20-Something, Featured, Hipstercrite Life

This is What 30 Looks Like

13 Comments 07 February 2014

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I turned 30 last June.

Ever since that day, I’ve been writing less and less on this blog. Half of the reason why is because I started a grown-up writing gig that takes up a lot of my time and mental energy. The other half of the reason why is what this blog post is about.

After turning 30, I became a mess-bag of anxiety. So much so, that all I could think about was my anxiety, and I didn’t want to turn this blog into dozens of posts of me going, “I’m dying! WE’RE ALL DYING!!!” I did write a couple of posts regarding my anxiety and hypochondria, which you can read here and here- if you feel like reading about an unhinged 30-year-old (who doesn’t?)

From most accounts, women LOVE their life after 30. They say that they understand themselves better and no longer make the dumb career/relationship/financial choices that they did in their twenties. These women say they feel more comfortable in their own skin and would not go back to their twenties for ANYTHING, even if it meant getting rid of that armpit fat that appeared out of nowhere.

For myself, I agree with all these statements. What none of these women mentioned- maybe because they didn’t experience what I’m about to say- is that turning 30 will send you into a tailspin of “OH MY GOD, I’M AN ADULT NOW! I HAVE TO BE AN ADULT! AAAAAADULLLLT!!! DO I HAVE TO GET MARRIED NOW? DO I HAVE TO HAVE KIDS NOW? I’M GETTING OLDER! MY BODY CAN FAIL ME! WE’RE ALL GETTING OLDER! LOOK AT MY PARENTS! THEY’RE OLDER! SOMEONE GIVE ME A BOTTLE OF SCOTCH, THEN HIT ME ON THE HEAD WITH IT!”

The first sign that I was not handling turning 30 well is when I began going to the doctor’s office repeatedly. In fact, I’ve lost count on how many doctors appointments I scheduled for myself since last June. It’s probably somewhere between 10-15 right now. I began going to the doctors because I realized my mortality. One of the many doctors I saw said, “We see many people like you- women who turn 30 and freak out. They become highly unstable mess-bags.” She used better doctor-language than this, but her words brought me great comfort: I’m not the only weirdo.

My anxiety/hypochondria got to an all-time high right before the holidays, but going back home to New York for two weeks helped to reset the anxiety-odometer. I realized that getting out of my head and regular routine is important for my sanity. Since I got back over a month ago, I’m proud to say I’ve only scheduled a doctor’s appointment ONCE after going down the rabbit hole of WebMD symptom checker.

In truth, 30 has been great so far, so I really have no reason to be anxious. But something happened when I walked through that doorway from 29 to 30: reality became much more clearer. Suddenly I saw this life of someone I didn’t recognize. Where was that kid I knew so well? Why can’t I go back to her? Why do I have to keep moving in this forward direction that ultimately ends in death? (yeah, I took it there.)

If you’re in your twenties, I’m not trying to scare you. Not EVERY 30-year-old experiences this. You’re highly MORE likely to experience if you a.) come from Jews or b.) come from Catholics. Your thirties ARE going to be awesome, if you’re ready to grow up.

I just don’t think I was quite ready to do that.

(as seen by the fact that I still won’t create a 30-something tab for this blog.)

 

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Your Comments

13 Comments so far

  1. Galen James Struwe says:

    You’re thinking this thing through way too much. Everyone has an existential crisis to look back on and be proud of. This is yours. Aging gracefully is so easy. I think I’ve only seen Keith Richards and two guys that I graduated high school completely fuck it up. So being 30 with reluctance is no more important than being 30 with grace. Just be it. You’ll always be a hipstercrite.

  2. Eddy says:

    You MUST NOT STOP WRITING THIS BLOG! Of course, it will evolve. It must evolve. The two of you will evolve together. I’m not even sure I bother to say so. It could be that your comment about arm pit fat coaxed it out of me, who is to say?

    The fact is, your writing scratches an itch. Sure, one day you will visit the doctor who have properly diagnosed the itch as psoriasis and you will augment the itch-scratching writing with Eucerin, but until then, have fun!

