Sunday, October 25, 2009

a week left

I feel like I'm facing an expiration date--a week from today is my thirtieth birthday.

I'm a bit freaked out. It's such a big number, a grown-up number, a mature and sensible number. And in my head I've been fighting against it for awhile now, nonono, I can't possibly be thirty. It's an impossibility; I will never be a real 30 year old!

I know a lot of people in their early thirties. God, even that sounds so painfully adult! But they're perfectly lovely, normal people who I consider to be about my age. And everyone raves about being in their 30s--how relaxed and real and enjoyable they are, unlike the more unstable or capricious twenties.

I've had some amazing adventures in the last ten years--I visited three continents and many states. I worked in AmeriCorps, in offices, and in schools. I moved to New York City on my own and successfully lived independently. I somehow found an amazing boyfriend. I've even made a few friends. In this decade I have grown and matured (I think) and kind of established who I am.

So if all these important things have already happened, what is supposed to happen in this next decade? I mean, I know I won't suddenly turn into someone else, but surely I'm supposed to have some kind of goal? Some kind of five-year plan? Some kind of self-concept combining me and adulthood? It all seems so foreign! I don't even own a pair of galoshes!
Yes, I know this is all so silly and ridiculous. It's just a number and nothing will actually change. But it seems like something *should* change. I wanted to do something symbolic for my significant birthday, but I couldn't think of anything. How appropriate. This date has been looming over my head--I kept wanting to make one of those "things to do before I'm 30" lists, but couldn't be arsed to think of anything. I had wanted to get into a workout routine to get in shape...but that hasn't happened. It's been like two or three weeks since I've made it to the gym.

Here are some things I would like to happen in the next few years: continue traveling to new places; moving somewhere I can imagine living long-term; "settling down" (god, how cliche, but I do have that aforementioned great boyfriend...); getting to work on photography; maybe learning some new skill or something.
I feel like a lot hinges on this year, and I also feel like school is continuing to hamper my personal life. I'm feeling anxious about how this new age will begin and if I do something wrong I will spend the next ten years being lazy and a nobody and I'll live in limbo forever.
Sigh. I'm sorry to ramble so selfishly and inarticulately. It's really been weighing on my mind.


Angela said...

Add me to the list of those loving their thirties. Everything you've heard is true.

I know who I am.
I know what I'm capable of (and what will nearly kill me if I attempt).
I know how my creative process works.
I know what I want.

Life is beautiful. Geez, I would have killed for that feeling at age 14. Or even 24.

NCavillones said...

I think you should go back and read that phrase you wrote: "It's just a number." You could replace "30th birthday" with "New Year's Eve" and we all know that making resolutions based on a number or date is kind of bullshit.
Just live your life and all the pieces will fall into place.

Anonymous said...

If we had 12 fingers, you'd be turning 26, not particularly special.

Me, I remember my 30s rather fondly.

Neither of which matters.

Happy birthday! (Maybe you should get some galoshes. Or bright rain boots)

Schoolgal said...

You have accomplished so much with your travels and photography and there's much more to come. Your future looks bright and sunny.
Have a wonderful birthday.

NYC Educator said...

Have a great birthday. Life gets better as you realize how little of it you actually understand. You can smile more.

And if having birthdays traumatizes you, well, consider the alternative.

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Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The first few decadal birthdays can be a bit unnerving, but the more of them you celebrate, the less they depress you!