So… I’ve been 27 for a week


I thought I’d wait a week so that the fact that I’m older really had time to sink in. How does it feel to be older? Well, it doesn’t feel very different really. I’ve been living in Holland for 59 days training for the 2010 Olympic Games. It’s not easy. As the previous post shows very clearly, I have a long way to go. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little worried that I won’t qualify – they don’t make it easy you know. So, not wanting to disappoint my loyal readership, I will construct a birthday post inspired by Janus from which we get the word “January” (and not “Anus”).

Looking back – A year ago, I was preparing for finals at the end of my first semester at Columbia University in the City of New York. Time does fly, dunnit? First snow was on the 2nd of December and I only had to pull 3 all-nighters during those final weeks. It’s funny the things you remember… breakfast at an ungodly hour of the morning following an all-night writing session, the beginnings of my New York karaoke obsession beginning in February 2008 and going until my goodbye party in October. What else… I got a paper published, spent some time developing my skill as a photographer, actually graduated on time, and worked at UNICEF. Not a bad year…

Looking forward – Where to from here? Immediate goals include getting faster and qualifying for progressively higher-level competition, culminating, of course, in the big O.G. Aside from that, however, my life lacks any real direction. I’d like to do some more reading and write some academic papers while I’m pursuing my quest. Eventually I think I may return to academia, this whole “real world” is a very strange place and I don’t feel like I really belong. I’d like to spend some time at the university here in Enschede, and get to know people outside of skating. This is the first time I’ve really only had one group of friends with whom I regularly interact, and it is very strange indeed.

Life lessons? I’m hardly the authority on that, I mean, I’m only 27. Two thoughts to take away though… “Never forget who you are”, and “Live with passion”. Whenever I have to make a big decision (and “big” means whatever it means to you) I ask myself who I am, and what decision would that person make. As for the passion, I don’t want to get to the end of my innings and look back on a life filled with easy-way-outs, “safe” choices and, dare I say, contentment. You only get one shot at life so you may as well get into it. Sure, I will probably have to endure a lot of heartache and disappointment if I’m always shooting for the stars, and flying by the seat of my pants with my heart in my mouth (I’ve got more clichés than you can poke a stick at), but I’ll be satisfied that I gave it my very best… and I’m sure Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson would have been well-pleased with that.

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