Last week I turned 28. It doesn't feel too bad, actually. Each birthday comes with the inevitable fear that this year needs to be really great. So many 'this is my year' social media posts get banded around, like a daily New Years' Eve for the Tumblr generation. I've never been massively philosophical when it comes to the future. To me, the future just kind of happens. Like a trajectory of my life as some kind of me-sized meteor, with people, place and actions knocking it onto a different course. Considering I don't consider myself philosophical, that was mighty impressive. But in my mind's eye it isn't that fancy an idea, it's essentially the phrase's**t happens' (the naughty word I erased out will be replaced with the word 'stuff' from now on) but said more pretentiously and longer winded.
The age of 28 changed my approach little, but the accumulation of friends and family doing more adult things, the sense of thought that is 'erm, what are you doing with life, Luke?' has approached some kind of a juncture. One way, I can just continue. Let's call that way straight on. Straight on I kind of amble about, trying my things, doing some stuff, working on bits and bobs. That type of thing.
The second way my life can take is a bit of a motorway. A bit of a 'oh no, you really need to get your stuff together' and forces me to urgently start zooming about trying to find a girlfriend, a mortgage (lol) and a big, fat long-term job. This approach is myself essentially stressing about everything and anything and getting nowhere but here. Which way will I take? Well, the answer changes daily, maybe even hourly. Yet I always end up back at a sensible position these days. It's the most adult thing about me.
Some days I'm relaxed. I work on my writing (OF WHICH MY NEW BLOG WHERE I WRITE PART OF A STORY EVERY FEW DAYS CAN BE FOUND HERE PLEASE TAKE A LOOK) and keep moving forward with that, I try to evolve my social life from part-time sofa-sitter to full-time friend-haver with both of these falling in between my actual day job for an excellent and exciting company. This is going with the flow fuelled by a natural motivation. It's nice but sometimes things don't go so quickly.
Other days my life is so slow and OH MY GOD WON'T YOU JUST GO BLOODY FASTER? Most of my friends have their stuff together. I have friends who have lives, wives, children (ACTUAL SMALL PEOPLE THEY'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF THE TIME) and proper jobs. Jobs like being teachers. Teachers! Loads of my friends are teachers. They have their stuff together so much that they're actually paid to show children how to go about getting their stuff together in the future. They're in credit of adult points so much so that they're giving away their tips on gaining adult points. Stop hogging all of the adult points guys, I can't even cook. Give me adult points so I can at least cook.
The older I've gotten, however, I'm starting to get used to not actually walking the path I always thought I would at this age, the path my friends have taken and the path that is socially expected. My life is actually how I like it, give or take. I would love to write for a living, and hopefully that will come. I would love to have settled down and all that comes with that, but I've learned to embrace the fact that none of these things have actually frequented my current situation, and to wish for them is at best unhelpful and at worst a waste of time.
Now my days consist of dreaming of things I could do with the time I have. I concentrate on being a good person and a nice lad. I try to help people I know and be there for them. I walk around in my pants, downing ice cream from the tub and eat vegetables infrequently, but this doesn't mean that this type of life stops until 'serious' stuff happens. I text my mate Ali, (hi mate!) almost all day. We talk about The Walking Dead and various handsome football players' hair. We mock our singleness yet thrive in it like a badge of honour. We go to work at around 8am and we tend to finish around 5pm. We call each other 'bae' and drink booze. Yet our stuff is still super important. To us. To me. I have no idea how but the older I've gotten the less stuffs I've given (I replaced a different word there..).
If you're feeling a little bit like your life has stalled and the driver has decided to get off with the keys, try not to worry. Stuff happens.
If you feel a bit like your life is like a box of chocolates, but your delicious chocolates have melted all over your brand new trousers (AND THEY WERE COSTLY TROUSERS) then just relax. Serious stuff tends to happen once you've allowed all that other, random stuff to connect the dots between various life goals.
And if you read this and in 20 years are jobless and alone, don't blame me. Stuff happens.