Saturday, April 24, 2010

364 days of my 20s left....

"You realise it's the last year of your 20s? When you turn 30, you start to have to grow up."

- Siew Yee, scaring the shit out of me on my 29th birthday

I'm paraphrasing. Truth be told, I can't remember what she said on Friday. All I can remember from that conversation was the wave of cold horror sinking down my spine as I realised she was right. My 20s are nearly over. In 364 days' time, an unspent lifetime of misspent youth will have to be quietly folded up and stowed away - not to be touched until I'm in my 40s and able to indulge in a bad mid-life crisis.

I'm 29, and life is rushing past me.

I'm 29, and I'm about the same age as Tomas Rosicky and Andrei Arshavin. I'm a couple years older than Robin van Persie and Bakary Sagna. I'm about three years older than Emmanuel Eboue. I'm saying this is illustrate that there's a whole generation of Arsenal players slowly creeping towards their 30s, with nothing to show for their time at this club. This team of ours, which we see as young, naive and immature, has as spine made up of guys who are at the peak of their careers. They've all spent years marking time at the Arsenal, waiting for the chemistry to be right for success. And what do they have to show for it?

In ten years' time, when these guys are long retired and sleeping on top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies, I wonder if they'll regret not spending their 20s at a club that's aggressively pursing trophies? I wonder if at 40, they'll join a veterans' league and try to win those titles that eluded them in their 20s. There comes a time when money and material stuff can't drown out that nagging disappointment that you've never had the guts to try and be all that you can be.

It's already cheesing a few of our players off. Andrei Arshavin's in the press every other day agitating for better players. Arshavin realises that without a major European trophy, he'll never be considered in the elite bracket. Interestingly, Robin van Persie loves the club and he'll probably resolved to spend the rest of his career with us. He's decided he belongs at the Arsenal, and come what may, he'll stay. So what if he's never going to win a major European league title? At least he'll always be known as an Arsenal legend.

I admire van Persie's stance, but admit I feel a bit like Arshavin sometimes. There's a part of me which wants to act out. There's 364 days left to pack in as much reckless, stupid 20-something behaviour as possible. But I doubt I will. There's a time and a place for that kind of stuff, and it's called backpacking through Europe. I've had my chance to relive my youth, and maybe it is time to put it aside and just let go. As St Paul once said, "when I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me."

I thought I should try and document every day of the last year of my 20s. My reasoning is that an accurate account of my 29th year will help stave off a mid-life crisis. In the future, whenever I get the urge to get a comb-over and buy a Harley, I can look up this year's posts and realise that: my 20s truly sucked; I'm better off in my 40s; and there's no need to go back and try to relive my youth.

So on the 364th last day of my 20s, I woke up, went to work in the morning, had lunch and spent ten minutes trying to wedge a prawn-shell out of the space between my teeth, took a nap, and had dinner. I'm probably going to spend the rest of the night reading theology.

Way to burn out my 20s, hey?


gooner_barney (twitter) said...

Wow lol i hope u have big fun and enjoy the next 11 odd months and the next 70 years lol . . Try bbeing 37 lol thats ancient :O

WEG said...

37 - way too old, Barney! Cheers.