Why My 28th Year Was the Best So Far (and Why the 29th Will be Even Better)

On Thursday I will turn 29 years old. One year closer to the age that many people from my generation dread. Not me – I’m a lover of life, I LOVE my birthday and I consider it the most important day in the calendar. New Years Eve? A reminder of personal heartache and half-arsed promises and dreams that are never actually followed up.

Christmas day? Why should Jesus and Santa get all the limelight? This is my day! Your birthday is the perfect landmark of how you have fared so far  and should be looked upon as a celebration, as some people don’t get to live as long as you.

If you’re ever unhappy about your age on your birthday, I’m afraid the age is not the real problem. The deep-seated issue is that you’re just not happy with how your life is going. And there’s only one person who can change that. Bring on 30, I say! 40? I’ll have some of that too! Hell, I’ll even be chipper when I’m 65 (and I’ll probably be a GILF).

 The 28th year on earth was without a shadow of doubt, the best year so far and it wasn’t by any coincidence. I’ve strived to take my life to the next level for the last couple of years and this one has been what you call back home “a proper belter.”

Without much further ado, I have written a disgustingly narcissistic article about why the 28th year was the greatest and what I plan to do in the 29th to make that even better. Whatever next? Masturbating in the mirror? Demanding that Durham Cathedral gets knocked down and replaced with a life-sizes statue of me?

I wouldn’t rule either out.

The 28th year was the best because of the following reasons:

I Filtered out the Bad Friends

I am absolutely chuffed with the circle of friends that I have in all corners of my life. Bill and Ted? Aint got shit on me and my Bro’s. It hasn’t always been this way and I’ve allowed a lot of negative influences to suck away my positive energy and I had to let some toxic relationships run their course last year.

Be careful who you give your time and energy to, ladies and gents.

I Said “No” to Excuses 

I took 100% accountability and responsibility for my own life and outcomes this year. The victim card is well and truly ripped up now and I don’t intend to purchase another one.

I Got My Finances Together

Everyone has areas in their life where they have had constant battles – and a big one of mine was with money. I’ve felt like a financial loser for most of my life and struggled to accumulate and manage my cash for most years.

I’m not exactly Donald Trump right now, but in my first year of self-employment I doubled my income and I am proud to say that I am debt-free. It all changed when I started to internalise the fact that I am worthy of money coming my way and took big action to get a few more quid in my bank account.

I Took Risks

I’ve left everything behind that is familiar and jumped in head first into things with no concrete promise of success, or things going my way. It’s made me grow mountains. Put your money where your mouth is and start to take some risks.

I Was Nicer to Myself

Historically, I’m my own worst enemy and can be pretty brutal with myself at times. I worked on becoming my own best friend last year and I’m really careful about my internal self-talk and the messages I’m sending to my core reality.

I Decided to Only Compete With Myself

I’m pretty sure if you asked my closest friends who the most competitive person they know is, they would answer with my name. Shiny trophies and medals get me excited to a border-line erotic sense of excitement. And as much as I consider it healthy to be of a competitive nature in sport, business and other areas in life – it’s just not healthy in comparing yourself with others.

The one person you most certainly should compete is yourself. Know your own limits and try your best to smash them.

 I Became Less Judgemental

I used to be BRUTAL on how other people choose to live their lives and expected them to have the same core values, beliefs and ethos as my own. Maybe it’s because I’m from a small, gossipy village. It has become apparent to me that if you are judgemental, it’s because you suffer from an intense lack of self-esteem and you re deflecting your insecurities onto others.

I noticed that I let go of this when I spoke to a former heroine addict in Thailand who had turned his life around. A few years ago I would have been like “Oh well, no sympathy from me – you were dumb for even starting in the first place.” But I found myself applauding him for finding such strength at his lowest point and the willpower to fight against his self-made prison.

Next time you’re being judgemental, ask yourself; “is my life really that boring that I have to focus on what other people are doing?”

I Met a Cool Girl

I can with the most sincere honesty say that this was not in the plan when I arrived in Cambodia to meet my cousin. But it seems that Cupid decided to fuck with my plans a bit in the latter months of the 28th year in the form of a cheeky, charming and stunning Tunisian girl. (Oh, and she speaks English with a French accent FTW!)

The first time I met her, she ignored me and my battered pride said she was “quite ignorant” to my eye-rolling cousin.

What a difference a week or so makes.

