30 things I don’t know at 30

There’s a certain kind of article you stumble across now and then which consists of important things people have learnt about life. Usually these are linked to a milestone age, like 50, or 10,000 days on Earth. Lists of advice that seems wise and sage and the accumulation of years of study. This is not one of those articles.

I just turned 30, but I remain staggeringly ignorant of many things. So in no particular order, here are thirty things I don’t know:

  1. How to speak any other language than English.
  2. Where I left my keys, every single morning.
  3. Calculus.
  4. What secret messages the wind whispers.
  5. How to enjoy eggs.1
  6. What to do about all the damn Nazis.
  7. How to bounce out of bed at five am every morning, do yoga, meditate, drink a flax-seed and beetroot smoothie, make a perfect breakfast from scratch before coming up with seventeen brilliant ideas to change the world before most people have their breakfast. I just want to stay in bed.
  8. How come I actually got up at 6 am for a year or so when I was writing my first book but then one day I physically couldn’t do it anymore.
  9. How exactly the screaming vortex of insanity that is the stock market actually works.
  10. Why I find productivity articles so addictive, even though they contain no useful information, won’t change my life and the time spent reading them could actually be used to actually be productive.
  11. What the song of the spheres sounds like.
  12. Why music is so effective at being a time machine, instantly transporting you back to specific moments.
  13. What I meant by notes I wrote days ago, like “The sky is a low ceiling” or “They could do, but they don’t” or “Simulation of movement??”
  14. How to drive. 2
  15. Where the best places to go are in this strange new city I find myself in.
  16. How to make friends in this strange new city I find myself in.
  17. Advanced chess tactics, like how to win a game.
  18. How to self-promote without being an arsehole.
  19. How to get more sign-ups to my newsletter!3
  20. What exactly happened at the end of Twin Peaks, Lost and The Sopranos.
  21. Why rent rises faster than wages.
  22. What to do about the planet getting warmer.
  23. Why most people seem content to ignore the planet getting warmer.
  24. Where the personalities I have tried on like ill-fitting suits before discarding have gone. Are they still hiding within me somewhere, in some secret fold of my mind, or have I Frankenstein-like taken the most suitable parts and constructed something new?
  25. Where the sky ends and space begins.
  26. Who that actor is, you know, the one in everything. The one with the face. You would know them if you saw them. That one.
  27. How to be in the moment when I am free-falling through time.
  28. The secret of transmuting lead into gold without a massive fusion reactor, like a star for example.
  29. How to make every fleeting moment, that is so rich in detail and beauty, count for something and whether ultimately, it matters.
  30. How I got so lucky.

Answers on a postcard, please.

  1. The devil’s spawn. It’s not a coincidence sulphur smells like rotten eggs
  2. I failed four tests when I was 18
  3. Worth a try

Let me know what you think

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