Sunday, 19 September 2010

Accelerating towards Adulthood

So I'm nearly 30.

Yes, that's right dear reader, I know that this information is shocking to you, but I am nearly 30 - the age when I'm supposed to be grown up, and sensible, and stuff.


But seriously, whilst having a conversation with the lady in my life the other day, after I'd made several self deprecating age-related jokes, she asked me the following:

"Are you really worried about turning thirty?"

My answer? "No."

Which is true. I mean, the fact that I am heading into the strange world of middle-age (although according to Wikipedia, I'm either five or ten years away from that yet, but I digress) does make me think about my life, what I've achieved, where I am, where I'm going. But do you know what? I'm happy with it.

But since it is a time for self-reflection and consideration, I'm going to try (the important word here being "try") to write a few blogs about this oncoming milestone.

I've never been one of those people who made a list of "things to do before I'm 30", and, although I certainly had ideas for what I wanted to achieve in the next ten years when I turned 20, these things change. However, people who publish these lists seem to assume that everyone wants to do, or should have done, the things they suggest. As such, they're all pretty vague. So, in the nature of well-balanced journalism and not, you know, just picking something to randomly ridicule (honest), I've discovered that Hallmark is not just a company who produces crap cards and a crap TV channel, but also this crap list as well. Shall we see what I've accomplished, and what I need to do in the next month and a bit?

Attempt to Moonwalk across the dancefloor in a crowded nightclub

I'm not a big fan of nightclubs. Or crowds. So no. I've tried to do it drunkenly in a kitchen if that counts... (it did not go well..)

Dance all night and get home when it's light!

Replace 'Dance' with 'Drink' and I've done it. Many times.

Realise that you still don't know what you want to do when you grow up

Yeah. This is true. I don't know what I want to do when I grow up. But I don't care much about rushing the discovery of it either.

Audition for a reality show, regardless of your ability or reputation

Sadly, I have done this. I sent in an audition tape for Big Brother 2. Sad times. In my defence, I was drunk at the time...

Purchase a ridiculously expensive and totally 'unpractical' pair of shoes - Just because!

Is this list for women? I don't tend to purchase shoes that are either expensive or unpractical. I just have three pairs of shoes. Boots, posh shoes, trainers.

Go to work in your 'night before' clothes at least once

Done it. Many times.

Realise finally that you'll always feel like a 5 year old inside - no-one ever grows up!

I'm not a 5 year old inside. I'm at least 13....

Blag your way into the VIP area!

Define blag.... I've been in many, but traditionally whilst working....

Spend a night in a haunted house, with friends and torches

OK, this is impossible, because ghosts don't exist. So I can't go to a haunted house in the first place. Damn you Hallmark, making up even more crap.

Recreate a scene from a famous film!

I've done this. More than once I'm sure.

Do something your Mum says you'll regret - then not regret it

I've lost count of the number of times I've done this...

Make a spontaneous purchase, something indulgent, expensive and gorgeous for yourself no worries.

Yup. But that could be to do with the fact I'm not great with money.

Invent a 7 day weekend! With continuous Friday Feeling

I'm sorry, this I don't understand. How can I invent a 7 day weekend? Does it mean just spend a week living like every day is a weekend? Well I've done that, it's called a holiday... dumbasses.

Drink a Manhattan cocktail in Manhattan!

Not happened. Not likely to either.

Take part in a midnight marathon

Yes, because if I'm going to run 26 miles at my current fitness level, the best time to do it is in the dark so I can't see where I'm going....

Have the guts to start my own business

I've had the guts many times. The money? That's a different story...

Sing your heart out in a different language. Very liberating!

Done it many times. Prefer singing in English though.

Learn to Salsa!

Have you SEEN me dance?

Zorbing down a steep hill! So much fun...if you’re not sick!

Love to do it. It's expensive though...

Find the perfect little black dress!

OK, nowhere in this list does it say it's for women. Does that mean men are looking for the perfect little black dress as well? Was there a memo no-one gave me?

Sleep under the stars

Why? It's cramped... oh that says STARS. My bad. Yeah, I agree with this, do it. It's peaceful. And fun.

See in the New Year in a foreign city

Why? I like to see in the New Year with people I know and like. I can't afford to take all of them to a foreign city too! I saw the New Year in in Southampton this year, does that count?

Resist everything except temptation

What the FUCK does this even mean??

Wave your Union Jack at the last night of the Proms!

Done it. Well, waved it at the TV anyway

Set a Guinness World Record

I tried to do this once, and set the world record for eating bananas. I failed.

Learning to sing just one karaoke song...well!

I can sing many karaoke songs :) Whether I do them well, that's a question for the audience surely?

Get your kicks on Route 66!

Why would a road give me kicks?

Do the Conga!

Yes, I have been drunk at a party before. Ergo this has been done.

Find something you are really good at and make your mark on the world!

Yeah OK, way to ramp up the expectations here. All the other things have been fairly easy to do, but this? Define 'really good'? Define 'make your mark'? Are you telling me that if by thirty I haven't written a famous symphony, or had a hit single, or cured cancer, or been awarded a nobel prize, then I should give up? Fuck you Hallmark.

Do one thing that actually terrifies you!

Done that. A lot. I don't recommend it. Don't believe the psychiatrists. 90% of the time, if you do something you're terrified of, it'll just make you more terrified!

So to be clear, I've done about half of those. So am I about to rush out and buy a little black dress, some impractical shoes, discover a 7 day weekend, set a World Record and then Moonwalk across a crowded dancefloor?

Surprisingly, no, I'm not.

Alright then Mr Sarcastic Bastard, I hear you all shout, so what advice do you give? What would you say that people should do before they're thirty?

My answer? Whatever makes you happy. Simple. I mean if you look at my list of things I'm proud that I've done in the last nearly-thirty years, there's a wide variety of stuff. Yes there's my creative side, I've written plays, pantomimes, musicals, stories, songs, films and even a novel, and performed on stage as everything from a plant to a woman, but there's the other things too. I've seen my big sister get married, gained some of the best friends a guy could have, and, most notably (and recently), I've moved in with the most gorgeous girl I've ever known.

Middle age? Pah. I'm not even half-way through (hopefully - barring accidents). Bring it on.

POSTSCRIPT - If you want to support Brawny's creative side, then go and see Maverick's production of "The Cursed Treasure of Barbarous Bill" - his latest play, performed with two other one-act plays in St Clement's Hall, Parkstone on 28th-30th October 2010.