be meticulous when I write, because an apostrophe can make a world of a difference. Juliet, thanks for highlighting my “It’s” and “Its” #fails to me!
  2. I learnt that I could write, and that my opinions mattered. Before I started this blog, it was just me and my thoughts. Today, it’s all of you and my thoughts. If you’re reading this, thank you.
  3. I understood what betrayal meant for the first time. I had no words, and it sunk me. But this was only half the lesson.
  4. The other 50% of this lesson was that I didn’t need to accept my life as it was, and that fear shouldn’t have a hold on me.
  5. Consequently, I learnt that I’m not over the hill, and I can re-invent myself.
  6. I learnt that online dating is no longer uncool. Actually, it’s pretty cool. I even provide advice these days on that stuff. One last piece of advice: If she gives you her number, don’t be an idiot and forget (like me). Remember to text her back.
  7. Regarding love: I am doubling down on being loyal, staying grounded and being 100%, all in. Historical experiences do not factor into current situations.
  8. My friends take my bullshit, only because they’re some of the most patient human beings in the world. Thanks for putting up with every Arnold one-liner I’ve made so far. Here’s my favourite one one for you:
  9. I learnt that value is what people ascribe to you, but it is based on 2 things:
    A) What you have done (not what you do, very nuanced, but big difference)
    B) How they perceive what you have done.
    It is therefore, the very subjective sum total of every related past experience of both service provider and client.
  10. Failing a Fitness Test does not mean I’m unfit. Conversely, passing a fitness test doesn’t equate to being terribly fit. There’s always room for improvement.
  11. Being contrary is no longer a weakness, it is a strength. Being productively rebellious is a valuable ability borne out of being unreasonably rebellious in the first 25 years of my life. At the meeting table, daring to say what people don’t want to hear has made a serious difference. My time is now, and I have to rebel daringly or just become a number.
  12. I learnt that I truly believe in taking positive action, versus complaining about another person. I still believe we shouldn’t bully others for not having the same opinions as us. In the same vein, if someone does cross the line, then stand up, especially if they’re racists and bigots.
  13. Reminder to self: take a risk, make a difference. I am pretty bad at asking for more for myself. Perhaps my perception of the self is skewed, hence my inability to ask for more. I know I should, and I’ll do better next year.

I am truly grateful for the people that have become close to me this year. You’ve kept me going when I couldn’t do it myself. Some personal “thank yous” are in order:

  • Juliet and Keith – For opening opportunities to me, and trusting me to make contributions. Without the kickstart you gave me in DV, I would not be here.
  • Carrie and Evona – For helping me find my footing. I truly appreciate the moments of clarity talking to you.
  • All the Ex-Cons – For keeping me grounded and being some of the best creative sounding boards thus far. I always achieve more with your words of wisdom. It helps that you laugh at my nonsense too.
  • Tracy – For hanging on with me and making things a bit easier. We made it.
  • Every regular 5meanders.com reader – This site works because you come here to read it. If you don’t come and didn’t care, I wouldn’t have been able to continue creating content for you. Many of you are friends and family who see me post on Facebook, and even more of you are friends of friends who happen to see my posts float up on your social feeds. Where ever you are from, and whoever you are, I’d like to just say thanks!
  • My family – For your absolute patience when I stumbled in the metaphorical dark of my career and personal life these 30 years. It is true that my best role models are at home. I have learnt silent patience from dad, and inventive tenacity from mom. Best of all, you guys wouldn’t have minded if I really did become a road sweeper, as long as I became the best one out there.
  • Girlfriend – The great thing about life is that you’ll never know when it’ll throw you a curve ball. I think I caught it pretty well, all things considered.
    I enjoy spending weekends doing nothing with you and relish travelling to hidden places, next to you.
    I hope you’ve had a good time so far, I certainly did.

One comment

  1. Carrie says:

    The best things in life are free… although it comes with a helluva lots of bumps and scrapes along the way.

    All part and parcel.

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