by Shelt Garner
There are some pretty significant things about life that they just don’t tell you about. You often hear that “age ain’t nothing but a number,” but this is complete bullshit. Age is a very real element of life. In fact, I’m generally of the opinion that the sweet spot for becoming a success is somewhere between your late 20s and early 30s.
If you aren’t successful by that point, you can wake up and any success you do have will be attached to the angle of, “How does it feel to become a success later in life?”
I’m quickly slipping past the point where people think “prime of life” and into the point where they just roll their eyes and think “old.” So, I have something of a window of opportunity that is quickly closing.
So, even if I manage to follow in my hero Stieg Larsson’s footsteps and sell a novel (or novels) around the same age (hopefully without the whole dropping dead of a heart attack part) people won’t shut up about how old I am. I’ve always been a late bloomer and if, somehow, I win the publishing lottery and sell these novels I’m working on, the fact that I will have ostensibly “come out of nowhere” will probably generate a huge amount of resentment from fellow Olds who will wonder how the hell that happened.
I probably have, at best maybe 5 years to put up or shut up. If I don’t do something notable with my life by that point, it’s over. Even if I get the success I believe I capable of, it will all be muted by my age.
But I have sworn to myself that if I magically, miraculously manage to achieve the level of success I want, that I’m going to squeeze everything possible out of it. I learned a lot about myself in Seoul and I know I have an array of different talents that I can exploit if I can just figure out how to get the opportunity.
At the moment, it’s not looking so great.
There are two possibilities at the moment. One, I somehow manage to sell my first novel and it’s a instant success. The other option, which is far, far darker, is the United States has a civil war and I get caught up in the chaos in such a way that I make a name for myself.
The latter option isn’t exactly all that great — it would be a high risk, high reward possibility — but I did thrive in the daily chaos of being an expat in Seoul. I often struggle with if that’s just my usual delusional nature coming into play or if I’m actually on to something.
But the point remains — the clock is ticking.