The rumors are all true, today I’m thirty years old.  I appreciate all the birthday well-wishes I’ve gotten so far, as well as the gentle jokes about being old.  Truth be told, for as long as I can remember I’ve always felt older than I am, and I’ve always been surrounded by friends who average 4-6 years older than me, so rather than feeling “old” on my birthdays, I always have an odd sense of “oh yeah, I’m only this old now….”  Turning thirty has actually been much different than most other birthdays, as I’ve been quite reflective of late; it’s just one of those milestone years.  That and the fact that this is my last birthday ever without a child under toe, which means this will also be my last birthday for a while that I can actually have as a day to myself.

All of which has led me to, as I said, be very reflective.  I’m really glad to have been able to do and experience all that I have so far in my life- it’s been a good first 30:  I’ve driven across the country and back several times; I’ve traveled throughout the Northeast and up and down the Eastern Seaboard more times than I can count; I’ve seen hundreds, probably thousands of concerts (if you count the smaller shows), including some of my favorite musicians numerous times.  I’ve survived drug addiction and self-destructive habits (and I’ve committed to quitting smoking before this kid arrives); I’ve been homeless and well-off (and quite glad to have landed in the middle, where the challenges of both extremes are only lessons from my past); I’ve worked very hard to to have what I have and to have done away with things that I’ve realized weren’t necessary or weren’t as valuable (or pleasant) as I once thought them to be; I’ve had my punk phase, my hippie phase, my college student phase, my Buddhist phase, my homesteader phase, my activist phase… and at every step of the way I’ve taken what seems valuable and True and left behind that which I no longer need.  My very first job (aside from babysitting, which I began doing at the ripe old age of 8- like I said, I’ve always been slightly more mature than perhaps necessary for my years) was cleaning horse stalls when I was 10.  Since then I’ve washed dishes, been a landscaper, a daycare teacher, a hospice worker, a farmer.  I’ve started four businesses in my life (so far) from the humble little “business” I set-up when I was 11 (doing yard work and chores for people- I made my own business cards and had invoices I printed out on my moms old Apple IIE) to helping found the Northeast Kingdom Music Festival (which we still do every year- year 7 is just around the corner) and the Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier (which, though I’m no longer involved, has developed into one of the premier small venues Vermont) and now, in about a month and a half, the Three Penny Taproom will be opening (“good beer and soccer” is our vision).

Of course, life isn’t all shits and giggles.  I’ve also buried my father, two grandmothers, and more friends than I can even keep track of.  I’ve had my heart broken a few times and made more than my fair share of mistakes.  But I’ve tried really hard to find peace through the most difficult times and to always do right and to learn from everything I’ve experienced.  I could swim almost before I could walk and I still hold the record for most points scored in a basketball game at my former middle school (36) (yes it was a double overtime game).  And I got to see game 7 of the Celtics-Lakers NBA championship last year, with a friend who I’ve literally known since I was brought home from the hospital (and who happens, despite being a good person, to be a Lakers fan).  Most importantly, come August I’m going to be a dad(!), and I’ve got the good fortune to have found love with an amazing, beautiful, intelligent woman.  Life, my friends, is a good thing.  Thanks for taking the time to indulge me here.  Cheers.

 

Camping at Big Sur, Ca last spring- one of my favorite places on earth

Camping at Big Sur, Ca last spring- one of my favorite places on earth

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