So it’s May.
Can we all agree to not know how this happened? Because I really seriously feel like the last two months somehow flew by in the span of a week. I’m not sure how. But I swear it did.
Because it’s May. More than halfway through May, actually.
And I’m super-duper not ready for it.
Because in just a few days, I turn the big 3-0.
Yeaaaaa I don’t know how this happened so fast… Thirty years have seemingly passed in a fraction of the time… but I guess here we go?
I mean, realistically I know that the day of my birthday isn’t going to feel any different. It’ll be exactly like every other day. It’s not like I’ll wake up immediately feeling like a different – older – person. I know logically that “age is just a number.”
But idk… I’m having trouble not assigning some sort of significance to this one. To not being a “twenty-something” anymore. It just kind of seems like this looming cloud on the horizon.
I know where the dread comes from. I know it’s because societally we’ve got these concepts of what it means to be a “twenty-something” vs. what it means to be a “thirty-something.” Societally speaking it’s okay for twenty-somethings to not have it all together, but thirty-somethings are supposed to. And I don’t. It’s okay for twenty-somethings to not have the hang of running their own lives quite yet, but by thirty you’re supposed to be an expert at “adulting.” And… uhhhh… I’m not. I was supposed to be somewhere close to achieving all the things my younger self took for granted that I would. And well, I’m nowhere near it.
And I also know that, well, it doesn’t matter.
There is no set age for having your own place, for being able to afford your own pet, for buying a house, for feeling like a real adult. I know that these are seriously just these stupid expectations that somehow over the course of 30 years I’ve internalized from various places without thinking about it or questioning it, and that ultimately it’s all bullshit. There is no such thing as a “proper path.” There is no pre-perscribed timeline that somehow I’m failing by not keeping up with.
The logical part of my brain knows this.
But the irrational side can’t let go of the “holy shit you can’t be serious this is not happening nooooooooooo” feeling. That little voice inside my head that can’t let go of that plan I originally had for myself. The one that keeps screaming, “NO YOU CAN’T BE TURNING THIRTY YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE YOUR OWN HOUSE AND A DOG AND HAVE TRAVELED TO ENGLAND AND JAPAN AND RUN A 10K BY NOW.”
I find myself overwhelmed with a case of the “coulda, shoulda, wouldas.”
And I need to stop.
Because the reality is that I think I’ve done pretty well for myself, all things considered. Given the new financial realities of the world and the field I chose, the path I had planned out for myself growing up in the booming 90s just wasn’t to be. But I’ve been some cool places and done some cool things. I have a family and a significant other who love me and are just downright wonderful. I have a career which I can honestly say I love and working with my students keeps me feeling energized and young at heart. And so I may not make much, and I may not have hit all these supposed “milestones” that my younger self assumed I would have by now – but I’ve generally enjoyed the ride here.
And that’s more than a lot of people can claim.
So it’s time for me to put on my thirty-something pants and make this decade even more fun than the last.
Here goes nothin’.