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Ovi's Double Birthday
by Asa Butcher
2008-12-20 09:56:16
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Birthdays are an opportune moment for a person to reflect on their life, their achievements, their ambitions, but today is a little different. Yes, Ovi magazine is celebrating a fourth incredible year since its creation in 2004, but for this writer there is an even greater birthday looming: my 30th! Yes, Monday December 22nd 2008 at 15:00 (UK Standard Time) marks the rolling over of all the digits on the Asa Milometer and the commencement of my thirties… woah!

Until now my landmark birthdays have been slightly different in respect that 18 signified the legal consumption of alcohol and right to vote, 20 was the happy passage from teenager to young adult, 21 was a fantastic birthday, but 30 is just out there. "I am thirty years-old!" It is strange to write that - luckily I won't have to say it out loud for while - and it is a birthday that, no matter how hard you try to ignore it, does make you turn the microscope upon your life.

Am I heading in the right direction professionally, philosophical or even physically? I am quite comfortable with my answers to the first two but I really should exercise more. I look at the energy and effort I have ploughed into Ovi over the past four years and it makes me feel proud of my accomplishments and I believe the ongoing growth of this magazine has contributed to the softening of transition from young adult to… not so-young adult.

Every morning I check my emails, correspond with the Ovi team located around the world, read their thoughts, opinions, comments and almost know some of them personally despite having never met - hell, some of them even call me Mr. Butcher! Ovi has opened my eyes and mind to issues affecting our planet and society, it has introduced me to cultural thinkers and philosophers, it has shown me religions, cults and beliefs, it has shown me that there are more than two sides to every story and it has shown me how people respond to the simple idea of exchanging opinions.

When I first arrived in Finland six years ago I was fresh out of university, just married and in a strange new country. I had very little cultural capital and was just trying to find myself, but then a Greek entered my life and everything was turned on its head. Together we have built a project that actually inspires people's imaginations, motivates people to voluntarily contribute submissions and has become the first port of call for many each day. I did that. We did that.

Today I have six years of married life under my belt, two beautiful children, I am an uncle and actually know how to finally dress warmly during a Finnish winter - almost! What will I be writing about in ten years as I bid farewell to my thirties and enter my forties… who knows and I don't really want to start down that train of thought! I am happy with my life at present, although I am not satisfied. There are still many unfulfilled ambitions and I shall endeavour to complete as many as possible.

When I blow out one score and ten candles on Monday and it comes time to make a wish there will be not doubt in my mind and there will be no horror at the passing of an era! Actually, just like when the car's milometer is about to roll over from nines to zeroes, you always seem to miss the moment and I think becoming thirty is going to be the same. Ovi is part of me and I am part of Ovi, so if you take the average of our ages then we can celebrate our 17th birthday on Sunday… does that sound reasonable?

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