Today I’m turning 29.
29 years of bad jokes and bad coffee and unnecessarily hot showers.
Cliff bars and scratch tickets. TTC tokens and forgotten keys.
29 years off feeling lost and feeling hungry and feeling tired and feeling nice.
When you’re a kid, 29 feels untouchable. Unattainable. This elusive number that you yourself will never actually be.
When you’re a kid, 29 is for grown ups.
But somewhere along the way – somewhere between learning to ride a bike to learning to drive a car to learning to navigate the Bangkok rail system – somewhere, somehow, we all became grown ups; We turned into these elusive, unattainable numbers we thought we, ourselves, would never actually be.
We went from playing dress-up to buying bridesmaids dresses; Much Music dances to first dances. School trips to the field study centre to solo trips around the world.
Today I’m turning 29.
I’m not notable.
I’ve done nothing remarkable – but I’ve done enough.
I’ve travelled places. I’ve climbed mountains and paddled rivers and watched sunsets that are indescribable. I’ve felt things in moments that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.
I’ve also stayed home. I’ve sat on couches and cruised cupboards and watched TV shows that were indescribably bad. I’ve felt meaningless things in mundane situations that I don’t need to remember.
I’ve kissed people who mattered and people who didn’t. I’ve fought with people who mattered and people who didn’t.
I’ve chased dreams and boys and tequila shots. I’ve regretted some of those dreams.
I’ve regretted some of those boys.
I’ve certainly regretted some of those tequila shots.
I have forced myself to feel unsatisfied; to believe I can do more, should do more. I’ve forced myself to believe I can be bigger, better. I should be bigger, better. My whole life I believed I would do something that really, really mattered.
But maybe I didn’t. Maybe I won’t. Fuck, maybe I’m already doing it. I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll never know.
And maybe, maybe, that’s fine.
We, as this big stressed-out society, are obsessed with more. With doing more. Seeing more. Working out more often. We’re obsessed with having more; being more happy. More excited. More satisfied. And because of this, we’ve forgotten to enjoy anything. To let ourselves feel content and fulfilled by the seemingly mundane. We’ve forgotten to enjoy where we are instead of where we think we have to be.
Today I’m turning 29. I thought I would have done more by now.
Instead, what I’ve done is this:
I [kind of] learned how to juggle.
I made homemade hollandaise sauce for the first time ever and it was bomb.
I discovered the true, pure, joy of a breakfast burrito.
I’ve sat with an endless string of wonderful people over bottomless coffees talking about life and love and our latest podcast recos. About our careers; our hopes and aspirations. We talked about our favourite brand of face wash. We talked about how cold we were.
Somewhere in between trying to become something bigger – in between everything that was supposed to matter – I found everything that mattered. And then I forgot to care about it.
Instead, I cared about everything else; everything I didn’t have yet. I cared about everything I hadn’t accomplished; everything I thought I was supposed to be by now. I cared about everything I wasn’t.
Today I’m turning 29. I’ve spent 29 years napping in hammocks and half-assing crossword puzzles and sitting in traffic. I’ve spent so much time reading; binging on Netflix; fantasizing about the next time I would eat cheese. I’ve had 29 years that were incredibly normal.
I’ve had 29 years that were the fucking best.
Today I’m 29. I thought I would have done more by now.
But I’ve done enough. I am enough.
Today I’m 29 and I am – we all are – stupidly, wonderfully, happily enough.