01 August 2007

Reflections on turning thirty

To make me feel better about turning 30 some people have told me that 30 is the new 20, or 40 is the new 30, or retro tight swim shorts (any colour) are the new black, or whatever.

But for me 30 is the new 29.

It's true. 30 has replaced 29 as 'that age on the cusp of adulthood'. And not 'young adult' as the term is understood by those who classify fiction books, and not 'adult' as it applies to prodigious over-achievers, who by my age (30) are now being groomed for CEO-dom, or retiring from the entertainment industry to promote their own swimwear line. But adult as it is understood by the rest of us.

At any rate, it is a natural progression. Not to get overly philosophical, but 30 ALWAYS follows 29. Think about it. It's true.

29 is the last year of the twenties. OK, fine, no big deal. But 30 isn't the birthday to fear. That birthday will always be 40. 30 just pushes you into a better position to reflect on your now-finished twenties, and simultaneously preflect (I can do that now, neologizing is one of the privileges your thirties bring) on the years ahead.

And they too, these years ahead, can be good years. And people in their thirties can be good people, despite some of the prejudice and brainwashing (eg."don't trust anyone over thirty"). To which I have two things to say. Firstly: fuck you, hippy.

And secondly, I'm not over thirty. I am thirty. It's different. There's a big difference, but you won't understand it, until you're my age. Which is 30. Let me explain something important to you, you fucking hippy. A subtle but significant detail for which you'll thank me later.

30 means presenting an air of having ones shit together.

Statistically speaking, one doesn't need to actually have ones shit together until somewhere between 34 and 37 (results may vary), but at age 30 one must look and act at frequent, if irregular, intervals, like somebody who knows something about something. Not just in appearance, but mostly. Sophistication should be manifest in clothes and speech, yet you can still get stoned and practice ninja sweepkicks when nobody is home; it is the best of both worlds.

And like I said before, you only really need to get your shit together when you hit 37. Because then you gotta start saving for a sports car. Or a boob job. Or whatever. Because life begins at 30, and mid-life crisis begins at 40.

But forget about 40. Yes, a 30 year old needs to make responsible life choices and long-term plans for the future, but not right this second: it's time to enjoy the 30ness of 30. It's the new black.

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