I’ve turned 30 today.
I still remember the time I turned 13. I remember when I turned 18, later when I turned 21 and again when I turned 25. I remember them all, they’re important birthdays as per the ways of the world. But what I remember most of all is that I didn’t feel different in any way. It was somewhat disappointing to tell you the truth, they were supposed to be such big deals. But they weren’t. They really weren’t.
So, as I approached my 30th birthday and the customary F.R.I.E.N.D.S dialogues (“why God, why?!”) started doing the rounds, I wondered whether this one would somehow be special. It’s taken me the day to figure it out… and yup, this one’s different.
Thirty is one of those in-between ages. It’s too late for a quarter-life crisis and too early for a mid-life crisis. It’s too late to start worrying about an uncertain future and too early to be disappointed over a regret-filled past. You haven’t fully played your cards yet, lots can still be changed. You haven’t lost the game yet, the tide can still be turned. If you pause for a moment and look back, you can still see where you started from. You can still see that turn you decided not to take. You can still walk down that road if you want to.
You’re also more sure of yourself. Failure doesn’t scare you as much as it did a few years ago. You’ve had a few tumbles, a few falls but you’re still on your feet. You know you can handle it. You’re still young enough to take risks but you’re old enough to know which risks are worth taking. You’re young enough to be enthusiastic and old enough to be patient. Youth and experience have both planted their seeds within you, you’re slowly understanding how to use them to your advantage. You haven’t figured it out yet and you like the uncertainty. It’s what makes you tick. It takes you exactly where you want to be.
Yes, this birthday’s different. Coz it’s not depressing. Coz it’s kinda exciting. And I didn’t expect that.