Today I turn thirty.
I never imagined this day would come (I said this exact sentence while watching the series finale of The X-files).
We would stay dirty, stinky kids forever, right?
Thirty just seemed so unthinkable, so impossible. Didn’t life just stop at 27, like it did for Jimi, Jim and Janis?
I didn’t plan for a life after thirty. Thirty meant homes and marriage and babies and none of those things ever resonated with me. I’m an only child of divorced parents who always wanted to work in Hollywood, so needless to say, a life of solitary seemed like the direction I was headed in. And for awhile, I was very much alone. For the first half of my twenties, I was glued to my career, and was existentially lost and angry. My career as a personal assistant was not the right fit for me, but I was determined to make it work- at the costs of friendships and my mental health. I was a mess, getting drunk alone at night in order to deal with my confusion, blowing off events with new friends and leaving drunk, tearful messages for old friends who would still put up with me. It was a life unsustainable, but I wallowed in it for five years.
I’ve never thought in short-term or long-term goals and have always followed my heart, so it came as a great surprise to me that as I got closer to thirty, everything started to nicely fit together. When the word “thirty” used to bring me to my knees and force me to curl into a ball of despair, I began looking at it with hope and content. Ten years ago, heck, even five years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be working freelance, in a loving partnership and having just co-written a film. I guess your twenties about figuring out who are, and your thirties are about honing that individual.
Though I’m looking forward to today, something still feels off. So much has changed between twenty and thirty. People have gotten sick, people have died and the reality of mortality has finally hit me. When I think back to twenties, many were still with us and were in good health. I’m watching my parents and grandmother get older and I’m absolutely helpless to stop it.
Change is just a fact of life, but I’m not sure it will ever get easier.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never thought in terms of goals, but an idea I’ve had floating in my head for many years now is a book about how to survive your twenties. Now that I’m thirty, I can confidently say I persevered.
If you’re in your twenties and feel like reading about the misguided adventures of a former twenty-something, check out my blog posts under the “20-Something” tab. I guess I need to create a “30-Something” tab now too.