Turning 30
April 11, 2013

When I turned 27 three years ago, I wrote down this list of things I want to do before I’m 30. The list read, 1) Publish a book 2) Produce a record 3) Write a play.

I turn 30 today, and out of the three, I’ve achieved a grand total of zero.

Well I do have a manuscript drafted, about one and a half pages long. I did manage to cut a few tracks with my band, none of whom know where the CDs are now. And I did submit an entry to this theater festival. I believe the papers are now on the judge’s fridge at home, at the back of his kid’s drawings.

But yeah, I guess none of those count.

Looking back, maybe I was a bit too ambitious. I knew the things I wanted require patience and hard work. Both of which, I immensely lack. But I had so much belief. I was convinced that three years was a fair timeline to realize my “Before 30” bucket list. 365 days for every goal. That’s not too bad. Taylor Swift can survive 13 relationships in one year.

Interestingly, despite this shortcoming, I feel content. I have a car to drive in, a company to work for, and a family to come home to. As elementary as they sound, I’ve come to realize that these things are all I ever wanted in life anyway. And attaining them is not as easy as it sounds.

Maybe I was under the impression that getting a job and building a family are part and parcel of life. You’ll get there someday. They’re the basics. Everybody’s doing it. And you should too. Hence my Before 30 list consisting of stuff I wanted over and above these fundamental needs.

As you grow older, however, you begin to appreciate the effort it takes to earn an income and run a family. Through experience, you start to encounter the obstacles and learn your way around them.

The other day for example, I spent a good half an hour staring at this lawn mower I had just bought. To me, buying that piece of machinery was a symbol of my transformation into a responsible adult. I was starting to care about the length of grass.

Turning 30 is quite a milestone for me. And I’m sure, it is for some of you too. Football players aren’t older than we are anymore (except David Beckham). Some of our peers are starting to get into politics (albeit mostly on Facebook). And the majority of criminals we see on TV are from our age group (except Lindsay Lohan).

Nevertheless, I’m excited. And I look forward to embark on this journey into my 30s. It will come with all the trials and tribulations of aging. But we’re not talking waking up to uncontrollable bladder overnight. I’ll try to embrace growing older and while I’m at it, maybe put out those books, records and screenplays I’ve always wanted.

Okay, maybe screw the screenplay.


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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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