Why My 28th Year Was the Best So Far (and Why the 29th Will be Even Better) Anthony Middleton October 17, 2012 Asia, Burma/Myanmar, Personal Development, Philosophy 42 Comments 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: Savings 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 Cate Smith-Brubaker October 17, 2012 Squeeee!!!! You da man! Reply Scarlett October 17, 2012 I love this post – and it looks like you’ve had an AMAZING year! Here’s to many more fabulous ones, Happy Birthday!!!! xxx Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Thanks, petal xxxx Reply Christine October 17, 2012 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 Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 YESSSSS, 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 😀 Reply Carlos October 17, 2012 Check it out.. just came out haha, for you http://www.asianefficiency.com/announcements/introducing-better-sleep/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asianefficiency+%28Asian+Efficiency%29&utm_content=Google+Reader Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 ahaha hardly a natural way of doing things 😛 Reply Alana - Gen Y Wanderer October 17, 2012 Reading this was awesome. That’s all. And have a good birthday! Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Cheers, Alana! Reply Adventurous Kate October 17, 2012 Happy birthday to my favorite pest of a you-know-what-ual variety! Hope you enjoy your day and achieve all of your goals for next year and beyond! Adventurous Kate recently posted..Into the Douro Valley of Portugal Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Mwahahaha, touche 😉 Thank you dear – and TAKE MVC OUT OF YOUR SPAM FOLDER. Please 😀 x Reply crazy sexy fun traveler October 17, 2012 Great post Love the ”be your own best friend”, should apply it more Happy bday again and wish you even a better year x Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Cheers, Alex Yes it took me a hell of a long time to work that out – such a simple philosophy! x Reply Rob October 17, 2012 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! Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 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. Reply Will October 17, 2012 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. Reply Hogga October 17, 2012 I’m not gonna lie… I’m also a bit shocked I didn’t make it onto this list either. Hogga recently posted..Are Travellers Flaky People? Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 There wasn’t enough room for the wondrous bagel stories :O Ian Ord October 17, 2012 I’m sure he was GREATLY changed by the coming of WordPress, Mr Peach. Ian Ord recently posted..Rockwood Conservation Area – Autumn hiking oasis Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Willimena, Everything I am from them moments – I owe to Yuki. Reply Ian Ord October 17, 2012 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 stratosphere Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 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. Reply Andi October 17, 2012 Happy Birthday mate!!!!!!!!! What an awesome post this was! Really inspiring. And your gf is super cute. Best wishes with 29. Hugs! Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Cheers, Andi Glad you liked! Reply Caroline Leon October 18, 2012 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! Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 Caroline, 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 Reply Matt Horwitz October 18, 2012 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] Reply Anthony October 18, 2012 WOW Matt! Hats of to you for manning up in such a way – please let me know how that goes for you! Impressive Reply Mirella October 18, 2012 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! Reply Anthony October 29, 2012 Mirella, Maths never was my strong point 😉 Reply lizzie October 18, 2012 between the monetary phrase “queen lizzie’s” and putting cuba on the top three list, you’re officially my hero…happy birthday, mr. middleton! lizzie recently posted..lizzie goes to montseny Reply Anthony October 29, 2012 I am only so strong in literary genius for knowing you, my love Reply Drew Meyers October 18, 2012 Sounds like a quite an awesome year, mate! Happy birthday…hope it’s the best bday yet! Reply Anthony October 29, 2012 Thanks mate! Reply jo-jo October 18, 2012 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 Reply Anthony October 29, 2012 Hahaha, coolest wench in town without a doubt! xx Reply Ayngelina October 19, 2012 This could possibly be the best birthday post I have read. It makes me think I need to start working on making my 35th year the best, only 8 months left! Ayngelina recently posted..The scariest but most beautiful thing I have ever done Reply Anthony October 29, 2012 YESSSS, my favourite question answers this – “why not?” Reply lola October 19, 2012 happy birthday to you! i am glad for your best year yet and am sure every year here after will only get better. signed, a girl you once met in a bar xx Reply Frank October 23, 2012 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! Reply Anthony October 29, 2012 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 Reply Susan @ Travel Junkette October 25, 2012 Happy birthday, and great work! Best of luck with the next year! Susan @ Travel Junkette recently posted..How To Smile When Shit Goes Wrong Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of followup comments via e-mail Related Posts Fear of Horses Challenge; Complete Christmas is Over, But You’re Still a Dick Is Having a Favourite Country Actually a BAD Thing? Volunteering in a Soup Kitchen For The Homeless, in Kuala Lumpur Related Posts Where is Your Energy Going? A Perfect 30th Birthday in Hong Kong An Apathetic Weekend in Brunei Why Is the ‘L’ Word Such a Touchy Subject?