So I’ve been 29 for almost 6 months now and yet I feel like I’ve already been 30 for a year…
I’m not sure exactly when I started aging myself +1 year. I can say with certainty that it didn’t happen when I was 20 because (as all 20 year olds know) there is nothing so anticipatory and unjust as awaiting the arrival of your 21st birthday. Every day leading up to your 21st year feels like a cruel joke. You’re THIS CLOSE to adult legitimacy but still exasperatingly far from its slippery grasp . And by “adult” I expect you know I only mean legally allowed to waste all your time & your (parent’s) hard-earned money in a dark & sticky watering hole.
After all… you’ve earned it.
It seems like I’ve decided to just skip over my 29th year altogether and dive head first into my 30’s. Even since before I turned 29 last October, I anticipated that birthday as the end of something. So instead of dealing with the negative and foreboding weight of ending my third decade, I shifted focus to the beginning of my fourth. Maybe I’ll feel mournful once the big 3-0 actually hits after cheating myself out of that final year. And since I tend to operate on a “worst-case-scenario” level of anxiety and disfunction, this notion shouldn’t be all that surprising.
Maybe… Just mayyyybe… I figured something out. Maybe all this time that I’ve spent fearing my 30’s has been egregiously un-well spent. I know I’m not alone. I know this goes beyond generation and culture. Everyone who’s lived to be 30 has also lived the years leading up to that age and I’m willing to bet the majority of those people have also felt at least the tiniest sense of dread knowing their 20’s, their youth, their freedom, their ability to get away with childish shit like not knowing what they’re doing with their lives and their pathetic inability to do anything about it but complain are bound to reach their end of days.
Whatever it means… I’m fucking ready for it.
I’m a mess and I’m clueless but I’ve got my crash helmet on and I’m ready to break on through.
And despite all the defensive talk about aging, I do welcome 30. There’s not a whole lot else to do. It’s moving in whether I’ve got the space for it or not. And the truth is I’d MUCH rather be turning 30 than 20. I can now see, with the 10 years length of perspective I’ve put between me and it, what a rose-colored hell 20 really was.
Maybe things creak and hurt more than I would like to admit. Maybe sometimes I catch myself squinting at things with small print but I’d much rather have those problems than worrying that I’ve taken too many nickels and dimes out of my parent’s emergency change jar so that they might actually notice and get on my case again about “still not having a job” but without that $3.65 I wouldn’t have been able to buy the cigarettes I desperately needed to make my truly hellish life, what with its total lack of responsibility and over abundance of ennui, just that much more tolerable. GOD.