So, it was my birthday a few weeks ago, my age changed from 28 to 29. Age is a concept I find quite strange because it is just an arbitrary unit of time, with one unit (a year) being determined by how long it takes for the Earth to complete an orbit around the sun, that massive ball of super-heated plasma in the centre of our solar system. And does that really have an impact on us? Does it matter how many orbits we have personally completed? But in our society, age is a big deal.
I am sure you can think of many examples of how age may impact your life, but for me it affects the availability of working holiday visas. These have been a massive part of my life recently, I am currently on my 2nd visa and I am planning on applying for my 3rd. The way that age becomes relevant is I can only apply for these visas up to the age of 30. I guess it is deemed that by the age of 30 you should be in the process of “settling down”, which to my knowledge involves speed dating, having in interest in mortgages, becoming disinterested in socialising and gaining weight. As someone who struggles to remain in the same place for too long I feel ill equipped for the 30s. I never envisioned me travelling forever, but it is kind of all I know now. How can I possibly go back to a mundane life now? But I guess that is a problem for future Mike.
Going back to ages, I remember someone asking me the question; “what was the best year of your life?” I.e. what was your favourite age. I didn’t know how to answer this question, so I started forwarding this question to other people. “18, because you can go clubbing”. “16, because you don’t have adult responsibilities”. “21, 10....etc”. A variety of answers, all from the past. The answer that really change my perspective was when I asked my dad. “66” he said, “but that is how old you are now” I replied, “yes, and next year I will be 67 and that will be the best year of my life. He went on to explain that the best year of your life is the one you are living now. None of this back in the good old day’s nonsense. I had finally found the right answer to the question. I don’t want to come across as some hippy lifestyle guru, there are plenty of people out there who make a living telling people how to live. I guess all I can say is “here’s to being 29, the best year of my life”.