30 is the new…
The year is 2012. According to the Mayans, some internet yahoos, and John Cusack, this is our last year on Earth. It is also the year my high school classmates and I turn 30; coincidence? I think not.
First, some background. For whatever reason, graduates of Albany High School remain friends longer than students at most other schools. This seems to apply to all graduation years; it even spans different cliques and racial barriers. I can’t explain it, but I do love it.
Anyway, I am lucky enough to have a group of 20 or so high school friends that I still contact regularly. That number grows to about 50 if you include other graduation years, but for the purposes of this post we’re sticking with the “smoke-free class of 2000”.
Tomorrow kicks off the first of many 30th birthday celebrations for my “group”. This is a rather significant milestone and one that some of my friends are having a hard time dealing with.
For many, your twenties are marked by love lost and found; careers hated and discovered; apartments lived in and rented; booze drank and puked up. Some are already well on their way to full-blown adulthood: they’ve gotten married, bought houses, had babies, and settled on their profession. Others are still deciding on a career, just finding love, getting over heartbreak or dealing with some financial woes. No matter where we are in life, this is most certainly a time for reflection.
Me? I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I have a great job, a wonderful wife, fantastic friends and a supportive family. Are there things I would change? Sure. I’d love to be thinner, have a nicer car, and live in a bigger place (maybe somewhere else). But on the whole, things are great.
Perhaps that is why I’m not looking at turning 30 with fear or trepidation. Unfortunately, I know that’s not the case with everyone. For some, dropping the “2” and adopting the “3” is a real punch to the gut. It means their youth, their free-spirited ways, their recklessness, are being thrown away and replaced with mortgages, aching muscles, grey hair (if you have hair) and wrinkles.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Thirty is NOT old. Not even close. Think about how much more life we have ahead of us. I get giddy when I imagine all the places I will visit, people I will meet and experiences I will share with the ones I love. We have tons of life left to live, just look at our moms and dads. I know one parent who just ran AND FINISHED her first marathon at 61!
Oh and one other thing, in China you’re not born at zero, you’re born at one. So, to my friends who are fretting, I say you’ve already been 30 for a whole year and didn’t even know it.
As for the Mayans, good luck!