As some of you already may know, Sunday is my 30th birthday. As an adult turning 30, which most agree is a monumental life step where you’re not quite old but are no longer young, I decided to reflect a little bit on where I was five years ago and how much my life has changed. Since my 25th birthday, I’ve had my daughter, I’ve moved, gone back to school, become a writer; the list goes on. But for this, I thought it would be more fun to look forward. So I crawled into my time machine and went to January of the year 2021 to look at my own life and how the world has changed.
In the year 2021, the Cubs are coming off their first season not making the playoffs since 2014. Unfortunately, they’ve yet to win a World Series. The closest they came was in 2019, when Gleyber Torres hit what appeared to be a game-winning home run in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the NLCS, but on further review a fan had reached over the basket and pulled it into the bleachers. The Cubs went on to lose that game to the Brewers, and with the fizzling out of the market on television deals with the advent of the Google Chip—an implant that allows you to view live events anywhere in the world where Google’s many supervisory camera’s are active—were unable to afford keeping around many of their best players.
To add insult to injury, the fan that caught the ball was wearing a St. Louis Cardinals shirt. This is odd in 2019 because most Cardinals fans were believed to have perished when St. Louis was incinerated in World War III, which was started when President Trump invaded Canada. At any rate, things are looking up going into 2021. I had finally received my big break, being promoted to editor and lead writer of the Chicago Cubs Google Glass Weekly Magazine: Sponsored by Carls Jr., the most frequently read publication by sports fans while pooping.
It’s not easy to write about the Cubs in 2021, however. They’re a shell of the team that had won four consecutive NL Central division championships, boasting a low payroll of merely $180 million and several young prospects that didn’t appear ready for the Major Leagues. Fans had grown tired of waiting after the promise of championships, and Kohler Park at Wrigley Plaza was only drawing an average of 30,000 fans per game—a mere fraction of the 80,000 seating capacity when including the three new levels in the bleachers.
But there is hope on the horizon. The Cubs have invested a lot of money in high school players, as most of the best players no longer go to college with scholarships now a thing of the past—Trump has eliminated them under the 28th Amendment which bans anything he deems to be “too socialist.” The renovation of the stadium was finally completed in 2020, with self-healing concrete used to keep Kohler Park at Wrigley Plaza viable for the next 100 years. It wasn’t always easy, as the Cubs had to pause the project in 2018 when the state of Illinois filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy—the now incarcerated former-governor Bruce Rauner had reorganized the state as a corporation the year prior.
There’s hope for me too, personally. I’m still very happy in my marriage with my wife and my 9-year-old daughter hasn’t yet become an angsty pre-teen. I received my Bachelors Degree from Penn State in 2017 and my Masters in 2020, all while working part-time as a freelance writer after having my Human Resources job at the state of Illinois eliminated after the strike of 2016. It was a blessing in disguise, really. It allowed me to focus more on the things that are truly important to me—my family, my writing, and my education.
Turning 30 isn’t a good birthday. Sure, you get to drink a few beers and go out to dinner. Your parents buy you a new tire for your car, people give you cards that you know won’t contain money—the most exciting part of birthdays as a kid—and you start to notice that it’s not as easy to lose the Thanksgiving/Christmas weight anymore. But I’m living a good life surrounded by good people, whether it be at home, from afar, or merely just conversing on the internet. The last five years have seen a massive change in my life, and it will only get better in the next five.