Today I turn 30, so it’s a great time to reflect on what I’ve done, how far I’ve come and what I want to do moving forward
30 years ago today, aside from the first ever episode of the most popular British soap Eastenders airing, I was born.
I absolutely couldn’t care less that I’m 30. I haven’t been dreading this day, nor do I attribute any sort of aging to it, any more so than any other day. However, a “n0” birthday is a milestone that only comes along once a decade so it seems like a perfect time for some reflection.
In the last 10 years, even more has changed. In February 2005, I was in my second year at university, was single, living with my Mum in the UK and I was working for the NHS. Over the next 5 years, I would meet and fall in love with Marti, graduate from university, become a Christian, move to the States to be with her, get married 60 days later, battle 8 months of being unable to work before getting my green card, a job, my driver’s license, a car and our first apartment in the space of about 4 weeks.
Reflection on who I am
As I think about the man I am today, where I’ve come from and the boy I used to be, I’ve noticed quite a few specific observations about how I’ve changed in particular and more general observations about how we as humans mature (or don’t).
My bucket list consists largely of activities and experiences: most notably, travel. I once read (and completely agree) that the gifts people most treasure and recall are ones that involve experiences rather than material possessions. As such, I have shied away from giving material gifts, instead opting for experiential gifts.
It is for this reason that my bucket list also centers around experiences: a whole list of things that I want to do before I die. I really don’t care to own things, but I’d love to experience these things.
Brighton was my home for 21 years, and I sorely miss what a beautiful, fun, accepting place it is. It’s not just home, it’s an amazing city with a heart of gold, nestled in gorgeous countryside.
I always knew that I loved Brighton, my hometown of 21 years, but when I met Martina, I was in such a whirlwind, that leaving it behind didn’t even occur to me. I just knew that I needed to move to Florida to be with her.
However, since leaving, I’ve come to realise just how much I miss it. I miss its acceptance of everyone, whether black, white, gay, straight, man or woman: Brighton is an all-encompassing arena where anyone can feel welcome.
I miss its beauty and history: there’s always a nostalgia for one’s hometown, but Brighton really is a cool place with an incredible history, between the Royal Pavilion, the arrival of the railway and the explosion from fishing village, to seaside mecca for Londoners, to modern-day headquarters for alternative lifestyles, fun, sun and beauty.