  3. nikkiana says:

    I’ve only been thirty a week and Mercury is in retrograde so, I can’t tell if this is happening to me yet. I keep staring at my brand new health insurance card and thinking, “I paid for this right? Maybe I should use it and figure out why I hurt all over my body…” and then I freak out because I’m apparently afraid of going to doctors that I haven’t known since I was 10, and considering that I don’t live anywhere near where I was raised… Slight problem.

    • hipstercrite says:

      That’s a big problem too: finding a doctor as an adult that you feel comfortable with. It’s been challenging for me. I feel like most doctors I’ve come across with barely listen to me. The truth of the matter is, statistically, we’re probably healthy. But to me, 30 means 40, which means 50, which means 60. I can’t seem to NOT go down that road. I feel like I’m turning 60 tomorrow (in my mind).

  4. I've waited all my life for THIS?!? says:

    Hi.

    Thank you for this post. I relate to this more than I care to admit. I thought it was just me. I just turned 30 last July. Let me just say I’ve waited since I was 5 years old to turn 30. My mother brought me up to believe it was when I would finally have it all figured out. I find myself asking the same question, “Where is the kid I knew so well? Why can’t I get back to her?”
    My freakout manifested in quitting my salary job and 401K plan to become the person I always envisioned myself to be. Right now that is a starving artist in a city where I only know three people, one of which is my live-in boyfriend several years my junior. As if I wasn’t already worried about the way my skin gathers around my shoulders when I lift my arm (who knew it could change) and grey hairs so prevalent there is no option but to dye, he’s there to remind me.
    Wrinkles, 401K plans, comparing yourself to a 24 year old girl (cruel joke), wondering if the guy you’re dating will dump you like Johnny Depp did Vanessa Paradis for a 20-something your junior. Where are all the years invested going to go? Am I supposed to marry an old guy to ensure that doesn’t happen? What happened to my independent woman plan I used throughout my 20′s? Acting wifey-ish instead of sex kitten-ish because it feels better? And the final straw – questioning gender roles and tactics to provide a stable household because of articles in the NYTimes like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/magazine/does-a-more-equal-marriage-mean-less-sex.html

    WHAT? UGH. Shoot me now. Did that article just really say to wash dishes to get laid?!?

    Where is OUR forum Hipstercrite?
    Create the 30′s something tab please. We need you.

    • hipstercrite says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Though I’m not happy you’re experiencing the same thing, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. What should we call this forum? I guess we’re starting to fall under the Sex and the City-type forum (childless thirty-somethings living in a big(ish) city and maybe with a partner), but I don’t relate to any of them. Ha. In fact, I hate them.
      I WILL create that tab though! And thanks for sharing the NYT piece….fascinating.

  5. I can totally relate to this! Around the time I turned 30, we found out my brother has cancer and it really shocked me into realizing that getting older is HARD stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Erin Granat says:

    Hey boo. Been too long since I spent time on your site. Loving your words and your honesty. My bday, “that” bday is coming up….see I can’t even write it. My anxiety tailspin started a few years ago, however. I’m a writer, I come from Jews, I live in Hollywood. Oy fucking vey.

    I have no answers for how to get through it, it just needs to run its course (ayahuasca helps, tho). What I can say for sure is you look AMAZING. That pic? I mean c’mon. You look 22. You look fresh and lovely. I know this is a superficial response, but ultimately I find it helps. You’ve been young and pretty your whole life. The thought of that changing stings a bit. Think of Meryl Streep. Her first starring role was at 29. We’re just getting started, baby! And if you need some commiseration….http://eringranat.com/2013/02/26/anxiety-is-difficult-to-bear/

    We got this. We got this.

  7. Claire says:

    You are awesome! I love the way you write. And yes, 30 has been scary to think about at times but it’s been good to me so far :) 30 is the new 20 anyway. We don’t really have to grow up yet. Haha

    • hipstercrite says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Claire! I really appreciate the kind words. I’m glad turning 30 has been great for you. Maybe one day I’ll have the “20 is the new 30″ mindset too. Fingers crossed. Right now I feel like I’m 80.

  8. lilly says:

    not reaching 30 would have been horrible. i do not get this. be happy you are alive.


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