Despite my best efforts, I'm turning 40 today. It's a somber day for me, as I'm another year older...
Nah, just kidding. It's literally just a number, and I'm totally comfortable with it :) My back hurts, but it's been like this for decades so no changes here.
Still, I want to tally up some things. You know, "Zukerberg is a quadrillionair, and what have you achieved?!" kind of thing.
First, the best way to be permanently unhappy is to compare yourself to others. Not gonna happen; it only makes sense to compare yourself to yourself yesterday.
Second, I'm doing fine. I've got my family, a place to live (and call my own at that!), a job I like, and a bunch of hobbies. I have my books, my journals, and a fire pit in my backyard. I do my little things trying to make the world a better place even if in a small way.
I was born in the Soviet Union, lived most of my adult life in Russia, moved to Canada, then to the U.S., and made it here too. In total, I've moved ~13 times since turning 18 (including 2 immigrations). I've made some friends along the way, and only a few enemies.
I almost got my private pilot license (and I still may get it at some point). I hiked around a volcano, piloted an airplane over the Hoover Dam, joined, started and failed a few businesses, and had a podcast for over 14 years. I helped a few good people meet each other, and I'm mostly proud of folks in my close circle.
I'd worked as a paper delivery carrier, a reporter (and a front-line one at that), an editor of a magazine, radio host, editor, producer, DJ; I'd been a college student in my 30s and the oldest person in my class. I'd been unemployed, been a landlord, a contractor at three different Fortune 50 companies, and a full-time software engineer.
Most importantly, I'm not embarrassed by how I live my life. I stand with those less privileged and less fortunate than me. I think I'm on the side of justice more often than not, and I'm not afraid of the future generations' eventual scrutiny of my life. I try to live my life honestly, give back whenever I can, and I'm convinced that this is a big part of why I'm so organically comfortable with myself. I've got a head full of gray hair, and I'm going bald, and it's ok with me :)
Here's to the next 40 years!
P.S. Obligatory "get off my lawn, you darn kids"! Going to buy a Harley, a leather jacket and suspenders, and join other old farts in bitching about the good old days. Just watch me! :))
P.P.S. As a "class of '99" person, I should've really used more sunscreen :)