Turning 30

I am facing 30. It’s coming right at me. I don’t honestly know how to feel about it either. I can’t help but feel like I haven’t accomplished much. By the time my dad was 30 my sister was 10 and I was eight. We were practically people. I will never forget for his 30th birthday we bought a simple wooden box and painted it gold. Inside the box we put a rose that we spray-painted black. He may as well have been 100. I couldn’t comprehend how old he was. A black rose to signify the end of any meaningful life he had left on this Earth. Yes, we were little shits.

And now it’s my turn and I feel like I exist in a different universe than the one he lived in. By 30 he had been married, and divorced, and married again. He had fathered two children. We had moved halfway around the world and back. He owned his own business and made a living that supported his family. We weren’t wealthy but we always had enough. As I approach this milestone I haven’t accomplished any of what he did. I was in a very long relationship, and came close to getting married once. I don’t have children, I cannot comprehend having kids. I’m way too selfish to have kids. I work for the business that he created. I still feel very much like a child a lot of the time. I lived on my own for nine years but recently moved into my grandmother’s basement.

No doubt my bad habits stunted my development as a person. A lot of the time I couldn’t get out of my own way. I failed out of college and embarked on a long road of just getting by. Possibly looking for material to make myself feel worse about the situation I googled “turning 30” and stumbled across this article, which lists 15 things I should have accomplished by the time I turn 30. Now, the list was clearly written by a careerist goon, as several of the office-centric categories do not apply in my life; however, many of the ones that do apply I cannot check off my list.

I know that I’m not alone in this situation. Maybe it’s the economy, or maybe it’s the culture that we’re living in, but many of my friends are still living at home, still attempting to get an education – for the second or third time. Leaving the nest definitely seems to be something that is trending toward a little later in life. In my case I flew off early but had to return when my life imploded under the weight of my bad choices.

With a renewed purpose in life, and a mind and body clean of the poisons that kept me static through my twenties, I do not embark upon 30 fearfully. I have to embrace where I currently am to move forward into the next decade. The things I did made me the person that I am, and I am lucky to be here at all. So while my life may not be where I imagined it would be, I’m alive and clean and God affords me the opportunity to do better tomorrow.