I turned 31 on Monday. I know, right? I'm sure some of you are all, "Wow, that's fucking old." Others are like, "Pffffft, young'in, come back and talk to me when you can grow hair on your nuts."
As such, I think 31 is a pretty damn good age. And it was definitely time for a party. Three years ago on my birthday I saw Local H at the Double Door in Chicago. Two years ago I saw the Lost Immigrants at the Doublewide in Dallas (and met James Dunning, who turned out to be a cool dude). Last year I got my offer letter to come back to Chicago from Dallas. This year, well, this year I had a party game:
Yup. Nothin' like taking the day off to sand down your stairs. Anyway, it was a good birthday, all things considered, especially since I got an email from Barnes & Noble at 11:30 on Monday night that Blackout, the third Newsflesh book, was ready to be downloaded. I hadn't been expecting to get it until June.
And so but anyway, now that I'm officially ensconced in my fourth decade on this planet, I feel it's time to pretend like I've developed some wisdom about life. So here are my three big lessons on life:
1. Every few years I realize how dumb I was a few years ago. I fear the moment when that stops being true, because it means I've stopped growing and learning.
2. I always have to be willing to get hurt and be disappointed. I've spent the last few years focused solely on expectation management, i.e. if you don't expect too much you won't be let down when the roof inevitably falls in on you. I've finally figured out that the only thing you get from that is misery compounding misery, because if you don't dedicate yourself to something and try you'll just end up wondering why you can't have nice things.
3. If I'm waiting for someone or something to come along and complete me, I'll never be whole. No one else can tell me who or what to be. It doesn't matter if I'm looking for god or a significant other or that job that I think will be the best thing ever. If I don't know who I am and can't give myself meaning, then I'll just be defining yourself by some external thing.
So, yeah. It's pretty trite and obvious, I suppose. But it took me thirty years to learn, so maybe it's not. Life is really good right now and I've got some developing developments of a developmental nature that I think will probably actually cause my head to explode if they go the way I hope they do. But even if they don't, well, I've learned enough to say that it won't be the end of the world and there's always something new and exciting around that next corner.
Anyway, here's some happy-making music:
And here's some Florence + the Machine, because, holy shit, Florence + the Machine: