Since I’m approaching my 30th birthday, I started to get anxious about all this. Was this a legitimate concern or was I just being a victim of peer pressure?
Since the topic was growing on me, I started to bring it up in the discussions, especially with my friends in their 30ies. All of them were reassuring and I tend to receive the same feedback: in his 20ies, one is supposed to try to find oneself and develop his own personality. One is supposed to be dumb and do all sort of plain stupid things to experiment life. But during his 30ies, one gets more mature, self-confident, with a clear path ahead. Being still young, curious and full of energy, but more independent and less naive, one can really enjoy life and make great accomplishments. Some of my even older friends (like in their 40ies ;-) say the best memories they have are from their 30ies.
Anyway, since I’m 2 months from turning 30, that means I have only two months left to be dumb and do plain stupid things. I’d be glad to ear your suggestions. But make no mistake; the list is quite long already:
- Being DWI and screw the car up …check
- Intend a double backflip to impress the chicks and end up with a broken wrist …check
- Get a tattoo that you will have to spend quite some money to get rid of …check
- Spend 5 years on a relationship that went nowhere …check (I might actually have learned a thing or two from that one)
- Ride your mountain bike as fast as you can in an unknown, curved, steep dirt path and broke 4 front teeth, and the jaw bone in 3 parts …check
- Claim to your friends that you can drink a bottle a rum by yourself and that you won’t even get drunk, and find yourself almost brain dead …check
- Plan a round-trip from Chicago to New Orleans over fall break with a dying 25 years old Oldsmobile and break down in the middle of nowhere, stuck for a freezing night without cellphone …check
- Drink 4 cups of maté in the evening and still be insomniac after 4am on a Sunday night with a busy week ahead at work, and find yourself blogging about turning 30 …check (actually, this one is just going on right now…)
Youthful indiscretion or life experiment, I could go on like that for a good while. But let’s focus on what’s more important: it’s not the Past. It’s not the Future. It’s the Now. Another feedback I regularly got from my friends in their 30ies is that it makes no difference! That there is no such thing as a sudden enlightenment while turning 30! That they wake up the first morning of their 30ies exactly the same as when they went to bed for the last time of their 20ies! 30 might sound like a big number, but at the end of the day it’s only a number. If a year was only 363 days long, I’d have turned 30 already by now! If it was 369 days long, I’d still have a year before turning 30… Bottom line: no worries, who cares if get married and get kids when I am 29, 31, 32 or even 35, as long as it’s the right time for me! I'll keep learning all my life long, therefore there will always be a few more plain stupid things that will have to be done.
With that in mind, and the book “The Power of Now” in my hand, I’m ready to seize the day more than ever!
Alphaville - Forever Young (1984), here.