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Two Sides of Thirty Something

The holidays and my birthday have passed, and somehow I’m thirty. Not at all sure how this happened. Certainly didn’t plan for it. Thinking back to the chap I was ten years ago—a hyper anxious undergrad who was sure he had been admitted by mistake and _worse_ had only just figured out to shave his head and was considering growing it out again—makes me cringe. Back then I thought that by the time I was thirty, I would have it all figured out: career, money, family. After thirty, there wouldn’t even be a need to think about what would come next because all major life decisions would have been made. It would be time to dig into the true halcyon days of my life.

Those readers who are over thirty are invited to pause so as to better laugh to the point of tears and point and holler in hilarity at twenty year old Blake.

Things turned out differently than expected. Of course, we can all see, they always turn out differently. So the question is then, what now? What exactly does this fourth decade of life mean?

Well, in an attempt to become the hippest med student novelist dyslexic you know, I’m going to offer you two musical perspectives on the big three zero. Both by artists I love.

First up: “Thirty Something” by Jay-Z

Second up: “My Next Thirty Years” by Tim McGraw

Now comes the part of the blog, gentle or not so gentle reader, where you put your $0.02 and tell me…well anything: advice me which route to take (hip hop or country) in to the thirties, tell me what you tried, make snide remarks about your elders, whatever you care to do.


14 Responses to “Two Sides of Thirty Something”

  • Well, turning 34 today, I can tell you it still seems very weird. I just really thought I’d be a much more together person. I was thinking yesterday, it’s so strange that I was 14 twenty years ago. That just doesn’t seem right.

    I am also kind of digging the thirties, though. I’m much more comfortable with myself, and with who I am. I don’t feel the need so much to live up to exterior standards. I can just be.

    Sometimes I do miss being the golden child, though. The expectation that I would do brilliant things with my life. I don’t know, maybe I don’t miss it so much after all!

    • First off, super happy birthday to you, Marian! Hope it’s your best yet. And secondly, who says you’re not still golden. “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” -George Eliot

  • One of the biggest shocks of adulthood: the discovery that adults don’t know either. And that now I need glasses (which I ought to be frickin’ wearin’ right now … excuse me … ). A joy: the complete lack of need to be cool, and an occasional laugh at the youngsters who look at me and think they’ve missed some hep thing.

    • yeah, the glasses one just hits you out of the more-blurry-than-it-used-to-be blue, huh? as for the laughing (with care and sympathy) at the young’uns, i agree completely 🙂

  • I LOVED turning 30. I felt that for the first time I was my real age. I always felt too young before. So for me it remains to be seen if my real age progresses with my mental age or at some point I start feeling old. I don’t know what it is, but the 30s just feel right.

    How I weather my 40’s will depend on if I finally get a book published. 😉 I would think that with you being as accomplished as you are at age 30 (and you are, don’t BS yourself) you’d have no trouble accepting the new digit in the tens column.

    • oh, and i don’t mean to whine. i quite like being 30. it’s more a feeling of “oddness.” it seems no different than the late 20s. likely isn’t. but somehow there’s all this expectation built around it. i guess that’s it, the social-psychological construct of 30…or…something 😉

  • I’ve always felt older than my years, actually, so, at 32, I kinda finally feel my age. Then again, I’m probably not the best person to ask, considering that I quit my “responsible” office job and am thoroughly enjoying my Domino’s job. It doesn’t pay enough to keep for long and has no benefits, but for a fill-in job until the employment market opens back up again? Oh, yeah.

    But I figure that I spent my twenties in two “responsible” jobs and was miserable, so I’m old enough to have done my time and ought to find something I enjoy. There’s something liberating about that mentality.

    • When I was a teacher, I had a older friend who would always congratulate anyone who had recently left a “responsible” but soul crushing job. Think we should also congratulate those who stay out of such jobs 🙂 Congrats!

  • Clearly hip hop, for hilarity’s sake.

  • Also, for the record, I wanted to include “As Good as I Once Was” by Toby Keith in the list of ridiculous country songs about men getting older. However, I couldn’t find a video that didn’t, in the last minute or so, condone chauvinistic harassment. disapproving blake very much disapproves. watch and laugh until the end when IMNSHO you should scowl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldQrapQ4d0Y

  • Things always turn out different than expected, don’t they? When I turned 30, I took it hard, as I spent most of my life before it finding the idea of a 30-year-old Jack inconceivable. In my late teens and early 20s, I didn’t expect to *live* to see 30.

    But, of course, I did.

    Now I have my doubts about 40. Surely, a 40-year-old Jack just isn’t possible. 😉

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