My twenties are coming to a close. They were a tumultuous decade. I found myself, I lost myself, and I found myself again. I took some chances, I played it safe. I started establishing a life for myself and I put down some roots. I finished school. I've traveled around the country. I've made amazing friendships and I've had old friendships fade away. I've learned a lot about myself. I learned that I still have a lot to learn about myself. I've fought inner demons that have threatened to pull me under, and I've had moments when I felt that the universe was perfectly aligned. I've been up and I've been down and I've been everywhere in between.
I've had waves of Deep Feelings about this new milestone. Thirty always seemed like such a daunting age; when you're young, thirty is old. Along the way, though, you realize it isn't, but it's hard to shake that old perception.
I know it's really not a big deal. It's just another year. Most everyone I know who has crossed over to the next decade proclaim it to be far superior to one's twenties, by a long shot. I've actually enjoyed how, over the last year or two, I've started to care less and less about What Other People Think and to embrace doing my own thing and enjoying the things I enjoy, and picking and choosing a little more carefully what things are worth getting worked up about. I'm a little more likely to stand up for myself than I used to be, even though I still avoid conflict and/or confrontation like the plage. (What? I like things to be chill. I don't feel that that's a major character flaw. WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?)
Seeing bits online about Today's Youth(tm) I also feel much more zen and wise and perhaps even enlightened. Not all of them - but the stereotypical millennial/post-millennial (what are we calling them nowadays?) that are at the age where they think they know everything and that the world owes them everything. I have officially crossed that generational gap and have a hard time fathoming how they come to think the things they think sometimes. I would not rewind to that age for all the money in the world.
On the other hand, it's still this fairly significant mile marker, and it feels like a trigger for an avalanche of existential self-examination, weighing myself up against all the things I "should have" or had hoped to accomplish by now. I mean, for the most part, I'm pretty satisfied with how my life is going. A lot of days, though, I still feel like I'm in the same place, living the same lifestyle, as I did immediately post-college graduation. I don't feel like a fully-functioning responsible adult at all. (Maybe most people don't. I don't know.) I think my apartment is the most tangible example of this. It's small and therefore cluttered and it looks like a college student lives there. Is that the worst thing in the world? Probably not. But it's frustrating all the same. I'm always behind on the dishes or the laundry, but at least my bills are covered and both my cat and I seem to be alive and well. I could go back and forth all day but I won't.
When it comes down to it, tomorrow is just another day. I'll have to check a different box on various forms, but otherwise, not much is going to change. I'm still me.
I visited my 30 Before 30 blog earlier tonight. I've got about six things left unfinished. Some of them were logistically difficult to obtain; some of them, I just gave up on. Interestingly - and this is perhaps a testament to some level of impending maturity - I don't particularly feel bothered that I failed to achieve completion. The interesting thing about lists like that, is that your mind can change so many times over the course of the project. I've revised the list a few times, and I came up with several things later that I didn't even bother to add. You can't contain life to a list of bullet points. It will change in awesome, unexpected ways. And things that used to seem novel or important can fade away sometimes. All in all – I’m glad I made that list. It gave me things to strive for, and it made me think of some things to do outside of my normal comfort zone. And it was awesome. So for those of you working on your own lists: good luck, have fun, and don’t worry if you don’t cross everything off. The whole point is the journey.
And right now? I'm content with where my journey has taken me and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next. Cheers, mates.