I turned 30 on January 6th, and a weird thing happened…
30 was supposed to be this big, momentous occasion, half filled with dread, half filled with excitement about what comes next. Don’t get me wrong– I was both horrified and excited about exiting my 20’s and entering my 30’s, ready to kick ass and take names. There was only one little hitch– I was entering my 30’s doing the opposite of that, and I wasn’t sure my 30’s were going to be as great as I’d once imagined.
Late in November, I was let go from a job I’d been at for 2 years. It was a job that required a lot of emotional attention and relationships, so being let go was a bit of a shock, and took some getting used to. I made it through the Christmas season relatively unscathed, going about my underemployed life (as I was employed part-time at the Caribou Coffee I’d been frequenting for the last 10 years), and applying for jobs every few days. There was emotional days, callous days, and motivated days. But all I knew was I was never sure what a new day would bring as far as my emotional health.
One day, January 5th came rolling along and I thought, “This is it. This is my moment. In the next 24 hours, my life is going to change, and instead of a ’20-something,’ I’ll be 30. That’s when my life is going to start.” I went to sleep a little late that night having the Facebook notifications already starting, with anticipation of knowing that I’d wake up a brand new person.
January 6th. I wake up. I look the same. I feel the same. My wardrobe is all the same. I’m still underemployed. My fridge is still scarcely stocked. I was absolutely no different now than I was 8 hours ago when I went to sleep. 30 was no different than 29.
Part of me wonders if I should have been disappointed. 30 was supposed to be a new beginning. Instead, it was the day that was the new beginning. I was able to wake up, get myself out of bed, and claim a life that had been gifted to me by the universe, God, higher power, or whatever you want to call it. 30 was not some magical thing. No, instead it was this arbitrary deadline for some major life events and starting line for the next required events that no one was actually keeping track of. 30 was a fabricated idea that I wasn’t going to live into. I hate to admit it but, everyone who has ever said that “age is just a number” was right.
So here I am. 2 weeks into 30. I still look the same, people still claim that I can’t be a day over 23, and my fridge is only slightly better stocked. I’m still looking for the next chapter in my life to start, but I won’t let my age define when or where that happens. I’m taking it a day at a time, realizing that every day I wake up, see the sun, and smell the air is a sweet gift from something beyond myself and that I will forever be grateful that nothing happened when I turned 30.