8 years ago I celebrated my 29th birthday. This was an important mark for me for several reasons.
All throughout my late teenage and early twenties I didn’t expect to live to be more than 25. I had undiagnosed schizophrenia and was struggling with depression.
Mid-twenties it turned out, to my surprise, I would survive. I got my diagnosis and began crawling out from the pit I was in. But I still didn’t believe I’d live to be 30.
In the following years I realised I needed daily content in my life, something to do and something to wake up to. I moved home from abroad, got a job and went snowboarding again which was one of the few things I had longed for during my years of darkness.
The year I turned 29 I started my second entrepreneurial project and times got lighter and even exciting, not the least because I met the wonderful woman I fell head-over-heels in love with and today is my awesome girlfriend. It was the year I realised death was not a certainty for the following years.
Today, 8 years later my reality is completely different. From time-to-time my disease still demands much from me but I’ve become more comfortable with it.
However, I’ve recently had a frightening revelations but it haven’t been about an impending death; it’s about my impending life.
I’ve tried resisting growing up for as long as I recall and I’ve comfortably thought I wouldn’t amount to anything and wouldn’t have many opportunities coming my way. Suddenly my mortality has struck me. Somehow thinking I only had a few years left to live was much less overwhelming than realising I could still have much time to live but also that there’s actually a limit I’ll hit someday. Pondering about not being able to live forever, I feel an urge to figure out what I want to do within the time I have, and what I want to be, and what dent I want to put in the universe.
All this uncertainty, scarcity in knowing I’m mortal and the opportunities before me stirs an uneasy feeling in my chest. It’s adventurous and seductive and at the same time it’s scary.
For now, I’m just happy that I can celebrate my 29th+8 birthday. Happy Birthday to me.