Adam Stoner


I turn 28 today.

I always get really weird around my birthday. I think it’s because I am acutely aware of time passing in a very personal way. Like, New Years and Christmas and all of that, they’re all shared holidays – a birthday is quite isolating, isn’t it?

I’ve been going for morning walks every day. They’re about 5k. They start just around the corner from where I live, in a little forest and when I exit that forest, I end up in a clearing, on the side of a hill… The very first day I did this walk, there were two little deer on the side of the hill.

I wandered out the next day and there they were again!

I started calling them my ‘deer friends’ – I don’t know if that’s weird or not – but on day three, they didn’t show up.

I turn 28 today.

Every year I do one of these little introspective calling cards; this is my third.

The first was at 26 – I basically retreated back into myself.

The second, at 27, was all about getting out there and experiencing this wonderful world we live in – I feel like I’ve certainly made good strides in that direction; every day I’m filled with awe.

Now, at 28; it’s to stop looking.

The second I stopped looking for the deer and stopped expecting them to be there was the same second they showed up again. It’s not just my deer friends. There are so many things in life like this.

We embark on journeys and traverse paths and delve into the realms of possibility, all in search of that which we seek but – like deer darting through the forest the second they hear me – our aspirations can elude us the more we chase them.

When we settle down, when we cease the hunt, in a weird way the world around us takes notice – I guess it’s a kind of surrender – and with a gentle gesture, it unveils its hidden treasures.

Opportunities that once evaded our grasp now find their way to us.

Every year I think about what I’ve learned the last and what I yearn for the next…

I want serendipity. I want to feel like the universe conspires in my favour.

It sounds so woo-woo – and I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I am not a religious or spiritual person. But I do love when the daunting labyrinth reveals a path illuminated by surprise.

I turn 28 today.

21 May 2023

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