Today is my 29th birthday.
You can ask my close friends, I’m not one to complain about birthdays or age. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to my thirties, (or my perception of what my thirties should be), for awhile. You know, increased financial stability, maybe kids. Not such bad things, right?
However, here I am, 29, and I finally feel a little bit freaked out by my birthday. My twenties are almost over. Really. Somehow moving toward my thirties gives me the sensation that it’s time to be a real grown-up. You know, the kind that does responsible things like save for retirement. Not that I haven’t attempted to do so in some capacity or another over the past half-decade, but now it feels real. People in their thirties are supposed to be more serious. They commit to careers, have children, make wise financial decisions, achieve actual, measurable success in wider numbers. No pressure or anything.
So, why do I still feel like I’m this kid dancing around in grown-up clothes?
Looking young for my age, I always thought it would be great to hit my thirties and actually look like a grown-up. That way, people would stop asking me stupid questions about how old I am. Yes, I can drive, thank you. But, as I suddenly notice my age shifting in pictures, this transformation is nowhere near as satisfying as I expected. What do you mean you don’t need to see my ID? Are those wrinkles?
All joking aside, I really do not think 29 is old, or 30, either, for that matter. It’s just a strange thing to finally let go of childhood. I’m not a kid. I’m not even that young anymore. Excited for certain aspects of my thirties or not, it feels like a transition. The end of eras have always made me emotional. I was the teenager that cried because I was not a child anymore.
I won’t cry today, though. Or at least I hope not. Instead, I’ll relish the fact that I have 364 days left before the dreaded, dirty thirty. I’m already planning that birthday out in my head. I think I need to go to Vegas, or do something else completely out of character, (third life crisis, perhaps?). Until then, I am determined to wring every last ounce of non-grownupness out of my twenties. Outlandish travel adventure, anyone? Oh, wait, that’s my book…
I’ll instead leave you with my favorite words on aging:
“For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow