30

I’m now 30. I have lived on this celestial orb a total of three decades, or thirty entire orbits around the sun. That’s a total of 17.5 billion miles. A long journey, I’m sure you’ll agree.

At this point, you can’t help but take stock somewhat. Some might call me old, others a young wee scrap of a thing. But while there might be dispute, on the basis of perspective, there are some things that we can say…

At 30, I am somewhere between a third and halfway through my life. Current UK male life expectancy is 77.46 years (at birth), but fully 51% of UK males live past their 80th birthday. So, if I’m lucky I have more time ahead of me than behind, but not so much that I can’t take stock.

But in saying all that, I shouldn’t get too depressed. Because although more than a third of my life is already over, I am barely begun on my working life. I have been working for nearly 7 years (since leaving university – I did have jobs before that), but I can be fully expected to have to work until I am 70 (the pensionable age will rise – but the argument proving this is for another post). So thus far I have worked my way through 7 years of a 47-year working life, or less than 15%. So, when I get depressed on my scrappy CV or my lack of a “career” at the age of 30, I should remember that I am barely begun on my working life: there is plenty of time ahead to achieve (or not).

In the last 3 decades I have had 4 – 6 girlfriends (depending on how you count). I have only kissed 7 women (as far as my recollections go, at 10pm after 1/3 of a bottle of wine). I have no children, and I am single again. But, male fertility lasts well past their 50s, so I have time…

This is a scrappy post, not quite as eloquent as I would have hoped. I guess I wanted to take stock somewhat, and I think the best way to do that is with some figures. It would be easy to say that I haven’t achieved very much, thus far. I have dreams, but I have not seen them realised. I have no “career” as such, and thus far my romantic life has been a series of minor (and a couple of major) disasters.

But the time ahead is greater than the times behind. And, although the clock is counting down, it is not counting me out. Yet. I still have time to dream. I have maybe 4 more decades to read what I want to read, write what I want to write, find people to love, find people to build with. Yes, by the standards of generations past, I am not doing too well. I have no land, no family, no obvious career path. But by the standards of my generation, I think I’m doing ok. And there is plenty of time ahead.

Plus, I have an advantage. I’m thinking about this now. I may not know the plan, but I am no longer drifting. I am thinking about the future, and I am not daunted by it. There are maybe another 30 billion miles to go. That’s a long way. And I’m looking forward to them…

[Figures from Wolfram Alpha. Have a play…]

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