I’m nearly 40. It’s around the corner. This fact doesn’t terrify me the way that I thought it would.
What I do find strange though, is that I thought I would feel differently to how I do now. When I was younger, I used to look at people hitting the big 4-oh and think, “Oh Yeah, I know that’s going to feel.” And my mind made up the smell of a life that involved classical music, leather armchairs, art and a lot of business class trips abroad.
I would look around at the life I was living back then as I formed this hypothesis and realize now that I was thinking about stages of my life being retired, tossed aside like a baby blanket to make room for more “grown-up” pursuits.
But I feel like I never retired any of them. I buy more rock music than I ever did, go to more live shows, still have no interest in classical, am still wearing jeans and not suits, and haven’t had a full-time job in 7 years.
Yes, I sold all my vinyl and turntables when I turned 30 in a fit of trying be this elusive grown up that I thought I was supposed to be morphing into. But there was no chrysalis after all, I bought all the stuff back on iTunes the first day I could get it. And for a man who hates apps, Djay has changed my life. Turns out I can still beat mix with the best of them.
And I don’t think that it’s just me, all my friends seem to be exactly the same people that they were when I met them. Despite kids and jobs and history and life, everyone seems pretty much as fresh-faced as they were back in the days when we would all have abs from puking after getting trashed.
Are we supposed to be more responsible? I still sponsor a kid in India, recycle, pay my bills, haven’t been arrested, and I like to think that I put out more good vibes in the world than bad ones. So not much has changed there.
Should I have had kids? I don’t know about that one. I’ve given it thought through the years, but I can’t imagine having a 20 year old when I’m 60. So I can’t see that one happening anytime soon. But all my friends who have had them, have had their entire universes changed in ways that I will never fully comprehend. Yet when I talk to them, they are really the same people that they were in times BC (Before Children). More rounded of course, but at their core, the same.
Should I be wanting different things? Karl: 1, Change: 0. Now I just have the money to buy the art and coffee tables that I obsessed with all those years ago.
Should I have chosen a more responsible career? I always knew that I’d end up in some version of advertising/film/television and that is a constantly evolving path. But it’s good, and I remember it being the thing that I always thought that I’d do. Even started a company.
And I always knew that someday I’d end up here in LA with an American partner. I’ve been a little obsessed with American men since I first started dating.
Maybe all we ever do as the years go by is just live out all the plans we made when we were kids. If anything, I’ve perfected the art of being younger as I’ve got older.
So for my 40th, I think I’ll just try to be the best 20 year old that I can.