On turning 30

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My twenties were good to me. The mainly traditional thing I did (from that little checklist of “things that must be done according to society at large or so they say”)(is anyone even looking at this list anymore) was get married and buy a house-getting in under the buzzer on that one. No babies. One dog, one husband. A few degrees and a lot of travels and books read and films seen and alcohol drunk. An indefinitely permanent move abroad was made. They have been chaotic years, and it’s been a bit of a chaotic decade really. Things only seemed to settle around the 28 mark, although in the past year, and particularly in the past 6 months, I’ve felt more myself than ever before. And I feel like a door has solidly shut behind me, and shut on a fair amount of uncertainty, of insecurity.

When I was 12, it was a tradition at my school to write a letter to your future 18 year old self. Pretty neat and not at all cheesy, I know. My classmates and I wrote these letters in our 6th grade English class, saying what we’d hoped we’d done by then, and who we assumed we’d be, asking questions to our future selves, licked the envelopes closed with favorite pictures or trinkets inside, and when we graduated, if we were still at the school, they were given to us once again. I know I still have my letter somewhere, so enthusiastic and pure and earnest as all get out and so so hopeful for everything that my nearly teenage self assumed would happen. I remember getting teary when I opened that letter during the spring of my senior year in high school, although I can’t at all remember what I wrote to myself. But so it goes.

If I had written that letter again at 20, or 23, or 25, I don’t know what I would have said or asked of my thirty year old self. ┬áIt may have been more cynical in tone, surely. But maybe just as hopeful that things would eventually smooth out, and bare some semblance to a life that I wanted and might have dared to dream of. And definitely a life that had a reassuring kind of stability to it, one where I felt safe and secure and loved and continuously optimistic all at once, in a way that I didn’t feel or know if I would find for a hefty part of the last decade.

Things seem to be settling now. My twenties were very very good when it comes down to it. But maybe my thirties will be, too. Or they’ll be better. And I’m ready for that, whichever way it goes. I don’t mind getting older, and can’t relate much to those who do. It is a thing that seems so silly to complain about. What’s the alternative-death? No thanks. So. Here we are. Thirty! Man oh man.

thirty year old
thirty year old selfie taker

 

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