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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest Post: Hitting 30, A Retrospective of a British Dad-To-Be

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Halit Bozdogan works during the day as a writer (you can read some of his work at The Crom Report). During his downtime, he likes to read, do a spot of gardening and listen to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He has backpacked around Europe, lived in Japan and almost got punched by Sean Penn. True story.

England has had its fair share of problems over the years; Nazis, terrorism, Simon Cowell. But we’ve always gotten through it with a cup of tea and a stiff upper lip. But I get the feeling that lip will start quivering soon, when I hear the first cries of my new baby son. You see, I’m going to be a father for the first time in July and although it scares the heck out of me, I also feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I made a person. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Having a baby has caused me to look back over the past 30 years of my life. The pitfalls and the possibilities that have come my way. The highs and the lows. To be fair, I’ve led a pretty interesting life. I’m just a 30 year-old guy from England. But I’ve seen things. I’ve been to places. I’ve had some amazing experiences mixed in with a few not-so-amazing ones.

Let’s look at my time on Earth. I come from a working class family in the north of England. So let’s just say I’ve dealt with my fair share of rain and bad weather. I went to University. I did some travelling. New York was amazing, although I’m a little sad that they no longer sell Lucky Charms cereal in the UK any more. I’ve lived in the Far East. I’ve even eaten raw horse meat (a delicacy in Japan).

To be fair, I’m glad I’ve done all that. Because as much as I’m going to enjoy being a dad, I know that I’ll probably never get to do those kinds of things again. I mean sure, there’ll be holidays but they will be centred around the kid. Beaches and fun fairs and water parks. I don’t think they would find the New York Guggenheim or the waterways of Venice quite as stimulating in their early years.

But I certainly can’t complain. I almost wasn’t here. No, honestly. In 2007 I was hit by a bus and for about a minute or so, I died. Which can really put a crimp on your day. Obviously I got better, so I kind of feel that maybe someone was watching out for me.

I don’t regret the things that I’ve experienced. Because they’ve made me the man I am today. I only hope that when my child is born, they get to experience everything the world has to offer. I want them to travel to new far off countries, to eat strange and wonderful things, to meet interesting people and to learn things that make them a better person.

Obviously, it goes without saying that I don’t want them anywhere near a fast moving bus, but the rest is okay.

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