The State of the Funion: 34 years old

I’ve been writing short posts on my birthday, or at the end of the year, for a few years — attempts to summarise my life; to record the state of my world. For no reason I can remember, I started calling it the ‘The State Of The Funion.’ I suppose I started writing them when I realised I was just generally writing less often.

I’m 34 years old today.

I’m currently in Berlin, covering a colleague’s paternity leave. I’ve been here for almost 3 months now and am due to return to London, where I live, next weekend.

I will miss this place, with its neat rows of moderately-sized apartment blocks, trees, and long evening shadows. I will miss the tall ceilings and the apartment’s balcony nestled amongst the trees. I will miss the long nights of dancing, few that I had, and wandering home in the early morning.

I am still working at Novoda. My job title is ‘Technical Product Owner’. I explain to most people that I am something like a project manager. Most of my family don’t really know what I do. I guess that’s normal.
I enjoy my job. The people I work with are smart, happy, and love what they do. We build good things for interesting people. I am tired, though — of technology and people and email — and will escape on holiday for a while soon; turn everything off and go walking, somewhere.

I am looking forward to living with my girlfriend again. We’ve been together for nearly 4 years now. I love and miss her deeply. There was a letter from Steinbeck to his mistress, I think, which he ended simply with ‘Love, love, love’. That’s about right.

Not its final colours — just an undercoat.

I’m also looking forward to seeing my home again — my boat, now apparently with a refurbished kitchen and in the midst of being re-painted. I’ve had it for a little over 3 years. I think next year — the year I pay it off — may be the year I sell it.

My birthday, as always, feels odd. A few years ago I described it as the unsettling tick of some mechanism in an otherwise silent machine. I haven’t figured out a better way to describe it. 
I never really celebrate my birthday and in the last few years I’ve found it harder to enjoy it. I share it with my younger brother. He hasn’t spoken to me, or my family, in around 4 months, after disappearing again. I guess he’s currently homeless somewhere. The thought has surfaced up more and more as our birthday approached. 
He is 31 today. That seems strange — he should be young. I always think of him as young. Annoying. A pain in the ass. A younger brother. 
I hope he is okay. I hope he has a good day.

I am happy, for the most part. I have a small pot-belly now. I am trying to lose it. It takes me longer than it used to recover from exercise and nights out. There’s a little more grey in my stubble, though not much. I am happy. And today, I guess, I am 34 years old.

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