I turn 32 in a few hours. In some parts of the world, I’m already that age and getting older already.
Age is a funny thing. Thirty is cute and has the novelty value.
“I don’t feel 30,” I said.
Then there’s 31. There’s nothing cute about it. If there’s anything I’ve known about 31-year-olds, it’s that they’re in a state of transition. The people you know at 30 won’t be the same person at 32. Trust me on this. I’m no different.
Today, a 32-year-old skateboarder who works in my company’s finance department told me, as he’s already 32, “Prepare for the best year of your life.”
I don’t see this as a coincidence.
Ten days ago, I adopted a dog. He’s half pit, half lab, and fell off the loveseat an hour ago. How, I don’t know, but I’m pumped about all the uncertainties he’s going to insert into my life.
In my 32nd year on this planet, I’m already planning the biggest endeavor of my life—taking my latest book on a nationwide tour. Many of you have read my previous works—which is ungodly awesome—so you can imagine how excited I am to take my writing seriously enough to take two months and live in the car/truck/SUV I don’t own so I can get out, visit all of you on stateside, blade, have some beers, read some words, and have ourselves a hell of a time.
And that’s just what I know about.
The best thing about getting older, however, is having the ability (and the grey hairs) to know, finally, where the fuck you’re going in life. Maybe not where you’re going, specifically, but at least the things you cannot deny anymore.
It’s about having the youthful conviction and resources acquired through years of work to back it up. That makes up your character.
Or you can just choose to be a character.
And that’s about all I have left to give.
There are so many things I’d like to tell the young people, but I’d rather spend the time to talk to the guys with kids, the guys with wives, the guys with day jobs that erode the dreams they’d swore they’d never give up.
I’m the worst kind of adult. I’m the one still fighting my aging.
While I’m not sure how much time I have left here, nor do any of us, and I don’t know what happens after—no one does, so don’t listen to anyone who claims to know better—but in case I go tomorrow, I’d like to share what I’ve learn through the years.
My years were spent in hospitals as a kid, noticed in bad ways because of medical conditions from birth to now—with a nice window from six to 12—and years spent rollerblading, partying, and playing such roles as as a paperboy, play actor, janitor, cart-pushing Wal-Mart stooge, golf course landscaper, K-Mart dick, retail security, obituary writer, radio show host, newspaper editor, newspaper reporter, doorman, bar back, bar tender, sous chef, book writer, skate park volunteer, competition host, and current cubicle jockey with the title of Senior Writer.
So, in my time doing all that, here are the universal truths I believe about life:
- I still believe in making sure we have lots of fun, no matter what we’re doing. We’re a speck of nothing, according to the Hubble Telescope, so we should be behaving as such.
- Never discount anyone around you. Humans are a cosmic miracle, so approach everyone like you’ve accepted the fact. Know you neighbors. Get to know the new person in your office. Know the guy who collects your cans.
- Don’t sleep on it. Yeah, if you’re pissed, sleep on it, but if procrastination seep into your life, do it now. If you can get it done in less that 15 minutes—whatever you’re putting off—then do it now.
- Sweat is a good thing. Sweat once day, whether from exercise or peeking your head out of your comfort zone. Neither experience will make you a worse human because of it.
- There is no permanent record other than how you view life. You can tat out you arms and get arrested a thousand times, but the moment you can set bad things in your past where they deserve to be, then you win life.
- There is no “moment.” We all think—like the movies tell us—there might be some event in our lives that propels us into higher understanding, but—and I know this is a downer—it’s a progression. That person you’d rather be? Yeah, he’s going to take time.
- Call your mom. She misses you.
- Call your dad. He has a lesson you still need to learn.
- Call your grandparents. If they’re still alive, you’re lucky. I lost my last at 25, and I’d give anything to have someone on the planet to trump my parent’s opinion. It was helpful in childhood. Can’t hurt in adulthood.
- Get a dog. Nothing makes a shitty day better than a furry piece of shit who unconditionally thinks you’re the shit.
- Meet friends for beers. Take all the shit you need from your girlfriend, but never waste a breath trying to explain it to her.
- Never give up.
Don’t you ever fucking think of putting your dreams to the side. Yeah, some of us have dumb-ass dreams, but that’s what makes us who we are.
You can do what you have to do, but there’s no cinematic moment when you dream dies. It’s a progression. You’re either on it now, or quit reading now.
We all have to suck our daily dicks—the flaccid, untreated kind—but we don’t have to let it suck the life out of us.
That’s why we’re at the skate park.
That’s why we’re in the streets.
That’s why we still keep doing it all.
When we were young, we had a dream.
When that dream dies, so do we.
Maybe that’s why we’re all still alive.
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S. — Books, things, whatever.