So today I turned 40. I don't feel older; I don't feel wiser. I just feel tireder. The Big Four-Oh - to be honest, it was all a bit of an anticlimax. I've had more exciting naps.
Looking back (as one does at this age), I completely wasted my twenties - stayed in a dead-end job, went through a series of dead-end relationships, drank too much, and generally coasted through an entire decade. In my 30s, however, I feel that I achieved a lot and even realised some life-long ambitions.
Over the past ten years, I lived in London for a while, married a woman I truly love, had a son who makes the world a better place because he's in it. I've become a published author, written a novel (almost three, actually), made it into The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror and been nominated for (but not yet won) a couple of awards. I've made some great friends, particulrly through my writing, and met many interesting people (some of them idols of mine) along the way who have inspired me.
The world might be going tits-up at the minute, but I've done a lot this past decade. There have been both good times and bad, but thankfully the former outweigh the latter.
In the next ten years I plan to really go for it. There are still things to do, ambitions to realise and places to see. It might be interesting to see what I write here on my 50th birthday, if any of us are still here to read it.*
(*Being a miserablist, I simply had to end on a pessimistic note)