Six months from now, a digit changes, and another decade is put on the shelf of my past—only to be referred to longingly with a mixture of affection, remorse, and way too many ‘I can’t believe I did THAT!’ moments. Turning 30 is not old per se and it doesn’t have to be a Big Deal, but denying its significance is akin to saying that aging makes no difference in our lives. And truthfully, thirty has been a focal point for me over the past couple of years, acting as a signpost to delineate where youth ends and adulthood truly begins.
Approaching thirty set off a spool of anxiety through me because of the responsibility associated with that age: I have to fuck around less and focus more; I need to pin down what I want and how I hope to get there. It’s not an endpoint by any means—but it does send a signal to society, to my peers, and to my ovaries that time won’t stop moving no matter how much I want to avoid it. And I don’t want to live without purpose, without acknowledging that every day with this body and with this mind is precious, so I better enjoy it.
So. Instead of collapsing under the weight of that age, I want to live out my twenties in style and with joy so that I start my thirties ready for even better things. And rather than focus on what hasn’t happened yet, I can at least check off all the things that have and will: earning a master’s degree, obtaining a job I’m excited to do in a field I’ve hoped to work in, an abundance of friends that make me laugh so hard my stomach writhes in pain, a healthy and (for the most part) supportive family, and a city that I still love and can’t yet imagine leaving. Thirty is looking good. But right now, 29 and a half feels awesome.