5 Real Life Realizations When Turning The Big 30.
We all age, if we’re lucky, I suppose. Every new morning is a bon voyage to the person you were yesterday and a new crinkle in your face to welcome the new you. Interestingly enough, in my 3 decades of life I’ve managed to acclimate myself to each decade I’ve lived in. Prior to turning 11, I was excited and anticipated the next ten years of “teenagerhood” as being a free and liberating time in my life. Going from 19 to 20 opened doors to legal drinking and unsolicited behavior of irreverent and likely unforgivable action. But 30. 30 is a different story. So to put this new decade into perspective for those of you nearing the edge of scapegoat 20’s…here’s what you are facing.
Realization #1 –
You no longer have an excuse.
When you are in your 20’s no one expects anything of you. Your lack of experience precedes you before you even walk in the door. Regardless of how smart, funny, sociable, or wealthy you are…..you’re still just a dumb 20 year old kid. Granted, the closer you near 30 the more serious people will take you, but none the less, you have a viable excuse for being a complete dimwitted dumbass. Hence the reason most millennials walk the path of democratic affiliations. You are worldly, hopeful, full of passion and vigor and lack a complete set of common sense. Sorry if I just broke your heart, but most people leading ridiculous movements are in their 20’s, and the sheeple following them……are also in their 20’s. The day you roll the dial over to the 30’s……people don’t think it’s cute…..they think you’re insane and that you need a good dose of growing up. Bravo for the passion, now find the fallacy. Welcome to 30.
Realization #2 –
Disneyland is Not For You.
Hopping around in droves of people, spending copious amount of cash on an experience you’ll likely forget within a month, and cutting small children in line for the tea cups can no longer be your wheelhouse. And not because the Magic Kingdom won’t allow it, hell they’ll take your money and the money of every air breathing organism that sets foot on the property. But what happens when you are 30 will astonish you. The way you see places like Mickey’s Thievery and Goofy’s Stolen Property Museum will change forever. Now what you take in is screaming children, scorching heat, food vendors that won’t look you in the eye, and stuffed animals that cost your entire month’s electricity bill. It is no longer cute or sustainable. You’ll have the opportunity to revisit this establishment in the next decade with screaming children of your own. And when you do, the experience will change once again, you won’t see the screaming children or scorching heat…..only the light in your baby’s eyes when they see their favorite character for the first time, in real life. Now that’s not to say 30 year old people don’t have a good time, but not only does the Magic Kingdom take on new meaning, so does “Netflix and Chill.” You’ll likely enjoy the 6 bucks a month you throw at Netflix far more than the 6k you spend on a trip to Disney for 3 days of torture and anguish. But keep in mind, the “Netflix and chill” of a 30 year old looks more like a Discovery Channel exploratory documentary of a sloth than it does an episode of Sex and the City. Plan on it. It’s coming.
You’ve Likely Slaughtered the Hopes and Dreams of your Parents
Yep, that’s right. Your parents brought you into this big old world and bestowed upon you all the hopes and dreams they could muster for your existence. Many of them were likely the shortcomings in their own lives, but that’s another diatribe for another day. Regardless, at this point in your life turning the sails and setting them straight with your parental units isn’t likely to happen. By now they have accepted who you are, flawed as you may be, and came to grips with the fact that you aren’t going to be a Doctor, Lawyer, or Nobel Peace Prize winner. You big failure you. As successful as you may be, coming to grips with this reality yourself will start to set in at 30. And if you are one of the few that did as you were told and lived out their dreams, now is about the time you realize you really wanted to be an underwater basket weaver, and despite the fact you told your parents you took that class as an elective, you truly found your soul in the practice. Now you have to face the facts that you’ve set your object in motion, and changing it now will be an undertaking to say the least.
You really shouldn’t eat that.
You’ve heard people say, man I wish I could eat like I did when I was younger. You’ve heard women bitch about the pounds they continually gain and how much harder it is to get it off when they are older. They aren’t lying. It’s a fact. Body image will become a compulsory obsession in your 20’s due to the mating and dating rituals. It will force you into acceptance in your 30’s. You’ll either accept your fate as a blob, or you’ll vehemently take the rapidly approaching 40’s into consideration and change your retched habits. Eat a salad or two, buy yourself a few extra years. I’m sure you’ve noticed time has sped up……..summers seem like weekends now, and days become a blur. You really don’t have time to gamble with what is left. Health issues are likely to have arisen, and gross consideration for expense and burden will weigh heavily on your choices. Sure, you’d love to drink a fifth of whiskey and go snowboarding, but quite frankly, a broken arm and a hangover will probably piss your boss off and cost you a fortune. Choices choices. Ah, look at you….all grown up.
You’re going to be ok.
The best part of turning 30, other than being one year closer to the senior discount at Denny’s, is that you find some kind of solace in knowing that you’ve made it this far. You survived the reckless stupidity of your teens, and the vile mistakes of your twenties. You’ve overcome heart break, loss, wins, losses, and fails. You’ve seen death, felt love, and have had experiences that created lifelong memories. You now know people, your people, and you’ve formed this awkward tribe of weirdness that looks just like you. And in the time you’ve spent trotting around the globe, you’ve likely learned a thing or two. You aren’t dead (that’s always a plus). You aren’t decrepit or a lost cause. You are a functioning human being who has found the courage to wake up and face another day. And congratulations on that. The lucky ones will have learned graciousness by now, and to display caution in the right places. You’ll accept love, and give it freely. You’ve likely learned to decipher people’s intentions towards you, and hopefully in the next decade can learn to forgive those who were ill intended. You’ll have a long life ahead of you, knowing who you are (or at least having the tools and ambition to start finding out). Turning 30 isn’t a death sentence, or a bore. It is however, an entirely new chapter in your life. Society will hold you to a different standard, although quite frankly, I’ve told society to kiss my ass on more than one occasion since turning 30. The major differences are in you. Embrace them, and continue to grow.
There is a lot to be said about romanticizing the past. Longing for a time you’ll never see again. At no point have I indicated you need to lose your youthful tone or stop wearing shorty shorts………I’m just pointing out that you’ll be far more aware of the consequences now, all of which are a huge pain in the ass. Take a deep breath, and enjoy the little things. 40 is coming, and I’m sure the realizations there are going to be exhilarating.