Being 28 is kind of the end of the immortality you feel as a young person. Sure middle school, high school, the crazy WTF AM I DOING post-grad period can definitely be difficult and 28 is at least a reprieve from that. But When your life is a mess at 22 you at least figure you’ll get it together one day. One day you will be successful, financially independent, make peace with your body, and love someone for the right reasons. As bleak as the present looks, you always have the future.
But what happens when you start to age and you realize “shit, health is a real thing.” You have to take care of your body not because it looks hot at the beach and helps you get free drinks when you go out. You have to take care of your body because you will die earlier if you don’t. And you haven’t really accomplished anything yet so you can’t die early because you need all the time you can get to make your life something that matters, something that isn’t a series of rebuilding seasons.
I’m not one of those people that thinks you have to do everything before you get married or turn 30. I love women like Brandi Glanville that have a zest for life and are 40 or older. It’s really admirable because that isn’t the status quo, so that’s one thing I hope to accomplish. I’m not trying to say aging isn’t fun.
The point is that when you get into your late 20s you realize that the future isn’t going to be a distant thing forever. It is coming for you. I always assumed I’d be really successful at my career, but is that actually going to become a reality? At 22 your trajectory can go anywhere but by 28 you kind of get a feel for how valuable you are. You can extrapolate better and see if you’re really as good as you thought you were going to be. There’s less hope that you’ll wake up tomorrow and your life will start. You realize that this isn’t actually a thing that happens. You have to slowly claw your way to all the things you want, they don’t just come to you as a free gift for having aged another five years.
I don’t know why the hope for the future and the wonderment of what your life is going to be like fades by 30. There’s certainly a lot of life most people have to live after that age, and tons of examples of people who turned it around or came into their own. It just feels like I have enough life experience waiting for things to be easier to realize that it doesn’t happen that way, I’m not going to wake up and magically have things figured out and never have to go through a rough patch again. It’s a very slow process of doing that work. And I don’t know if it will ever be over.