500 Words Per Day

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Countdown to Thirty

It's a little less than 3 days until my 30th birthday and I'm feeling fine. Funny to think that if you asked me about turning 30 back when I was still 25, you would have gotten some wacky, over-dramatic soliloquy out of me. It sucks, I'm getting old and what will I do then would be some of the more choice sentiments found in my ramble. That was a particularly tender time for me, since I was still coming to grips with my "quarter-century crisis". Thirty was looming large and, judging by how quickly my life went from ages 20 - 25, it was really just around the corner for me.

I stand at Thirty's doorstep now and all I can muster is a relieved, "MEH".

A small part of me is grateful that my 20s are over and done with. I spent the better part of those years alternately being very afraid and pretending not to be afraid. I also took many small, stupid risks while shying away from the really colossal, moronic risks that might have really changed my life. There was fun to be had, as well as some experimentation. I just wish I had experimented with things even more. Again, it comes back to my fear. It's the fear and insecurity about myself that I've always had and the same I still carry with me today, like an old coat.

As each year passes, I managed to shrug off more layers of fabric from this coat. Turning 30 is just a blip in what is my life-long process of accepting myself. Each year I realize my weaknesses are not always deal-breakers. I get a better appreciation of my own quirks, learn new lessons from mistakes made long past and slowly but surely, I come to cherish the qualities that others recognize in me and the very ones I rarely give myself credit for.

Oh I'll regret not having the chance to be a complete dumbass doing completely dumbass things as a 20-year old. Come to think of it, I wasn't exactly the most reckless, dumbass 20-year old out there, not by a long shot. I'll just have to settle for getting into dumbass shenanigans in my thirties, when I'm slightly smarter and just slightly more experienced. The thrills may not be the same, they'll just be different.

So in a sense, I am committed to making my thirties my new twenties. My twenties, minus the fear, the anger and the aimlessness. No, this is not about recapturing my youth like they do in Pepsi commercials. This is about forging ahead, taking risks and jumping on new opportunities.

Young, sadly, is not what I feel. I'm feeling lethargic, I am cramps and aches and I generally couldn't feel more like an old man than I do right now. So here's to creeping across that line into thirtydom in true form: creeking and wheezing, yes, but ready to duke it out for at least another 10 years.

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