Our first kiss was in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Sexy. Her toothbrush and shampoo lay on my bathroom shelf within the first week. Out first fight came a few days after – it was about the correct buttering of toast (you know, the things that really matter in life). Needless to say, it’s been intense and we’ve changed some pretty big plans around so that we can stay together (without any feeling of obligation).

I’m more than aware that the dating game can be a fickle mistress and that things can change in a heartbeat, but I can only see this as a positive chapter in my life.

I Crossed off one of my Top 3 Travel Destinations

After many years of dreaming, drooling and wishing – I took big action and got to visit Burma! It didn’t let me down and I get goosebumps every time I hear the name mentioned. That’s pretty special :) Bring on The Galapagos Islands and Cuba for the next dream destinations!!!

Why the 29th Will be Even Better

Oh yes, I’m greedy! I want next year to be even better – and this is what I plan to improve on:


So yeah, I’m getting better at attracting money into my life but it seems I’m not too great at saving it up. I’ve become some sort of investment gambler! Maybe I just like living on the edge and that lack of money in my bank keeps me on my toes, and investing is necessary – but I seriously need to calm down!

Fitness and Health

I used to be one of the fittest blokes I knew, I’m now most certainly a shadow of my former self. I plan to be get in some kind of shape that would kick my 19 year old self’s arse. I plan to  be able to do that because I am planning to have…

Passive Income

For those not familiar, passive income is to generate an income on a regular basis from either work you have done in the past, or work you have delegated. I have put methods into place and have received almost half of my income as passive in the last few months and it felt pretty damn good!

I lost my way a bit and drifted back into the ‘work for works sake’ mentality and I plan to be more efficient in the game of business, so that I can have a rock-star lifestyle.

Improve my Posture

Because mine is like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s and I am about as flexible as a pregnant Hippo. Bring on the Yoga!

To Become Fluent in a Second Language

I know I said about only competing against yourself, but when you date someone who speaks 5 languages you can’t help but feel a little eclipsed in this area. I’ve got unfinished business in this department and expect an intense MVC challenge next year where I will plan to add a second language to my life.

Shut up, just shut up, shut up!

I was watching Roger Moore in James Bond the other day and I couldn’t help but think about the power of effective speech. I talk a lot and I find that I even talk just to fill in the gaps. I don’t think people take you seriously when you’re such a gobshite and I’m aiming to speak only when it’s effective, instead of letting my mouth run away with me.

I’m bored of being the clown – clowns make people laugh, but they don’t change the world.

Get Over My Sleep Issues

I have suffered Chronic insomnia all of my life and I go through bouts where I don’t/can’t sleep for 2-5 days even though I feel absolutely tired. It really messes things up and I plan to finally put my sleep demons to bed with a natural exercise regime, good diet and I’m thinking the yoga will be killing two birds with one stone (hopefully).

Travel More!

I plan to be on the road for a very long time and to work as least as possible next year. It’s going to take some serious willpower!

How has your year been? Are you bothered about your age, or bothered about your life? Screw New Years Eve and some commercialism masturbation. This is YOUR DAY and a perfect bookmark in how you are doing in your life. 

Song for the moment: “Happy Birthday, by Stevie Wonder.”

Notable Lyrics

You know it doesn’t make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration

42 Responses

  1. Scarlett

    I love this post – and it looks like you’ve had an AMAZING year! Here’s to many more fabulous ones, Happy Birthday!!!! xxx

  2. Christine

    I feel incredibly lucky because I honestly feel like every year has been better than the last. I never thought I could beat my senior year in college, and then I moved to France, and then I moved to Australia, and then I moved to New York City. It’s all been one delicious adventure, and that’s certainly the way I hope to keep living my life–and spending every birthday in a brand-new, fabulous country! Happy birthday, friend–keep living the dream and making the girls swoon x

    • Anthony


      Awesome that you’re very self-aware that each year is getting better, but the fact you notice it wasn’t by any accident. Here’s to a better 20 what the hell ever you will be next year, Christine :)

      And oh I will at least try to keep up with the swoon-inducing 😀

  3. Rob

    Great post, glad everything is working out for you. I find a run in the morning first thing helps you sleep at night, it also gets rid of the “extra energy” that if not burned can go to unproductive uses.

    Good luck!

    • Anthony

      Cheers Rob,

      I used to compete in running, so running for recreational purposes is makes me so bored that my eyes bleed. Think I’m going to replace that morning extra enthusiasm with a strength training regime instead.

