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I spent last week at a beautiful marae in Akaroa with a bunch of late teens and early twenty somethings.

It was a really interesting time and it has also given me time to reflect.

A thought that I’ve had is how we change over our 20s.

I turn 30 tomorrow and hanging out with 19, 20 and 21-yr-olds makes me think how idealistic I was at their age.

At 20 I still hadnt had any knee operations, and so I sure I was going to be awesome at some sport, be it marathons, cricket or soccer.

I also harboured dreams of living in England or Pakistan. I was single, but I thought i’d be married within the next 3 or 4 years. And career wise I was pretty keen on being a PE teacher. I also thought I was a big deal, and expected that great things were going to be coming my way.

Ten years later, I’m a married semi-retired ex-journalist, living in Mangere working as a part-time office administrator, op shop volunteer/ gardener.  I haven’t played cricket for 5 years or any sport at a decent level and I’ve had two knee ops and one still gives me a gnawing ache as I write this.

In that time the Warriors have made two grand finals, of which, I’ve been once.

I’ve travelled a bit around Europe, America, Africa, Asia and through the Islands but  without doubt mygreatest achievement in the last ten years is marrying Jo. She has kept me grounded in so many ways.

I used to be really goal driven for the first five years of my 20s, but after not achieving a number of them and also realising that I was too externally motivated I’ve shifted to trying to aim for a lifestyle, rather than a set plan.

I hope to live well now, rather than straining to live better later. This has been quite freeing, as I’m learning to just enjoy life but its also a bit stressful not knowing that my future is all taken care of, or has a decided direction.

I hope my 30s are less messy, less highs and lows and just incremental growth. I hope the fears and insecurities of my 20s can diminish as I become more comfortable with myself and with my foibles. I think I’m still pretty idealistic, but one clear scar of my 20s is an over-functioning cynicism. So perhaps I can work on this a bit too.