Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Mid - Mid Life Crisis

As I slowly come to terms with the fact that I’m turning 25 next month, I find myself scouring the web daily for hours, relying on my good friend, Google, to inform me of ‘things to do before you turn 25’.... followed by a slightly more drastic search for ‘things to do before you die’. Thankfully, the prognosis isn’t terminal.

Apparently, broaching the 25 year mark is met with mixed sentiments. I’m now in the process of reassessing every minute aspect of my life to date. Cheers for the forewarning guys!!
I never had a bucket list, just a mere quote, a mantra on life if you may to which I’ve aimed to live my life by; the infamous ‘Stay Hungry! Stay Foolish’ quote. Since hearing it mentioned as part of the late Steve Jobs’ address to the graduation class of 2005 at Stanford University, it has become my mantra. I had believed it had served me well until now; until I felt the need for a re-evaluation of my life.
Google has churned out hundreds of things to do before turning 25 (or die), they vary from the everyday mundane achievable tasks to the outrageous, and some include:

- Go Sky Diving (Not yet....)
- Go Snorkelling (Yet to find an instructor brave enough to take me on...)
- Confront a fear (Currently attending swimming lessons to conquer my fear of water, also got my full driving license last year after confronting my fear of both 5th gear and the reverse around the corner!)
- Finish College (Done – aching to return though!)
- Open a retirement account (Can’t - You need money to do that!)
- See your favourite band live (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band live in Barcelona May 2012)
- Look back on the last 25 years and make sure you’ve no regrets (Have loads, but believe that you should never regret regrets... we all have them, you just learn to live with them!)
- Take a multi day hiking trip (5,875m – Kilimanjaro.... on foot , the porters did not carry me, just my bag(s))
- Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.  (Wish it were that easy....)
- Leave the country (For good? Wish I was brave enough!)
- Build your own igloo (Opportunity hasn’t arisen just yet.....)
- Go to a nightclub on your own and make some new friends (That’s called ‘creeping’ where I come from.... Never have, never will!)
- Watch the sunrise (Does walking up Harcourt Street at sunrise count? Just kidding, last day of Kilimanjaro trek, witnessed sunrise at plus 5000m)
- Run with the bulls (Does dancing with them in Coppers count?)
- Write your own book (Does a 2nd class story entitled ‘The secret in the basement’ count? It never did make the school library let alone the NY Times best sellers list!)
- Let go of your past (Wish I could... maybe one day!)
- Make a donation (Raised over €1000 this year for ICS running the Belfast marathon in the meantime...crossed the finish line, and haven’t ran since!)
- Kiss someone I love in the rain (Sounds like someone’s trying to recreate the Notebook – don’t have an emotional bone in my body.... don’t do fairytales.... so won’t be partaking, unless of course Tommy Bowe is asking?!)
- Travel the world (Seen a little, a lot more of it to see!)
- Cross a country by bicycle (With or without stabilizers?!)
- Attend the Olympics (If I conquer the fear of swimming, I might try for Rio 2016, you can wear armbands right?)
- Attend a music festival (Yet to do....)
- Go Skinny dipping (No one needs to see that....ever!)
- Take belly dancing classes (As above!)
- Get a tattoo (Like dogs, they aren’t just for no, not yet)  
- Win the Lottery (Still trying...)
- Visit the Taj Mahal (Marked my 24thbirthday with a visit!)
- Accept yourself for who you are (I’ve accepted that my unique sarcastic wit is not understood by many.... the serious stuff, not so sure, you can’t accept who you are until you’re truly happy in yourself right?! In that case, I’ve got a little bit more to go, but firmly believe I’m on my way.... after 25 years I’m still hungry, and still foolish!)

On the grand scale of things, I’ve spent the last 25 years enjoying life maybe that’s why the big 25 has crept up so fast. But surely life isn’t about ticking off a list of things society expects you to do (or Google for that matter), it’s that mental list of things only you know you want to do, things that will truly make you happy.

So as I write this, my Mid Mid Life Crisis has taken a firm grip of my life, extremely tacky music bellows from my laptop – Fun ‘We are Young’ and 1D’s ‘Live While We’re Young’ (Please excuse my poor taste in music, The Boss would not be impressed).... I’ve decided acceptance is key; and as Theodore Roosevelt said ‘Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young’..... and that I intend to do!

If I’m crying in a corner on my 25th.... someone please stop me!

The Forgotten (and Aging) Irish Graduate
6th October 2012