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Turning 30

I turn 30 today and the last couple weeks have not been a good experience for me thus far.

30 seems old. Much older than me. How could I possibly be that old?

I think I have posted in this space before that I feel like I’m still in high school, maybe 20 years old. That is a long way from 30. The funny thing is that I never felt I was younger than I was until I was probably 24. When I was in college I didn’t feel like I was still in high school. When I was in high school I was never shocked by what year I was in.

I remember the first time I got caught in thinking I was younger than I was. I was working for an architecture firm on some high school renovations. And I was sent to the high school almost every day for several weeks to measure stuff and inventory stuff and take pictures, etc. And I was there during school hours during the school year. In other words, class was in session while I was there measuring and indexing and photoing.

And I would try to talk to or joke with the students and they did not want anything to do with me. I felt young. I was probably 23 or 24 years old. But in a land where 16 is median age, 24 is 50% older! I was ancient to these kids. I was fat and starting to bald (this was also the job I first noticed I was bald as someone I was working with photographed me from behind and I saw a little monkey butt for the first time. I was devastated) and just way too old to connect to these kids. They probably had a teacher or two younger than me. And I have felt like a young man in an old man’s body ever since.

I remember when my sister turned 30 a couple years ago and I thought her life would change dramatically. It didn’t. I still forget she is over 30 all the time. Hopefully, and most likely, that will be the case for me as well. Nothing will change and I will still feel 20 anyway.

But inside I am just really terrified at the prospect of no longer being in my 20’s. Like I haven’t accomplished enough, haven’t saved enough money, haven’t figured enough stuff out, haven’t established myself enough in my career, haven’t done enough, haven’t travelled enough, haven’t made enough mistakes.

I guess none of that matters. Today I am 30 no matter how I feel about it. Life isn’t a thing that stops and waits for you to be okay with everything before it moves on. It is a train pulling away from you as you chase after it.

I wonder if I’ll ever get on board.

One comment

  • Most of what you’ve expressed is normal. I had similar feelings when I turned 30. And I know several people who did also. I think the age calls for some reflection. It is the start of your last decade of youth. 40 begins the “middle age” era. Those last until 60 when you move into the senior years. So enjoy your 30’s.

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