1. You’re still technically considered to be in your “twenties”
Yet, the difference between who you are now versus who you were at age 20 is like something that’s even more disparate than the difference between a Kardashian and Hillary Clinton.
2. You’ve had 4 years of garbage birthdays
Nobody cares if you turn 26, 27, 28, or 29. You get nothing. No new privileges. At least when you turn 25 you get to rent a car without paying extra for the insurance. It’s something and all subsequent years are nothing.
3. You’re supposed to be grown
You can’t get out of doing anything. You just have to be responsible. Nobody is like, “Oh, you don’t have your life figured out yet? You’re still young, don’t worry!” Because you’re not young. You should have it together.
4. But, like, you don’t have it together
The only thing you really have figured out is that you don’t have anything figured out.
5. People who are also 29 are living extremely varied lives
It seems like 50% of 29 year olds are buying homes and having children and, like, excelling at their careers. And, the other 50% are trying to relive the heydays of their 21st birthdays… every goddamn weekend.
6. Nobody knows what the hell they’re doing
Talk to any 29 year old for longer than twenty minutes and they’ll hurriedly whisper, “Do you ever feel like you have no fucking idea what you’re doing with your life?” And you’ll nod, because yes and because same.
7. You vary between two extremes about turning 30
The first extreme is that oh my god you are old and 30 is An Age. It means something to turn 30. People expect shit from you when you’re THIRTY.
8. Then there’s the other extreme
Which is, finally, you get to be grown in the eyes of everyone. No longer will you be subjected to the condescending, “oh, you’re in your twenties,” digs from the past decade. You will finally be legit.
9. You realize you will have been alive for 3 full decades
What the hell? How did that happen?
10. You’re turning into your parents
You’ll be going about your day using your normal voice when all of a sudden the voice of your mother/father will come in as if you’ve been possessed and you’ll be like, oh no, the transformation into being old and parental has begun!
11. Your younger self makes you cringe
So cocky! So self-assured! So wrong… about… everything.
12. You say these things to people younger than you
Enjoy your youth! I remember what that was like when I was your age. God, I’m old. You’ll grow out of that. You don’t remember [TV show, song, movie from childhood]???? Kids these days!
13. Re: #12 from above: you have become who you once loathed
…And there’s no stopping this train. Embrace it. This is who you are now.
14. Your preferences in life have changed dramatically
One day, you woke up and you were a totally different person. You were like, I want a dog; I want to wake up early on the weekends and get shit done; I need to find the local farmer’s market; I have a 3 day hangover now and it’s awful, kill me, kill me, kill me.
…has become your life elixir at this point.
16. You have two prominent emotional states
The first is you have completely embraced how weird and quirky and awkward and everything that you are and no longer care what people think to the degree that you once did.
17. The second is…
All that other stuff is bullshit. You feel old! You’re so uncool now! You’re behind on life! Where did the time go! You miss your youth!
18. Nobody on TV represents you
It’s like people in Hollywood don’t think 29 year olds exist. Where are the TV shows about people about to turn 30? Is this not important? DO YOU NOT EXIST IN THIS WORLD?!
19. You’re having an existential crisis every other day
…And it’s fine. You’re fine. Everything is fine. You just have some questions like what’s it all for, what’s the purpose of life, what are you doing at all ever?
20. There’s a bunch of pressure to DO SOMETHING for your 30th
People are all, “What will you do for your 30th???” Part of you wants to ‘live it up’ but then a smarter, perhaps better, part of you is like maybe I’ll just ‘live it down.’
21. If you’re a woman, you think about your eggs a lot
Why are they leaving me? Where are they going? Have I lost my chance to bear a child? Should I freeze my eggs? Pro tip: don’t look at graphs about what happens to a woman’s eggs after age 30. Don’t do it. DON’T. DO. IT.
22. Liking certain people makes you feel gross
Being sexually attracted to Harry Styles feels really awkward. He’s younger than your youngest sibling. He’s a baby. Ew.
23. Seeing the achievements of the youth is depressing
Emma Watson is 24. Jennifer Lawrence is also 24. Lorde is 17. Lena Dunham was 24 when she started GIRLS. Good for them. Good for everyone. But, like, sad times for you.
24. You can no longer be a child prodigy
No longer is your age plus your achievement impressive. Now you’re just on your way to be some person in their thirties doing things. You’re not a teenage novelist. You’re not an early 20s financial wunderkind who is now a millionaire. Life is bleak.
25. But, but, but, you are so wise!
So goddamn wise. You’ve lived through things. You’ve seen things. You have the life experience of 29 years of life. Nobody can take that from you!
26. Some people your age are SO responsible
Intimidatingly responsible. Like, how do you know things? How are you taking care of a human? You get the feeling that you have done something very very wrong in your life to be embroiled in a perpetual existential crisis when other people are DOING RESPONSIBLE THINGS.
27. You remember what life was like before the internet
And you are always a bit nostalgic for the days of pagers and landline phones. “There was a time when you weren’t connected all the time! It doesn’t have to be this way…” you wistfully say to a person younger than you.
28. You have lived long enough that all your songs you listened to when you were young have been erased just enough from your memory that you can relisten to them and it will bring back a mix of nostalgia and newness and it will be the greatest thing about being alive for almost three full decades
Three decades though. Man. That’s rough.
29. To be honest, your life feels kind of liberating
You’re sort of in a throwaway time of life. You’re still young enough to be crazy, but old enough to know better, but you’re sort of grown so it doesn’t matter. It’s almost like you’re flying under the radar and you are free to do whatever the hell you want to do, which is true pretty much about any time in your life, but it’s especially prominent right now. Let’s enjoy it. Let’s maybe drink too many glasses of wine this weekend, then wake up the next morning for brunch or to do the laundry. That’s about where we’re at right now and that’s great. We’re sophisticated and grown, but also not at all. Go us.