Life Lessons at 39

Yes, I'm hitting 39. I know people always gripe about getting older. I always hate it when some douche says, "Oh I can't believe I'm 30. I FEEL SO OLD."

You know why people hate getting older? Aside from the fact that your skin starts to sag and your hair starts to gray, getting older reminds you that you have a limited amount of time on this Earth and that you may want to get crackin' on whatever goals you have in life. Every birthday is like a nagging mom that asks, "So you're X years old now... what the hell have you accomplished so far?"

I guess this is why I like time travel stories. I like scifi in general, but time travel stories are my favorite genre within the genre. Something about altering the course of history has always appealed to me:

"Hey James? Hi I'm you from the future. Just a heads up buddy: Look both ways when you cross the street tomorrow. Get a job at a company called Google, dude. Trust me. Oh, and be sure to delete your voicemail messages before your girlfriend comes home."

Alas, I don't have a time machine, but at least I can give you younger Alpha Asians a heads up on what's in store for ya. Here's a few bits of advice based on my humble life experience:

1) Hunker down by the time you hit 30. After college and in your 20's is when you can do whatever it is you want to do, because you have few commitments. If you haven't started a family yet, then the 20's are when you should do whatever it is you want to do to get it out of your system.

You want to backpack around the world? You want to start a business? You want to write a book? Shoot a movie? Be an actor or singer? Then do it.

But by 30 years of age, if you haven't made a living out of your passion, then it's time to get a stable career. No regrets.

2) College first? College later? It doesn't matter. Did you ever look at your boss and think to yourself, "How in the world is this nimrod my boss?"

Well guess what? Unless you got a degree in a specialized field that's in demand, your degree doesn't mean much this day and age. You should get a degree, no doubt. You can't get through the front door without one. But a degree simply means that you're not an idiot. It doesn't mean you're special. Your experience (both life experience and work experience) is what showcases your special qualities.

You can get your college degree early and over with, or you can get it later while you're working. It doesn't matter. We all end up in relatively the same leg of the race anyway.

3) Date around. Then settle down. I'm not telling you to be a whore, but when you're young, you should really meet lots of members of the opposite sex that you find attractive. Get it out of your system before you meet that special someone. People take this all or none approach to everything, including relationships. They think, "Oh this relationship didn't lead to marriage, so it was a failure."

But if you had a great time when you were with her, then the experience served its purpose. Not everything is meant to last, but everything can be a valuable and fun experience.


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