07
Nov
13

Thirty

30th-birthdayYou guys might have noticed that I’ve been slacking again when it comes to posts – that’s because my weekend was a bit of a wild one and I wasn’t able to stockpile anything for the week like I usually do.

Friday I went to an awesome wedding at Suikerbossie where a lot of tequila was drunk and good times had by all and on Saturday I celebrated a pretty intense milestone because yeah. I’m thirty now.

My actual birthday was on Sunday but on Saturday I had a chilled braai with some friends, nothing too crazy because I’m a dad now so I couldn’t really lose my shit completely with a two month old baby.

Of course, near the end of the afternoon / evening a lot of whisky was consumed and tons of shit talked by all. It was a beautiful day, sunshine and blue skies, and I feel like I sent my 20s off in the best possible way.

It’s a weird one though. I don’t remember reflecting on my life much when I hit my 20s. I think at that time in my life I was just partying like an animal and getting up to all kinds of shenanigans so I don’t think I really gave a shit that my teenage years were over.

Besides, getting into your 20s is pretty exciting. I remember feeling like I had this amazing decade ahead of me with all kinds of adventures and craziness to look forward to and lot of freedom to enjoy.

In your 20s you become financially independent (hopefully), you get your first car, you move into your first flat, you take your first few shaky steps toward being an adult and it’s fun.

You make a lot of fuckups. You go out on school nights all the time, come to work with raging hangovers and are still able to somehow get shit done. You meet crazy people who stick with you through the good times and the bad and you party very, very fucking hard.

I remember the day I quit my first job. I’d only been working there for three months but the team I was working with was slowly and steadily falling apart so eventually I was like, “Fuck this, I’m done.”

I didn’t even write an official letter of resignation. I just came to work one day and told my boss at the time I was sorry but after the end of the month (which was three days away) I wouldn’t be coming into work anymore.

He wasn’t even pissed off. He just said he totally understood and if I wanted, I could quit right there and then and they’d still pay me for the whole month.

I headed straight to my buddy Barbarian’s flat (affectionately known by us all as “The Hole”) and spent the rest of the day on his veranda couch lounging in the sun drinking Black Label quarts and smoking bongs.

I honestly didn’t give a shit. Two months later I had another job which I accepted because my parents had cut me off completely and I was running out of cash.

I remember what weekends used to feel like. The build-up to Friday, the burning energy that used to course through me at the thought of the parties I was going to hit, the people I was going to hang out with and the fucking crazy shit we were going to get up to.

I remember the clubs, the bars, the drinks, the drugs, the girls, the infectious craziness that exploded endlessly inside us. I remember the highs and the heartaches, the moments where I felt like a God and the others where I felt like a total wretch.

I lived hard. I threw caution into the wind and on more than one occasion, life kicked my fucking ass.

It’s not something I admit to often, nor something I’m particularly proud of but it took over 80 stitches, 50 staples, six titanium screws, three metal crossbars and a shit ton of antiseptic, gauze, bandages, morphine, pethadine, dormicum and painkillers to get me through my 20s.

I never knew when enough was enough, it was impossible for me to find any kind of balance in my life. It was all or nothing, I craved those dizzying highs and crushing lows. The fence-sitting, middle ground of complacency and polite indifference was more hellish to me than all the fire and brimstone and gnashing of teeth you could ever imagine.

Through it all I managed to somehow not only survive, but find a few truths that I know will see me through the rest of my life. They were lessons hard-learned, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing.

And yet I find myself staring down the next decade of my life warily, like a fighter weighing up his opponent in the ring, searching for flaws, looking for openings, waiting for the right moment to strike, achingly aware of the mounting pressure and responsibilities on his shoulders should he fail.

The game has changed.

I have no doubt that my thirties will bring me boundless joy, unimaginable opportunities and (again, hopefully) incredible success, but I also know that I will have to work harder to attain all three of those things than I did in my 20s.

Time is brutal – it’s the greatest teacher even though it kills all its pupils – and there is nothing you can do to stop it or bring it back so lamenting the passing of your 20s is idiotic and self-indulgent.

But I can’t help but feel a little sad, the same way I feel sad packing away baby clothes that my two-month old daughter will never fit into again, that my 20s are over.

The guy I was in my 20s was a crazy, passionate, reckless motherfucker, but God knows I miss him from time to time. On some nights I stand on our little balcony and look out over the humming city lights and imagine where he would be at that same moment, what mischief he’d be getting up to, what hearts he’d be breaking or what people would be breaking his.

My only solace during these times is the thought that he is out there somewhere, a thousand thousand different versions of him, and he is doing all those crazy things and always will be.

This is his world now and I surrender it to him gladly because though I may have lost part of my youthful abandon, I’ve gained a lover, companion for life and fierce lioness in J-Rab and the most incredible and precious gift of new life in my little Cub.

More than anything though, my 20s taught me that this is my life, my story. There is no other like it and there never will be.

This site is a record of that life that I hope outlasts me for a long, long time and continues to offer the souls that stumble upon it some kind of comfort no matter how big or small.

So pull up a chair, I’ll pour you a whisky, and we’ll float on in this rusted old junkyard spaceship through the ether.

Boats against the current. Bourne back ceaselessly into the past… Winking smile

-ST


2 Responses to “Thirty”


  1. 1 Civilian
    November 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Straight to the heart bro. Whilst my 20’s escapades can’t measure to yours in terms of scale and intensity, I definitely recognise what you’re saying about becoming a 30 year old. I’ve not achieved even close to what I’d imagined I would have by this age, but the romanticism of youth is somewhat eroded and my priorities have changed significantly enough for that not to matter.

  2. 2 Randolph
    November 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Poetry.

    Three more years and I’m seeing 40. So far this has been the best decade of my life. Enjoy the fuck out of it.


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