By Lindsay Patton-Carson
I don’t get the big deal about turning 30. People react to it as if life ends after 29, which I don’t buy.
As someone working their way out of their 20s (I’m currently 28), I’m personally ready for the next decade. Specifically, I’m ready to leave behind the confusion, bitterness and insecurities that made up a good majority of my twenties.
Being in your twenties is weird in that you have to figure out stuff. A lot of stuff. You only have X amount of years to figure out the rest of your life. It’s hard. You’re still a baby in this great big world, but yet, you have to have an answer to everything, which is ridiculous, because during that time, you only have questions and doubts. To be blunt, my early twenties were awful. Not a damn day went by where I didn’t think at least six of the following:
“I hate journalism.”
“Oh shit. If I hate journalism, what am I going to do?”
“I like Spanish. I’ll help the Hispanic community!”
“Oh my god, my Spanish is horrible. Maybe I should go back to journalism.”
“WHY DON’T ANY GUYS LIKE ME!?!?!?!?!?!”
“SCREW GUYS! I DON’T NEED THEM.”
“Why am I so alone?????” (While sitting on the kitchen floor eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch out of the box.)
“How do I get my life to be like that kid’s in Almost Famous?”
“Um. I don’t think I believe in god anymore. How am I going to hide this from the Christians that make up approximately 80 percent of my friends?”
My mid-twenties weren’t much better, either. At 24, I got a full-time job at an entertainment magazine and was planning a wedding, so the “SCREW GUYS!”/”What am I going to do?” aspects of my life were gone. Instead, I was dealing with the following:
“My fiance and I moved in together. Now all my friends will know I’m not a Christian anymore.”
“I don’t know if I want to even have a wedding.”
“My bridesmaid said WHAT about me!?”
“My coworker told my boss WHAT about me!?”
“Why do my parents think their divorce should be easy on me because I’m an adult?”
“Am I really doing what I love?”
“How am I going to pay for a new car?”
“Who are my real friends? Do I even have any left?”
Now that I’m nearing the big 3-0, life seems, well, less dramatic. I have a sense of self that just gets stronger as time goes on. I can now say the scary a-word (atheist, that is) that held me back, and while I’ve lost a good bunch of friends because of it, I still have those few solid friendships I can always depend on. And I do have real friends and I did find out I’m doing what I love. And guess what else? My car’s paid off now.
See, things aren’t so bad after all.
The point where I started to feel OK with myself, and I mean really OK, was around age 27. Only a year and a half ago. While in my younger years, I made a big spectacle about not giving a shit about what anyone thought, I gave one. I gave a lot of shits. And I do still care a little about what people think, just the right ones this time.
By not caring about what’s cool or what people think, I have a better idea of who I am. From what I’ve seen, there’s so much less pressure on being cool in your 30s and upward. Try as we might, we’re not ever going to be eternally cool like Gwen Stefani. (Although, I’m going to try anyway ’cause homegirl’s bangin’.) People are starting families, getting serious about their careers and putting a bigger emphasis on what they want out of life. There is no time for cool when you’re doing that. And as I’m getting older, I’m realizing it’s pointless to worry about the things I did in my twenties because nobody cares. And if they do care, they need a life.
Then again, since I’m still 28, this could all be speculation. But from what I’ve seen, I doubt it.