Unfinished Works: Essays about turning 30

I was going through a box the other day and came across a notepad from late 2015 or early 2016. I was 29 years old, and going to turn 30 that summer. I was thinking about life, and decided to write down some of these thoughts. At the time, having recently released an e-book, I figured this would be good fodder for another one.

So, I decided to analyze every aspect of my life as I approach 30, and turn it into something I could post online and sell. Now, as we all know, that didn’t happen. Actually, though, a lot of the ideas you’re about to see wound up being integrated into the old “30-Something” blog that I wrote for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

It will now become the latest in my “Unfinished Works” series, looking at things I started writing, but never actually finished. Some past examples:

“Beatles on iTunes”

“Music with meaning”

“Lance Armstrong”

“Led Zeppelin”

“Random Ideas”

And, here’s what I decided to write on the subject of turning 30:

When I write out notes and essentially think to myself on paper, I don’t do the following. These notes were written right after I started working at the Page News and Courier, in Luray, Virginia. I know that because I was given some papers by my editor, Randy, about various ways to begin stories and note-taking skills, and one of them was about the “bubble” method, or whatever its actual name it. You take a subject and put it in the center of the paper, then you draw lines and narrow that subject down as much as you can. That’s what I did here, and it’s one of the only times I’ve ever used that method.

Everybody loves taking a look at my dating life. I was going to look at all of the relationships in my life — those that were serious, casual, and how dating had changed from when I was in my late teens and early 20s to turning 30.

Some of those wound up eventually becoming 30-Something blog posts:

“Dating in the ‘Swipe Right Era’”

“A helpful list of handy Tinder hints”

“No kink shaming: Exploring our sexuality”

Tales of debauchery are always fun for people to read about. And, I’ve explored these topics both in the blog and in a Gazette-Mail op-ed. I still haven’t told the story about the night in 2012 when I did synthetic mushrooms. That was a trip, literally and figuratively. Synthetic, in the sense that we bought them at the adult book store, and they were the mushroom version of bath salts. I had a chance to do those one night, but I had heard too many crazy stories and politely declined.

For the most part, people know the two main jobs aside from journalism in my life: Pizza Hut and Outback Steakhouse. There were a couple smaller ones here and there over the years that had produced a few fun stories. I worked at two of those gambling places — my job was to sit there and give people drinks and money for the machines. The worst part of that job was when I had to sell cigarettes to a very, very, very pregnant woman. Well, that, and when my friend showed up drunk and got me fired because he was causing a scene.

But yeah, those are the notes for my long-abandoned collection of essays looking back at the first 30 years of my life. Some of those have already been written, and I’m sure the rest will come out of me at some point in the future. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep everybody updated.



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