You know how you can put a ♥ icon to express something, like I ♥ Vietnamese sandwiches? Well, why isn’t there the opposite, a symbol that expresses hate? I guess there’s a but that’s too cute. So I am suggesting a I think it’s pretty clear and much better than harsher forms of hate like a middle finger or a Teletubby. So without further ado, I would like to announce: I moderation. I turned 29 last week. That’s old. I’ve been talking to really old people (36) who try to tell you it’s not old, but who are we kidding? Turning 29 is terrible. 30 hangs over your heads like the sword of Damocles. Life starts changing creepily. Three of my ex-girlfriends got engaged in the last three months. I'm starting to wonder if I should buy a knee brace. I went to a dinner party where people only talked about different kinds of wine. What is going on? When you turn 29, everyone around you emphasizes moderation. Eat healthier, sleep more, take it down a gear. Instead of all-night clubbing, it’s drinks in SoHo and bed by midnight. There are constant conversations about fresh fruit and vegetables. In one year I’ll be officially both 10 years too old and 10 years too young to party in Wan Chai. Oh my god. So I’ve tried to live this new prescribed life. I’ve gone running a lot and cut carbs in the evening. If I’m in bed and I get a text about an impromptu beach party I’ll just sleep so I don’t overtire myself. I’m probably healthier, more balanced and more self-reflective than I have been in years. And also kind of miserable. I moderation. I wish I could record Gerard Butler’s “300” voice screaming, “This is Hong Kong!” We don’t do things by halves; it’s all about extremes. And that’s probably why I live here. When I move to some sleepy town I’ll do sleepy town things like take a bread making class. But for now I’ve made one simple resolution: I’m going to stop living responsibly. Let’s be clear. I refuse to get fat, overtired, suck at work, and/or drift through a series of meaningless relationships. Being irresponsible doesn’t mean being stupid. At the same time I’m not going to go gentle into that good night of movies and a glass of wine cut early so I can do yoga the next morning. I used to be terrified of becoming one of those aging expats in Dragon-i buying bottles but just look sad and out of their element. Now I’m terrified of people who say, “I used to be crazy but now I just can’t do it anymore.” Look, a progression is natural: get super drunk in your teens until you fall down, go to clubs and have drinks and meet girls in your 20s, go to lounges and places to talk in your 30s, and then go to dinner parties for the rest of your life. I’ve got it. And there’s a reason that things work like this: as you get older, you settle down more. But that doesn’t mean one needs to accept this wholesale. What I’m saying is that you can go out, or stay in, or do both—but it is a choice. I feel most people say that they can do it or not do it because other people or, more accurately, culture tells them if it’s appropriate, but many don’t think about whether this is what actually makes them happy. Me, I’m going out less, but when I do it will be glorious. I’ll meet people, keep going till 6am, crash tables and create stories. I’ll still say yes to impromptu weekend trips to Macau and wake up in Manila at 5pm, running to the airport with no passport. My dinner parties will be amazing with lots of wine and witty conversation and all will be happy. The proof of existence is, to quote Descartes (in translation): “I think, therefore I am.” I will argue that the proof of existence in Hong Kong is “I do it all. And then I go to work the next day.” Yalun Tu is a columnist for HK Magazine. You can reach him at email@example.com or @yaluntu on Twitter.