As my half-birthday approaches, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the almost 30 life crisis is a very real thing. Feelings of inadequacy along with a strong sense of pride permeate the minds of my peers and I. It feels great, but it also sucks. There is something about being 29 that causes a completely irrational sense of urgency. No matter how far you have come, and no matter how much you have grown, you still feel like you should be more, more than what you are, and more of who you are. Your late twenties bring about great reflection, exploration, and constant self-evaluation. Here are some amazing things that happen at age 29.
1. Your tolerance for BS drastically declines. In other words, you absolutely and positively cannot even. You’re smart enough to pick your battles, and you simply won’t waste your time on the bullshit.
2. You learn to reclaim your time and start living for yourself. You become fully aware that your time is more valuable than money, and you refuse to waste it on people and things that do not bring you joy or satisfaction.
3. You begin to focus on the important things. You realize that your parents and grandparents are getting older, if you’re fortunate enough to have them. You treasure and cultivate your those valuable relationships with family and friends.
4. Stability becomes a priority. Having a sustainable living situation becomes your focus. You start to take control of your circumstances.
5. You become fiscally responsible. If paying your bills on time means skipping happy hour or staying in on a Friday night, you’ll do it. You understand the importance of having a savings account, and you’re prepared in the event of an unexpected expense.
6. You learn to stop second-guessing yourself. You speak with more certainty. You act with confidence, and you are way more secure than you were when you were 21.
7. You become even more self-aware. You know your strengths and weaknesses, yet you’re receptive to feedback from the people in your life. You’re solid, but you’re not too proud to improve.
8. You stop overextending yourself to others. Self-care is everything, so you avoid putting yourself on the back-burner. You know your limits, and you are comfortable saying that magical two-letter word, “no.”
9. You begin to think more critically about your wardrobe. It may be time to ditch that old reliable tube top that has been your going out staple for years. You’re almost 30, but you still want to maintain a fashionable, youthful look. When you’re shopping for clothes, you find yourself questioning, “can I wear this to work?”
10. Hangovers last about 48 hours. You’re no spring chicken. You’ll need two days to recover from a wild night out– wild meaning you had 4 drinks and two-stepped for a half-hour in a raunchy bar that plays Top 40 and trap music mashups.
11. You rarely get FOMO. Fear of missing out isn’t a thing. Staying in seems more practical than going out. Chill nights are the best nights. Besides, you’ve done your share of partying and you know you’re not missing anything.
12. You learn to set boundaries. You learn to stand up for yourself and set boundaries at work and in your personal life. You know your limits, and you’re unwilling to sacrifice your inner peace.
13. You set attainable goals. You have a vision. You know how you want your life to look, and you set both short and long-term goals to get there.
14. Dating becomes more strategic. You won’t date someone just because you find them attractive. You recognize that other qualities such as earning potential and loyalty are more important.
15. You realize that situationships aren’t the best use of your time. Flings are fun and all, but they can be a waste of time. You know your worth, and that there’s more to life than booty calls and the occasional date.
16. Spirituality becomes paramount. You realize that life is better when you connect with something: God, Allah, Buddha, whoever or whatever it may be. You find that being spiritual is rewarding, and it renews your sense of purpose.
17. You’re no longer phased by others’ social media highlight reels. Others’ timelines don’t phase you, because you understand that you have your own.
18. Spending money on experiences trumps spending money on the tangibles. You’d rather buy a Groupon for skydiving than a pair of Yeezys. Life’s for living.
19. Traveling becomes more accessible. You may not be made of money, but taking a trip or two a year is doable, and oh so necessary to maintain work-life balance.
20. You realize that inner peace is more important than acceptance. You learn what makes you happy, and you do it, whether others like it or not. Fucking grab a skateboard, take up a new hobby, or go on a solo trip to disconnect. You do things that make you feel more alive.
21. Real conversations feel much better than small talk. You’ve had your share of pointless, superficial conversations. You prefer to converse about race relations, creative ideas, or your plans to positively impact the world.
22. You opt to go places where you can actually hold conversations with people. You can’t hold a conversation with anyone in the club. Sipping wine at an art gallery or connecting with like-minded, dope individuals at a networking event is more your speed.
23. You start to take skincare more seriously. You may not have fine lines and wrinkles, yet. However, you know that investing in a decent moisturizer and eye cream won’t hurt.
24. You begin to make strides in your career. If you want a promotion, you work harder. If you need a career change, you take control. You seek fulfillment in your career and realize that the sky is the limit.
25. You learn the art of taking calculated risks. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Though this statement is true, you know you can’t quit your job and pursue a career in music if you’ve never sang on key or played an instrument. You take smart, practical risks that are sure to be both challenging and rewarding.
26. You become more open to new experiences. You expand your horizons because you know that new experiences will make you a better person. You welcome opportunities to do things you’ve never done before.
27. You feel comfortable making your own doctor, dentist, and dermatology appointments. Your mom doesn’t have to remind you anymore. Go you!
28. You take more pride in your living space. You treat yourself to a new candle, or buy a cute new rug for your apartment. It’s inevitable that you’ll spend more time at home, so it’s important that you curate your space to your liking.
29. You stop looking at age 30 as the end, and embrace it as a new beginning. You’re not old. Life has just begun. You know that you don’t have it all figured, and you’re okay with that. After all, you’ve come such a long way, and the best is yet to come.