My life is over. That’s it. Today I turn twenty-five. My best years are now solidly behind me. When I think back to my glory days I will have to accept that I’m now closer to thirty than I am to eighteen. After weeks of denial, I have finally had to accept the inevitable.
Where does all the time go? It feels like only last year that my wife was presenting me with a Spider-Man birthday cake and a breakfast of pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse. Come to think about it, that was last year. They say you’re only as old as you feel. If that’s the case then every time I arrive home from the gym I feel like a withered and broken man, every inch of my body crying out in pain as if I’d just spent the night in a prison cell with a sexually frustrated Mike Tyson. I’m just waiting for the day I get a letter from the British Museum, requesting to add me to one of their exhibits alongside remnants of the East India Trading Company and Madonna.
Panicking about my new age, I begin to reminisce about everything I’ve managed to achieve in my twenty-five years. I’ve managed a few personal accomplishment that I’m particularly proud of but nothing by the grand scheme of things. Where has been my contribution to the world? At twenty-five, Adele was giving us her third creatively titled mega hit music album despite talking like and East London plumber. She’s got her life figured out, that’s for sure.
My wife would point to our daughter and tell me that she is the biggest achievement in my life, something I should be monumentally proud of.
“Wonderful,” I scoff “My greatest achievement is on par with most of the recently pubescent teens of this town,” Dont get me wrong, I love my daughter very much. She keeps my mind youthful whilst my body slowly succumbs to the ravages of time and McDonalds cheeseburgers. I couldn’t be happier to have her in my life and to be experiencing youth for a second time through her innocent eyes, even if I no longer have the money for an Xbox One and my comic books have to be more heavily guarded than the Mexican border. Conceiving a child is one thing, but raising them to be the best person they can be is the real achievement. Perhaps she will be my large contribution to the world. A child raised to accept no Racism, no Discrimination and no Prejudice of any kind. Unless the Prejudice is really funny that is, let’s not get crazy.
At twenty-five I find myself working the same job as when I was nineteen, waiting for the day my list of most hated customers are all in store at the same time, so I can lock all the doors and light that place up like an Australian Barbie, roasting my chicken wings over the charred remains of my adversaries and chugging pints of Fosters like there’s no tomorrow.
There was a time when I was a joyful and optimistic person. What the hell happened? Each morning an elderly customer of mine informs men of all their ailments before giving me a sound piece of advice “Don’t get old,” Which begs the question; What exactly is the alternative?
Today I find myself living a very different life to the one I’d imagined for myself when I was a small child. I’m working in a dead end job that requires all the qualifications of a self service checkout. I’m forced to rent a greatly overpriced property in the private housing market. My monthly disposable income can barely stretch to a bag of Haribo. And to really top it all off, my wife can beat me in an arm wrestle.
During my pessimism I have been ignoring the wise words of Jesse Eisenberg “Rule number 32 – Enjoy the little things” It seems today that I have been trying so desperately to survive that I have forgotten how to live. I have a beautiful two year old daughter with a wild imagination to match my own, and a loving twenty-one year old wife, who can’t seem to keep her hands off me.
Perhaps this year will be the year that I finally begin to live for the now. Maybe I’ll write a bucket list for everything I wish to achieve this year and do more than just tuck it away in a cluttered drawer. Maybe I’ll throw caution to the wind and watch an entire movie post 8:30pm. To hell with it, if I want to pour myself half a lager shandy on a work night, I will let my hair down and let the good times roll. Why worry about something that is completely out of my control. I’d love to adopt the mentality that age truly is just a number, after all, it worked wonders for Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville. When I look back on my life at a truly ripe old age, nature permitting, I’d like to be able to compare myself next to a fine wine.
“Ah, aged twenty-five years, a delicious number,” Just getting better with age.