15 Things You Can’t Do In Your 30s That You Could Do In Your 20s

1. Even Care

This list is mostly to express how little you will care about all the stupid little annoyances that are an everyday part of being a 20ish something as you get older. Don’t hold on to your youth or you’ll strangle it death. Just live, try to be happy with the things you do and the people in your life and let go of the dream that your 20s will be perfect.

If they are perfect then you’re the worse for it. I can honestly say I’m 1000% happier in my mid-30s than I ever was during the “who knows” years of my 20s.

2. Sleep Until Noon On The Weekends

This one’s on the list because I did this both Saturday and Sunday mornings this last weekend. Couldn’t get to sleep until 3am and had to get up at 7am for work. Nope. Nope. Nope.

3. Drink PBR

I mean, I’ll drink it at home, yeah, cause I’m cheap. I’m kidding, I don’t drink it at home.

4. Abide The Restaurant Crowd/Artsy People Who Don’t Make Any Art

Remember them? The restaurant/bar crowd/hangers on that all thought they would become chefs or famous waiters or be displayed in a gallery despite never producing any tangible work beyond a few found object pieces? Remember how they simply loved that night life too much to transition to some boring day job where you wouldn’t know where all the new fantastic bars and clubs were?

Congrats, at 35 time has destroyed them all. It won’t be pretty. Try to be nicer than I was. I was a grade A dick about it.

5. Casually Engaging In Hook Up Culture

Okay, you can but what’s the point? The mystery has long since been sucked out of this little lifestyle choice. If you’re single at 35 then you either want to be single forever or you’re working hard to not be single anymore. Hook-ups just basically don’t fit into the later category and I’ve yet to meet a 35-year-old man who was into hookup culture that wasn’t a legit swinger. I’m sure they’re out there but in my experience they’re pretty rare.

Besides, if you’re a 35-year-old man who’s stayed in shape and has even a normal amount of sexual experience for your age then you easily outclass the 20 somethings. Physically, you’re still prime and experience gives you an edge so why ruin the 20 something hook up culture for the kids? It just wouldn’t be fair.

6. Date 20 Year Olds

And you don’t want to either. At this point, the difference is such that it would be biologically possible to have been their father. 20 is the new 12 once you get past 32. Look, I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad or belittled or anything but the chasm of experience is just too great.

You’re still hot though. You get it, girl, or boy, or whatever you’re into.

7. Ask Your Parents For Money

Lulwut? No, you don’t ask your parents for money unless you’re bleeding out in the gutter. They’ve long since spent too much money on you, most likely. If anything, you should be starting to plan on how to pay them back in some way as they get older. Maybe not in money but in something.

My parents are nearly 60 now and while they’re both in good shape I probably only have 10 good years left with them barring some accident. These years are precious and you won’t know what that means until you notice the age spots.

8. Tell People You’re Finding Yourself, Exploring Your Interests, Etc.

You better be over this adolescent period where you’re trying to objectively discover the truth of yourself. There is no objective truth of yourself. There’s only what you do and what you’re willing to do and what you’ve done. Always understand that just because you’re doing a job or trying out an interest it need not define you and that goes both ways. There’s no need to try and remain aloof from your job because you’re afraid it will come to define you.

Don’t stress out about these things too much. You don’t need to take a whole chunk of time off to find yourself in some vague, rudderless way. Pick something that you can tolerate and that’s challenging and mine that vein until there’s a next thing. Always work hard. Working hard is twice as valuable as “finding the right career.” In the end, careers are jobs. Work hard and you’ll respect yourself whether it’s your life’s calling or not.

9. Wake And Bake

I never did this. Do people still do this? Seriously asking.

10. Texting Drama

Never happens. I noticed that dating at 30 started to take on the character of a business transaction in the beginning and not in a bad way. Parameters get defined very quickly. Not only do men not have time to endlessly text and try to define the relationship but women don’t have time to bullshit about it. We’ve all done this endlessly in the past and we hated it then, can we please just go on a dinner date, come home, and have sex so we can get up on time for work? This isn’t a bad thing, it takes most of the idiocy out of the 20 something dating game and replaces it with goals and responsibilities. Trust me, it’s preferable.

11. Having Fake People As Friends

Nope, I don’t have to care. I am fully capable of cutting entire nations out of my circle of friends if it means I get to have peace of mind and respect those around me. There is absolutely not one thing I have to prove to anyone about who I am as a person and I do not seek approval, I seek friendship.

This is the best part of getting older.

12. Live Life As If You’ve Got Nothing To Lose

This is out the window. I remember the very first time I began to get an inkling that I might be mortal and that I might lose something. I was 23 and I was on an airplane going through some very, very rough air over Texas. My girlfriend at the time, who I loved very much, was with me and it briefly crossed my mind in a very concrete way that we might crash and die. Sobering.

I’m not saying I get panicky now because I don’t but that go lucky “oh, it’ll all be fine” attitude I used to have is long gone. I’ve seen too many things not go fine for too many people. The things I care about are valuable and I’m out to protect them.

13. Wear Socks With Your Sandals

No one can stop me from doing this. It’s the perfect Fall compromise and I refuse to quit. It will eventually come back around and I’ll be ready.

14. Take Roadtrips Where You Mostly Just Drink At Different Bars

I absolutely regret taking road trips with people who mostly just wanted to take photos of themselves at dive bars scattered across the country as if we were some roving band of Fitzgeralds ironically plowing our way through a bottle of Jameson in every state in the Union. That was lame and that’s totally on me.

But wow, I wish I’d taken the initiative and spent my entire Summers engaging in as much wilderness camping and fishing as I could have. Do you know how cheap State Park cabins are? How awesome they are? I did not discover this until I was 30. So many years wasted, ashes on the road of my past.

15. Take Love For Granted

Life is battering and a lot of you likely already know it. You’ll keep taking little hits interspersed with some big hits. You’ll also have a lot of little successes and big successes, hopefully. But absolutely, love is fragile and people are fragile. You really can break the things in your life that are the most important to you. In my early to mid 20s, I believed everything was indestructible, that we could all bounce back.

Some don’t. For the love of God don’t break anyone if you can help it and don’t let other people break you either. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Shutterstock

‘Old Man Barnes’ is the pseudonym of James B. Barnes who is not an old man but sometimes feels like one on TC. He is, for instance, not as old as Jim Goad. Old Man Barnes is full of gems but most are unpolished and/or actually quartz.

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