I turn thirty years old today. It is an odd milestone. My wife said she almost got me a card that read, “Happy 30th Birthday! You have something in common with a sixteen year old.” On the inside it read, “You both wish you were twenty-one!” It’s kind of true!
Thirty feels like a departure from the freedom and gracefulness of our twenties. Yes, you have to be more mature than your teens, but it is the decade of “finding yourself, ” and “making mistakes,” and “going on adventures,” and “trying something new.” Thirty ends that. It is the decade of “how’s your career going?” and “when are you going to have kids?” and “you don’t own a home yet?” and in probably my case “you’re still in school?!”
Of course, someone can have children or find their lifelong career in their twenties and someone can make mistakes or be finding themselves in their thirties. The difference is common expectations and socialization. Damn socialization!
I don’t know why it bothers me to turn thirty. I have been a “to be at 10:30 PM” type of person since I turned eighteen. I did not use my twenties for crazy partying and traveling around the world (I did do some traveling though). For all intents and purposes my personality is far more fit for my thirties than it was for my twenties. For my twenties I was pretty unexceptional (or maybe I was exceptional).
Overall I think I used my twenties well. I married my best friend. I received my BA, MA, and ThM. I was signed to my first publishing contract. I don’t have a ton of credit debt. (That is quite rare!) My thirties seem to indicate that things should get even better. Of course, there is the philosophy of the Book of Job so I will add the caveat “If the Lord wills it.”
So here is to another decade! The gift of life is always precious and I will cherish it, even if I feel quite old today!