The Anti “Anti-30”: Age and Issues

One thing about taking public transportation is that at times you can’t help but listen to other people. (Unless in the case of Metra’s quiet car, then it’s just funny to watch people freak out at any sort of noise.) This is especially the case when they are right near me, loud and have a slight twinge of valley girl in their voice.  It’s like  some sort of beeping alert. No matter how hard I try my ears still catch it.

I usually block them out for the most part since I have yet to either buy a new ipod or load music into the crackBlackberry but this time I couldn’t.  It was two, possibly three but two voices were distinct, 20 something women talking about age.  Been there. Don’t that. Didn’t buy the tshirt since it was overpriced.

I was just about to seriously ignore them until I heard the standard blabbering about 30 going downhill.  At first I thought they meant kids since they had just been talking about a friend who was pregnant.  Ok, so that is medically said at times – though I don’t know all the details. THEN it flat out became a discussion of age.  One of them was 23 and was talking about how 24/25/26 was when you are starting to get old.


I didn’t say anything since I didn’t want to be like the wacko yelling at the kids. (BTW I did see him recently and had to use all my self control not to start laughing at him and making kissy noises.)  I shook my head, mentioned the conversation to a few friends, and started mental notes on this post.

When I was about to turn 30 I had a number of people who asked me if I was freaking out about it. Um, no and honestly being 30 isn’t any much different than being 29 IMO.  (It actually made it extremely more difficult for Darth Husband to pull off a surprise party as well. He did though and it was lovely.) It just makes me go twen-thirty sometimes if asked my age but in general that is a rare case.  I recently read an article about Sarah Michelle Geller who commented on her 30s being when she really found herself/got in a good place/insert random cliche comment here.

I do agree though.  When I was in my early twenties, I didn’t have a lot of stuff settled. I am not saying that there aren’t any women pre-25 that have their shit (yeah I swore, sheet or stuff just didn’t work righ) together since I know quite a few who have.   I was finishing school, bouncing from relationship dud to moron and back, and just figuring out what I wanted to do in my life.  While there was a lot that I did know, there was a lot that scared me.  I had a plan but didn’t know what elements of that plan would work.

Add several years, lots of trial and error, decisions not to buy the Vespa and the condo on the Northside of Chicago, getting fed up with dating  and you have my late 20s.  That is when, for me, things started making more sense and falling into place.

What really bugs me is this view that turning a certain ages means all doom and gloom. Cue the thunder! Cue the lightning! Someone has gotten a year OLDER!   I am not anti humor about birthdays but I am anti panic attacks. I know people who had serious issues with turning 25.  Quarter life crisis is a term that is actually used now.  Like 30, 25 was another of those “oh, ok yeaahhhh” ages.

I think life should be celebrated.  It doesn’t need to be a party style celebration but celebration in a terms of appreciation for the lack of a better word.  There is that saying, crude as it may seem to some people, “You either get old or you’re dead.” I know a lot of people who have left this earth way too early would work gladly take that extra year or years.

Have you or someone you know freaked out about turning a certain age? Are you like me and think it’s not that big of a deal?


5 thoughts on “The Anti “Anti-30”: Age and Issues

  1. This is such a great discussion. I will admit, being 30 scares me. Even turning 25 was a little hard for me, but 25 ended up being a pretty good year. I’m not looking forward to turning 26 in December because I have to find my own medical insurance, but 26 will be good too.

    I think for me it’s scary because I restarted my life. I graduated college at 21 and entered corporate America. Then all of the sudden, I was 24 and I was a freaking undergraduate again. With the new life path I was taking, I wasn’t expecting to see the nice fat paycheck again until I was at least 28. 30 is just two years after that and that’s when “my reproductive system will begin to slow” and it just seems like there is SO much pressure at 30 to start thinking about a family and such. And I will only be 2 years into my career and new profession at that point, so kids isn’t exactly what I anticipate I’ll be itching to have at 30.

    So, I just get nervous about the timing of everything and how it will all go down. Being 26 when I’m going to graduate college, again, sucks. It’s been really hard for me mentally to come to terms with it. Even to the point that I’m thinking of delaying graduate school and just getting to where I’m a RD so I can start working again and do graduate school once I’m working. There’s so much pressure in our society to get yourself set up for families and kids and a great profession in your late 20s – early 30s.

    And honestly, let’s not even get started on life in Texas, because being 25, I should already be married and have at least 1 kid, possibly 2. Here in Texas, tradition states you marry someone after dating for about a year, maybe two, then right away you start your family. So I’m already off the beaten path having been with my boyfriend 3.5 years with no ring and still finishing college!

  2. I go back and forth really – birthday were never really a big deal at my house. (Hell, for my 16th, I had to bake my own damn cake!) I would have LOVED to have had a surprise 30th birthday party – or any year for that matter. But, instead, on my 30th I was celebrating my divorce and starting anew. Nothing wrong with that. Part of me is sad that I feel like I wasted my 20s and have to start all over again, dating and whatnot. But, at the same time, I’ve gotten WAY more compliments from people thinking I’m 26-28 since I turned 31.

  3. I wouldn’t say that the approach of my 30th birthday scares me. It’s more just interesting to me that I’m now officially in my late twenties and realizing that 30 isn’t nearly as old as I used to think it was. I used to think that 20 and 25 and 30 were going to feel really different than they actually do. That I’d feel like an adult and I’d have my stuff together. I don’t feel that way. Whether my expectations were incorrect or I’m just disorganized, I’m not sure, but I’m pretty happy with where I’m at even if it looks different than I thought it was going to.

  4. Age hasn’t even been a big thing for me. Usually I’m lucky to remember how old I actually am. I’ve never understood why people get so worked up about turning 25 or 30 or whatever age because it’s just not a big deal to me.

    Maybe it’s because everyone seems to take me for much youger than I actually am anyway. If anything I actually get more upset about people thinking I’m closer to 20 than I am to 30!

    What makes me “feel old” more than anything else is all the weddings and babies around me. I absolutely love my friends, and it brings me so much joy to get to share these major life events with them, but being witness to those major life events puts the pressue on me much more than knowing 30 is just around the corner.

  5. I can just see if you had gone off on those girls. It could have been entertaining. 🙂

    But yeah, I’m not scared of 30 although I do feel anxious because I’m ready to get married and have babies because well I don’t want to be an older parent and want to really enjoy my kids. That being said, I also want to live in the moment and enjoy our life as it is as two young individuals. But 28 definitely feels younger than I thought it would. I still have a lot to figure out and explore, but that’s okay.

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