26.02.2004 20:53 - Rant
I\'ve recently had the following advice mailed to me, so I thought I would take the time to dissect it, as it makes my blood boil.
Top 10 things to do before you turn 30
By Cynthia E. Brodrick
Enjoy your youth, be wild and get it out of your system; here are the 10 things you should accomplish before 30.
Sitting here on the dark side of 30, I\'ve been looking back fondly on my wild and woolly youth -- though some might describe it as mild and cottony. Anyway, I thought I would share some of my observations and opinions on important things to accomplish in those twentysomething years. The things to accomplish during your 20s fulfill a few requirements: just a different kind of hip. You\'ll understand when you get there.
OK, Mrs. Brodrick, let\'s take a trip through your narrow little viewpoint, eh?
1.Drive a wickedly cool car, even if you have to rent it. \"Wickedly cool\" is defined as any car that turns heads on the streets.
Done that. Twice. Built the first from scratch.
2. Date against type. Better yet, date somebody\"dangerous.\"
Done that. The woman in question was mental, and a right bunny-boiler. Do not wish to do it again. Do not recommend it to anyone.
3. See the world.
Done that. Been to Germany, Israel, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Holland, France, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus and Turkey.
I still talk about the three monthsI spent after college driving through the Southwest United States. I worked as a volunteer at a National Park.
You call that \"the World\"? I call that \"your backyard\".
4. Live in a cool place. Maybe a loft in a trendy neighborhood \"in transition,\"
Blah, blah, blah.... Lived in Kidderminster in a rotten old flat, lived behind the land rover factory in Solihull, lived in Eastbourne one summer, and I now live in Germany in one of the coolest cities there. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND living in a dump with stuff growing on the walls. You will regret it and your health will suffer.
5. If you\'re going to drink a lot, do it when you\'re young. Getting sick oncheap white wine after 30 is pretty pathetic.
Did that. Used to neck whole pints of cider when I was a student. Realised that it was a waste, and learned to savor it. By the way, does getting drunk on white wine and schnapps produced by your girlfriend\'s parents vineyard count as cool? I think it does.
6. Take risks withyour job.
Oh FFS! Little miss American Live-it-all hasn\'t got a clue, has she? Some of us spent chunks of our 20s being unemployed! Does that sound a big enough \"career risk\" to you? It\'s not big, and it\'s not clever, and it certainly isn\'t any fun having no money. Add to the fact that some of us may not have the luxury of \"taking risks\" because we\'re the only breadwinner (as I was for a while) in the family.
7. Do something physically adventurous. And do it OUTSIDE!
Yawn. Hang-gliding, Auto-sprinting and scuba-diving good enough for you? You don\'t mention anything you did yourself, or does working in a National Park for a while count?
8. Take your parents to dinner. You\'llprobably have to struggle with your dad about paying the check,
HA! Are you kidding?! He said \"About bloody time!!\". Again, some of us were probably putting bread on the table whilst you were farting round with your GAP year.
9. Do volunteer work. You may be broke, but you can give your sweat and earnestness to a cause in which you believe.
Again, all very nice if you have rich parents who can afford it. Some of us don\'t.
Work in a soup kitchen and you\'ll appreciate your un-air-conditioned, one-bedroom apartment.
In the words of a certain Mr. Cocker, \"No-one likes a tourist.\"
10. Use this decade to go to extremes. Climb the tallest mountain you canfind. Picnic at midnight. Learn to sail. Talk to strangers.
...run with scissors?
Road trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Take a midnight drive to the beach -- then stick around for dawn.
Oh, what a wild life you lead, dear. Who paid for it?
Sounds like your 20s are pretty fun. Butdon\'t think this means the rest of your life will be a drag. My point is to take advantage of what you have: energy, idealism, enthusiasm, a willingness to experiment, a lack of encumbrances, a desire to learn and grow. Enjoy your 20s -- and you\'ll be better able to appreciate the next stage.
...you mean the grinding poverty because you wasted your 20\'s examining your navel? Look Cynth, I really don\'t mean to insult your fat white middle American lard-ass here, but you consider you\'ve really \"lived\" ?! All I hear here is typical US white-bred Middle-class \"me me me ME\". It sounds to me like you\'ve lived a sheltered little life where you\'ve never had to worry about a roof over your head, never had to support an elderly or ill relative, never been the only breadwinner in a family and certainly never had to worry where your next meal is coming from. The fact that you write for a website called bankrate.com leads me to believe you have a rather nice well-paying job, and had the money to pay for the education to get it.
Don\'t get me wrong, Cyn, I\'ve done some of the things you state in my 20s, but I had to work bloody hard to earn the money to allow me to do so. As far as I\'m concerned, all your stupid little list shows me is you really don\'t realise how privileged you are. Youth is not something to be purged from your system in some sort of bulimic binge. It is something that very few people in this world actually ever get the luck, disposable income or chance to waste.
So in future, think twice before writing out your whiny little \"Do before your 20\" lists.