Well, today is the 5th of August. And that means that it’s my birthday. I’m 28 now. And, to be honest, the last 12 months has been a complete fucking nightmare. I now understand why Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain never made it past 27 (coincidence that they all died at 27? I think so).
It started well enough. I got myself a new job and everything seemed rosy. I was looking forward to a fresh start, I was getting on great with my girlfriend and all the luck was going my way. And, to talk to me, I’d have seemed on top of the world.
As the song by James goes “you can’t tell how much suffering on a face that’s always smiling”. Inside I was in a bit of a state. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in about November and I watched helplessly as it slowly destroyed her body and eventually killed her. I lived 270 miles away and came up to visit every few weeks and spoke to her on the phone as often as I could. But I knew exactly what my brother and father – on hand all the time – were going through. My brother had been very ill for a long time a few years ago and I watched as my parents and myself aged years making the trips to and from the hospital every day. It’s constant stress and tension and is way harder on you than any Marine selection course. But my brother pulled through and we all expected my mother to. She didn’t.
But you know what? I’m still here. If my birthday means anything, then it has to mean a new beginning. While I’d like to forget some of the goings-on during my 27th year a lot of good things happened. I made some good friends while working in Leeds. I sampled the action-packed lifestyle of living in London (something I never thought I’d want to do). I managed to learn to ride switch on a snowboard. I managed to break my toe (I always used to brag that I’d never broken a bone in my body). I’ve rekindled my love affair with mountain biking after a few years in the wilderness. And I’ve really gotten hooked on eating curries.
But one other good thing I did was start this weblog. Writing things down that are going through my head has helped me think about things in a new light. I’ve not posted everything I’ve written (you’d have been searching for a suicide booth if you’d read some of my more depressing articles that never saw the light of day). But I feel my writing skills have improved and it’s been fun. So I can promise more of the same. And be sure that there’ll be many more adventures for me to write about in the coming 12 months. And I’ll try to keep my writing just the right side of cheesy. Oh yes.