I’m 35 and that number feels more like a bank error in my favor than any kind of age. Most people might call this time for half-time report or a mid-life review, but most people don’t have several metric tons of rock as a spiritual adviser. Having your leg crushed under an inexpressibly massive boulder kicks the shit out of lying on a couch in terms of psychological adjustment, while radically increasing your love for lying on couches whenever possible.
I’m halfway through nothing, I’m fourteen years into bonus overtime and enjoying every second. So let’s see how the high score is stacking up against all the goals I had when I was younger.
Have Optimus Prime: CHECK!
Growing up doesn’t putting away childish things, it means being able to afford them. As a child my only Transformers were minicheap “Pipes” and Sludge, a dinobot I found for 50 pence at a car boot sale, and no Antiques Roadshow millionaire has ever felt such joy at their discovery. His main enemy was his own shell when I was playing with a screwdriver.
Have the complete Constructicon Devastator: Nope.
It’s effectively more expensive now because of collectors. I started buying one of the new sets of Constructicons until it turned out that the left side was just a repaint of the right side, and that’s such lazy bullshit it manages to make symmetry ugly.
Work with computers: UNEXPECTED CHECK!
My only motivation in going to university was to learn about computers, but the whole point of university is learning more than you expect. I ended up doing physics on the grounds that I could study physics and own a computer, but if I studied studying computers I wouldn’t be able to afford a laser interferometer setup. And now any job in the world involves more computers than my MSX 64k self could have imagined. When I fly I have to put more computing equipment in a tray than 1980’s NASA. And I still with computers, and enjoy it far more.
Buy all the video games I want: 100% COMPLETION
This was a bit of a Twilight Zone wish, with Sony and Microsoft making it easy for me to buy every game I wanted by destroying their ability to provide any. I’ll wait for the PS3 to get even cheaper and then buy every game I wanted from the last generation. On the upside, Steam means I now have enough games to play even if I turn out to be immortal.
Meet a girl: ULTRA CHECK
I didn’t have great hopes as a young teen. Luckily, like all young teens, I was wrong about almost everything and had a great time anyway. I’m now married to the beautiful Dr X. Who is so far beyond anything I would have dared to ask a genie for, I take care not to look too hard at optical illusions, and never wonder about mysterious bruises on my body, just in case this all turns out to be a coma-induced fantasy provided by my subconscious.
An Incredible Cocktail Cabinet: CHECK
I clearly remember my undergraduate self walking to the off-license counter with a six-pack of Dutch Gold and a septuple-checked kilogram of pennies which exactly matched the price. Walking past all the brightly colored bottles of joy I thought “Some day I’m going to own every single one of them.”
Now I not only own them, I get paid to drink them and tell people about it.
I even get the anti-genie joy of something better than what I would have wished for, getting to talk about videogames for money instead of the actually-pretty-annoying job of reviewing them.
All that with wonderful friends and family too. Any day I don’t feel like the luckiest person in the world, I recognize that as an error condition, and think about my life until I do. Then I thank anyone reading my stuff for making it all possible!