Recently, a friend asked me how old I am. I answered that I’m 29. He then replied that he thought I was somewhere around 25 (God bless him!). I smiled and thanked him, mentioning something about the number 30, looming on the horizon.
“It doesn’t hurt,” he offered with a shrug.
Only, I kinda thought it would. Or, think it will…or used the think that it will. Wow. Crazy English languange. You know what I mean.
Anyway, a conversation then ensued, in which another friend joined in and agreed that it was the 29th birthday that bothered them, not the 30th. And once I started thinking about it, my 29th birthday did seem terrible. I was all, “This is my last 20′s birthday. Ever. How does that even happen?!” I kinda didn’t want to talk about it; wanted to leave it alone, pretend it wasn’t happening. You know, pull one of those “If I don’t think about it, it’s not happening” mind tricks full of denial.
Then, a few days after my convo about turning 29/30, a 20-something friend of mine groaned that she’ll be thirty soon (in about a year and a half, mind you), as if her life would be over by then.
And you know what? It just all of a sudden sounded ridiculous to me. It was like I was having an out-of-body experience, or hearing myself on a recording and thinking, “THAT’s what I sound like?!” It really seemed so silly.
Why are we obsessing about a number? I mean, if you look at it, I’m technically IN my thirtieth year…you’re not 1 at birth, but celebrate your first year of life with your first birthday, after all.
Oh wow. That just kinda hit me. Okay, breathe….
I realize that “30″ is scare for a lot of people, and for different reasons. For me, I don’t think it was a matter of turning 30, but a matter of the goals I’d set for myself when 30 seemed a long ways off. I turned 29 and realized I hadn’t done anything and my twenties were almost over. But, that wasn’t really true. The real issue was that I hadn’t done certain things and was hitting 29 and basically just beating myself up over it.
But, after hearing my friend moan and groan over a number, I decided that it doesn’t matter what I’ve done or haven’t done by the time I turn 30. It just doesn’t matter. We can’t beat ourselves up over hitting another decade mark. We can’t compare ourselves to our friends or acquaintances who have “done” more than we have. They haven’t done more, they’ve just done differently. (I’m guilty of this particular no-no, so that’s why I mention it)
So today, I declare that a number will not restrict me. It will not define me. I’m going to LOVE my thirties.
In the first Sex and the City movie, Carrie says that your twenties are for having fun, your thirties are for learning lessons and your forties are for buying the drinks. I certainly hope not. I’ve learned a ton of lessons in my twenties that were anything but fun. I look forward to having fun in my thirties, loving who I am, and what I’ve done, not what I think I should have done.
After all, it’s all about where you’re going, not where you’ve been!