It's funny how priorities change over the years. One minute all you care about is nightclubs, chasing skirt and the next pay cheque and the next minute you're preferring upmarket wine bars to night clubs and getting satisfaction out of work.
I've definitely been the slowest out of all the guys to appreciate growing up. I still stuck to my youthful dreams - skateboarding, riding, surfing - no idea how to take them with me into adulthood. Bouncing from one calamity to another and self-destructing whenever anything went well. Running scared of approaching the big 3-0 and thinking I was forever 18. But as I got older the girls got younger and your outlook changes. It happens to us all.
Merlin was the first I would say. Slogged his guts out for his dream job, now travels the world, earns a lot and married to the girl of his dreams. Always knew where he was going and was in a rush to get there, but boy was it worth it!
The Captain and Sampras quickly followed. Homeowners, marriage and kids. They are happy, have beautiful families and good jobs - hell if they aren't role models to me, I dunno what would be?! I'm proud of them all.
Gradually everything falls into place - you can't force the issue, you just find your path naturally and........well........eventually..........it works.
Some people I envy, because they seem to know where their path lies before it's been made. They forge on, aware of their destination and reach it in record time. The rest of us are left wallowing in wrong turns or a jungle of dead ends - like me clinging on to my younger days.
Some people struggle to give up dreams and become older and why should they?
A good friend of mine, Finn, has recently taken steps towards achieving his dream of playing a particular sport at the highest level. He never gave up or thought his time had passed. He kept plugging away, perseverance earning him the reward and then his path opened out right where he wanted it to. I'm proud of the guy. As well as talent, he has guts, determination and hard work going for him.
Merlin once said 'nothing worth having ever comes easy' - the simplest statement but so true. Doesn't matter how good at something you are, or how much you want something to be yours - if you don't put in the effort and hard work, it will never be.
I don't have to give up anything I love, I just need to keep my path clear, keep working ahrd, glide all obstacles and know where I'm heading. And right now that looks like a helluva sweet place.