Next year I turn 30 and I would be bullshitting you if I told you I have it all figured out. I mean, does anyone have life ‘figured out’? I’m not sure if I even know what that really means. The older I get the less I care about comparing myself to my friends or peers and the more relaxed and comfortable I become with myself. But as much as I like to think I’ve grown and evolved throughout this decade I still realize somedays I feel unsure about it all.
I think the good thing about being this age is that even if you do feel that uncertainty about the future it’s not really all that scary anymore. There are a lot of positives that come with getting closer to that elusive scary stage of adulthood. Like the great Mark Hoppus of the esteemed pop-punk band Blink 182 said, “Well, I guess this is growing up.”
You stop doing things just for the experience
So much of your 20s is testing yourself, figuring out what you like and don’t like, and pushing yourself to see just how far you’ll go. Once you hit your mid-20s all of this starts slowing down. You know your limits now. You don’t have anything to prove anymore and you don’t care to impress anyone. If someone gives you shit for staying home in your pjs on a Friday night you’re just like, and? what’s your point?
You’re okay with not having it all figured out
You’re almost 30 and although that feels really adult you know there are some things you can’t expect to have all figured out by now. Meeting the “right” person. Scoring your dream job. These things take time. You see your old college friend’s status update about some awesome thing they’ve done and you get that twinge of jealousy, but then you’re like, eh, I’m just not there yet. And that’s okay.
You get REALLY excited about things you used to think were lame
Four words: TARGET HOME APPLIANCES SECTION.
You become closer with your mom
This can be totally situational, I know. Not everyone has the privilege of being able to have a close relationship with family, let alone their mothers. I think, though, as someone who struggled immensely with my own relationship with my mom that the older I get the more I’m willing to forgive the past. If you are able to have a relationship with your mom I think that bond only strengthens over time. The older you get the more you really value your time with her.
You start taking up random passion projects.
You decide you want to get really good at something – perfecting Sunday brunch at home, being able to do your own car repairs, redecorating your home office, knitting a cozy ass blanket or sweater for someone. Instead of using your free time to party it up with your friends you spend more time trying to find projects you can throw yourself into that can better yourself or enhance your life somehow.
Your conversations have dramatically changed from the ones you used to have in your early 20s.
Early 20s was all about which professors to avoid, who had the Adderall hookup on campus, which take out restaurants stayed open past bar closing time. Late 20s your conversations are about real life shit – if you should consider freezing your eggs, IRAs, rent controlled apartments, etc.
You talk about college and realize that was almost 10 years ago.
2007 seems like it was just a couple years ago then you actually think about it and what the hell it was SEVEN YEARS AGO.
You go back and forth between wanting kids or wanting to just get a dog.
They’re kind of the same thing, right?
Your social media feeds start getting so …depressing.
Engagement announcements, pics of house purchases, people bragging about their trip to some picture perfect Caribbean island. Even if you know social media is just designed for people to project an image of non-stop joy and happiness with only a small percentage of it being real you can’t help but feel like everyone else has a perfect life except you at times.
You start making more practical life decisions.
When you were 18 or 22 you thought it sounded fun to live in a shitty apartment in a big city with a bunch of other people and pay out the ass for rent. You didn’t care you had to work 60 hours a week at two or three part time jobs just to afford your ppseudoSex and the City lifestyle. Now, you’re like, hmmm maybe I should move to a more affordable part of the country.
You develop more refined tastes.
It seems like only a few years ago when you were basically a connoisseur of the cheapest booze around. Whether it was PBR or the $2.99 bottle of wine from 7-11 you could handle your lowbrow liquor like a true champ. But now you’re a little older. And your hangovers are a little more legit. Okay, a lot more legit. You’ve experimented with different flavors, prices, and finally figured out what works for you. You’re not interested in sacrificing taste and potential nasty hangovers just to save a few dollars. 2006 you would be so disappointed at how snobby you’ve become.
You parents buy you a Keurig or sweet vacuum for the holidays and you get EXCITED.
Now you can make your home even THAT much better.
Going out means something entirely different than it did 10 years ago.
Time spent after work or on the weekends is more valued now. You’re tired, man. Work is no fucking joke at this age. It doesn’t mean you’re getting old just because you don’t stay out til 3 a.m. on a weeknight like you used to. You’re just a bit more socially selective. Things like joining a friend for a really great meal or indulging in custom made cocktails is more your style now.
You occasionally feel the need for a serious deep clean.
You know what I’m talking about. A week goes by, maybe you’ve had friends or family over, maybe work has been insane and you haven’t had time to clean. You look around at your apartment and you’re like, OMG ALL OF THIS NEEDS TO BE BLEACHED AND VACUUMED IMMEDIATELY. You scrub the shit out of your kitchen, organize a closet, whatever, and suddenly you feel that sense of peace wash over you.