I’ll be turning 30 in about two months and this inevitable landmark of sorts has got me pondering personal life goals and past failures and all the oscillating glee and glumness that accompanies these sorts of things. At times I feel as if I’ve lived my life exactly as I should have, geographically unfaithful and never without a good deal of curiosity, but then at other times it feels as if I’ve been in a constant state of arrested development (to steal a quote). Surely someone as supposedly smart as me should have by now figured out how to live their life outside of financial straits and bereft of personal strife. Where’s my 401K and environmentally-friendly new car? Where are those extra pounds on my midsection that properly denote comfort and happiness? It’s not that I don’t enjoy my life, that I don’t love my life, but I’ve been raised to constantly question my intangible values, and this questioning eventually, over time, say 30 years, leads to a bit of uncertainty.
But then a few days ago when I sat down not thinking about these things, with my head clear and nothing but a cup of coffee and pen and paper to write down a list of 10 goals for the upcoming 10th anniversary of my 20th birthday, the things I came up with had absolutely nothing to do with success or money. Or not with that kind of success (new car and pudgy midsection) or money (401K). They were for the most part personal artistic and educational goals (Number 4: Learn to play guitar and create a folk-inspired doom metal album about love, homemade robots and the perils of space travel, with an optional addendum of touring Russia with said album). So then what does this mean? I lied when I said above that Number 9 was to get rich. It’s really to read more literature. Which is basically the opposite of getting rich.