It seems almost incomprehensible to me now, like waking up with the vague recollection of an unsettling dream, but I was actually looking forward to my thirtieth birthday. I approached the milestone with what I thought at the time was a commendably mature perspective, at peace with both the occasionally messy experiences of the decade that was about to pass and the more sophisticated pleasures that I presumed were to come. I promised myself that there would be no self-indulgent outbursts of those-were-the-days melancholy, nor any last-gasp partying to excess that attempted to relive them.
It didn’t take long to break those promises, though. I woke up on the first day of my thirties wedged into a friend’s armchair in her apartment in Vancouver’s downtown east-side, and a quick survey of both the room and my own physical condition revealed that I hadn’t celebrated the end of my twenties with the reserve I had intended to display.