Review 2005

Keith Gow

2005: It was a year of change...

I turned 30...

I've never worried about my age. New Years' Eve is when I reminisce about what I have and haven't accomplished for the year. My birthdays are celebrations. Or merely excuses for celebrations.

Turning 30 is something else entirely, though. It's a big milestone. And there's an expectation there; even though I wasn't worried about getting older, there was just something about those numbers.

But beginning in late 2004 and culminating on my thirtieth birthday was something of a life-changing event that had me care less and less about a number.

I bought a home of my own...

For much of my twenties I wrote. I was going to be a writer. I may still make money doing what I love one day. But ever the practical person that I am, I realised that living with my parents and living on a dream wasn't going to entirely satisfy me.

So I looked for a job that would pay the bills and wouldn't bore me to tears. It took me a long time, but eventually I found it. Not thrilling, mind you. But it was a new kind of business - an online venture the type of which hasn't really been tried much around the world.

It wasn't what I'd spent my twenties dreaming about, but it made me more money than I ever had before. And finally I was in a position to put my savings to good use.

The home that I bought is modest in size, but big enough for me. It has two bedrooms and a combination bathroom/laundry; the rest is open plan - giving not only the allusion of lots of space but actually a fair amount of space! The kitchen has been renovated in the last few years, the floorboards are polished and it is well insulated - with a brand new wall heater that is perfect in winter.

I found pride of home ownership...

When I moved in I knew there were things that needed fixing around the place and parts of it that needed replacing. But mostly it needed a fresh coat of paint. So a couple of friends came around and for four days we painted. Turning it from the beige nightmare that it was, into a cozy modern-looking apartment. It's like a whole new place.

Soon after I was able to frame my prized original trilogy Star Wars posters and hang them on the living room walls. My dream has always been to hang movie posters on the walls of my own home. And I was able to do that.

I lost my job...

Often my enthusiasm for a new year lasts for months. Very occasionally the year from January to June is full of the promise of new, exciting prospects or plans I have made on New Years' Eve - feeling melancholy about the things I hadn't done the year before.

This year, with so many changes to my life, the good feeling continues. On average, and with me writing this on the eve of December, this is easily my favourite year ever. There's been past years that have had condensed highlights - holidays, relationships, other jobs, miscellaneous experiences - but 2005 has been continuingly fun, exciting, challenging and full of the unexpected.

Yes, I lost my job. That satisfying position that was my first real full-time endeavour. A lot of us lost our jobs - outsourced for reasons beyond our comprehension. And some of my colleagues are still looking for new sources of income. I feel bad for them.

For me, the prospect of losing my income not long after committing to a mortgage might have been unbearable. But within two days of losing my job, I had another job and at better pay. Less exciting day-to-day, but then at thirty and with a mortgage, you learn to adjust your expectations.

So many other things...

It's hard to sum up why I've loved this year so much. There are a myriad of other days and moments that spring to mind. People I've met and things I've seen. Movies I've loved and meeting Joss Whedon. Learning to embrace change and not be so scared of it. Having change actually bring satisfaction rather than disappointment.

But the major changes this year - 30 and a place of my own - have informed my life in so many fascinating ways that they seem worthy of reminiscing. And celebration.

Here's to 2006.

Keith Gow writes The New Review:A Day.

For an introduction and list of contributors to Review 2005, follow this link.

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