  4. Will

    Well done for making it this far. Not so well done for evading the real reason why last year was so outstandingly off-the-map. The coming of WP into your life.

  5. Ian Ord

    Well Mr Middleton. This is definitely a positive and inspiring post, to say the least. Glad everything is going so smoothly, and proud I was able to be part of the past year. You seemed to have forgotten about your other accomplishments of SCUBA diving and hanging out with Proboscis Middletons in Borneo! 😉 Wishing you a very happy birthday, my dear friend, and all the power to your countless accomplishments in the year yet to come! I look forward to watching them unfold.
    Ian Ord recently posted..Reach for the stars: Here to the stratosphereMy Profile

    • Anthony

      Bahaha the Proboscis Ord’s were indeed one of my highlights 😉 Cheers, matey! Glad to have experienced the shit and the good with you, Ian.

  6. Andi

    Happy Birthday mate!!!!!!!!! What an awesome post this was! Really inspiring. And your gf is super cute. Best wishes with 29. Hugs!

  7. Caroline Leon

    Anth having spent a good proportion of last week with you, I have one thing to say with regards to your insomnia issues – STOP drinking 50 cups of tea a day!! When your body starts pumping blood rather than caffeine around your veins, you might be surprised to discover the wonders of sleep. A new ManvsClock challenge perhaps? Hehe I couldn’t resist :) Happy birthday matey!

    • Anthony


      Do you really think I’m THAT dumb (shut up, don’t answer that) and that I’ve never done the old fluffy “just stop drinking tea/coffee after 6pm and everything will be rosey-dosey?” Of course I have, it’s a lot more deep-seated than that and I feel you are putting tea in the same category (or mug) as coffee. They are world’s apart in regards to negative health benefits and volume if caffeine, but I guess your palm reader already told you that 😉 Hehehe IIII couldn’t resist!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes :)

  8. Matt Horwitz

    Such a sick post man!

    Before I leave for Florida in 2 weeks, I have 2 big things about forgiveness I need to take care of.

    Well, it’s more about taking care of wrongs I’ve made in the past.

    I slashed this guys tires 7 years ago and have always felt horrible for it. No one knows about it & he has no idea it was me. I have $500 for him, and I’m going to come clean in person in the next week. Going to go over to where he works and hey, I’m willing to take a punch in the face if that’s what it comes down to.

    2nd, is I stole $60 from a friend in 11th grade – took it out of his gym locker while were in swimming class. I have $100 for him.

    Anyways… these reminded me of your forgiveness thing and how bad energy from the past can cause MAJOR blockages.

    Great stuff man … really diggin’ your outlook on life.

    Keep ROCKIN’ !!!
    Matt Horwitz recently posted..How I Traveled to the Middle East for Free – All Because I Asked, “What Language Are You Speaking?”… and, How I’m Moving to Florida in 14 Days With No Money [Podcast]My Profile

  9. Mirella

    As one of the only maths teachers that you probably know, I have to point out that once your turn 29 you’ll be entering your 30th year, not your 29th, as your birthday celebrates how many years you have lived, not which one you’re about to start.
    I know I know, totally anal and annoyingly maths teachery, but I can’t help myself!

  10. jo-jo

    Another great read, life is certainly going in the right direction for you !! And as it’s your birthday i shall pretend not to be offended when you say that you weren’t planning on meeting a cool girl when you came to meet ME in Cambodia !!! 😉 Love you really x x

  11. lola

    happy birthday to you! i am glad for your best year yet and am sure every year here after will only get better. :)

    a girl you once met in a bar xx

  12. Frank

    I really enjoy reading your blog posts Anthony, it’s inspirational to see someone set up and succeed at challenges set for themselves, I constantly deal with setting goals and then inevitably finding excuses to not commit all the way.

    As far as the age thing goes, man, once you get past 30 they fly by and you don’t even think of them any more. You’re only as young as you feel and as willing to take risks as you have guts to. I’ll be taking my RTW trip at the age of 35, mid career, homeowner and all. The older you get the more you realize you need to make each year count!

    Hope to run into you on the road one day man, all the best and safe travels!

    • Anthony

      Cheers Frank,

      I disagree. They bloody fly by after 18!! Gotta make them count indeed. Well done for taking the big step and give me a shout if our paths cross


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