Ah the Twenties. The most optimistic decade of a man’s existence now comes rapidly to an end. I only have divorce, despair and death to look forward to, such is my understanding of this tumultuous milestone in my so-called life.
I have spent the bet part of two years worrying about trying to achieve before I am thirty. The fact is that the best thing I have done is kept myself alive and my ass clean in the intervening years.
The decade started off optimistically enough. I had changed my course in life, felt invincible and was enjoying myself to the full. Over the years I experienced many things, some good and some bad, that left no permanent damage to my health. Yes, I drank a lot over the first half of the decade, smoked like a chimney and dabbled in some minor drugs. So did the rest of the population. Then I stopped, suddenly, and became an aesthetic teetotaler. My diet changed from meat heavy to more fish. I began to chill out a bit more as well. I got into fights, I fell in love, I fell out of love, I mucked about with prostitutes and porn, was deceptive and honest. I was brave and at times incredibly foolish with my emotions. But in many ways I am exactly the same as ten years ago.
I have more money in my pocket, but such is my personality, it never remains there for long. Like water in a desert, my finances have a tendency to evaporate from my fingers. But I work hard for my cash, and one thing I can proudly say is that I do not steal. My pennies have always been honest.
I have experienced the bad. At the beginning of my twenties my friend died. Added to that, my father’s death in my teens and far too much time was spent contemplating my final destination rather than looking forward to life. But this has also steeled me into trying to make something out of my life. I do try, hard, but usually in the wrong direction. I need to find a rich and influential family member, but they are few and far between.
I have traveled. A hell of a lot. I have seen war zones and beauty, reconnected with my family and my roots. I myself have nearly died in the middle of the desert – take my advice, water is the key to life! I have seen things that few of my contemporaries have seen, touched places, that even fewer locals have dared to go. I am adventurous, and really on a shoestring I have gone to some crazy places. I have slept on the tops of temples, been shelled at a market place and ridden trucks through mountain tops. I have bantered with border guards, dined with the destitute and sat on ships crossing the seas. In all, my travels are probably the most successful part of my twenties.
I am filming. Note that this is not in the past tense. Despite the setbacks and the knockdowns, there is still a belief inside of me that is burning bright. A belief that what I am doing is correct, despite logic, the naysayers and anything else that humanity throws at me. I do not know what will be the eventual outcome of this journey. Needless to say, I am still walking this path, and this has become a very bust period with regards to my life behind the lens.
And so, I look back at my twenties and wave goodbye to the third decade of my life on this planet. In essence this is a quarter of my useful existence gone. Assuming I live to sixty, I have got thirty more years to make something grand out of my life. It is a precious thing, a gift, and it is so hard to capture. But much of it is for the moment as well. I have enjoyed the journey, but I am also impatient to reach some sort of a destination as well. Destiny/Fate/God/I/Life has/have not allowed me to do so just yet. These are exciting and interesting times.
So goodbye Mr. Twenty year old. It has been one fun ride. And yes, I have grown up slightly, but ironically, I still feel more childlike than when I first entered this phase of my life. Maybe a little wisdom has been implanted into me during these intervening years. But I am relieved to have finally reached this particular point in my life. Less worry can be spent on trying to run to a timescale and more energy can be expended into making something a little more beautiful. Grand ideals, perhaps. But like the billions of humans that have come before me and the billions that will come after me, along with the billions that currently inhabit Earth right now – I want this life to mean something. But will I ever discover what this meaning is meant to be? A question for the ages, or just for the next decade…