As you sit down to read this column, I have just twenty-nine years old. An age that just a few years ago seemed to be a lifetime away. I know most people older than me reading this will be thinking, ‘You’re still just a pup!’ but it felt so auld and decrepit. I thought by the time I reached twenty-nine, I’d look in the mirror and see fully-formed da staring back at me. Perhaps I’d be balding, a bit of a belly on me and dressed terribly. But instead I still just see a wee guy in the mirror, no really looking any different to how I did when I was seventeen. Still scrawny and still with daft hair.

I don’t actually feel any older either. I still feel how I did when I was seventeen. I spoke to my maw about this weird feeling of ageing but not actually feeling that old. She said she still felt like a wee lassie and was still waiting for the day she started to feel old. She hoped it wouldn’t be for a while yet.

It’s got me thinking about all the things I thought I’d have done by the time I was thirty, and how I now only have a year to do these things. I remembered a list I wrote when I was fifteen of all these goals and adventures I wanted to tick off. It was quite mortifying. I was, it has to be said, a bit of an eejit at fifteen.

I had great intentions of becoming a millionaire by the time I was thirty. Well, I remember thinking at fifteen, ideally by the time I’m twenty-one although I’d settle for twenty-five as a worst case scenario. Perhaps an oversight from my fifteen year old self was to omit the actual plan to become a millionaire. Knowing me, it would’ve been something as simple as ‘win the lottery’ or ‘inherit a large fortune from some unknown, distant relative’. Now, I can’t think of anything I’d like to be less than a millionaire. The fear of losing that amount of money must be quite intense, not to mention how much it would corrupt you, turning you into the most horrid, selfish version of yourself. I realise I’m saying this as someone who writes short stories and a daft column for a living, two things which have never made anyone a millionaire as far as I know.

I also had grand plans to have travelled the world by now. To have taken in all the majestic sights and experienced as many different cultures and ways of life as possible. Perhaps I’d even have learned a few languages as well. I’m sure I thought I’d be living abroad as well. I suppose I did make it out of Springboig to the far flung reaches of… Dennistoun. To be fair, it does feel like a different world here at times.

Twenty-nine is, in my opinion, an undeniably cool age. To me at fifteen, a twenty-nine year old was someone almost otherworldly. They lived interesting lives in cities like New York or something. They went to trendy bars with their pals after they’d finished their extremely cool jobs then they’d go back to their cool flats, maybe pour a glass of whisky and stand and look out the floor to ceiling window that gives them panoramic views of the city while they take off their expensive suit jacket and lay it softly across a decadent leather couch. I think about this as I stand looking out the window of my own flat, surveying the wet pavement below, while wearing an old Scotland top, shorts and one black sock. I am a world away from the cosmopolitan dream life I had constructed for myself all those years ago.

I do think we place a sort of weird importance on the big birthdays of our lives. It can be a good way of breaking down your goals and making a plan for yourself but the reality is that it won’t really matter if you achieve something at forty rather than thirty or whatever. I’ve always wondered how people feel when they hit thirty with a list of realistic but unachieved goals they had for when they reached that age. Do they just go ‘Ah well, that’s that then’ and forgot about them? Do they just aim to try and achieve them by forty instead? I suppose I’ll find out next year. Regardless of my current goals, I can look at ahead to turning thirty and beyond safe in the knowledge that my ultimate goal was to simply ‘be happy’ and to ‘have a laugh’ while doing so, I suppose can consider those ticked off the list. Maybe though, I’ll find myself crushed having left my twenties behind and have some sort of crisis. Which, in itself, will probably be a laugh.