I turned 31 recently (gasp!).
I am officially a “30-something,” and I’d like to share a heads-up with those travelling this way which came as a complete surprise to me- birthdays after 30 are completely different than those before. After 30, the event of adding one number to your age is rather nondescript and indistinguishable from the years surrounding it. I think that’s one reason for the “30-something” label. The 20’s are littered with milestones, from no longer being a teen, to reaching drinking age, being a “quarter century” old, and then marveling at the big 3-0 continually looming larger ahead.
Well, on the other side of 30, there aren’t any milestones nearby except maybe 40 sitting in the distance. For us Texans, if the journey to 30 is like taking I-10 through Houston to San Antonio, the journey to 40 is like continuing through to El Paso. Be prepared to make your own entertainment, because you aren’t likely to high five anyone to celebrate that you’re “finally 34.” You realize that TV commercials now address you with, “Are you between the ages of 30 and 55?” like there’s enough similarity across that range of ages that they can all be lumped together.
But birthdays in your 30’s are by no means bad, or boring. They just aren’t universally celebrated, and you have to make what you want of them yourself. I’ll venture to say the same is true of the decade as a whole. Just like there are no banners available at the party store announcing, “I’m turning 34,” there are fewer marked paths in the 30’s, speaking very generally. For many people, the preset degree plans and/or internships and/or entry level job tracks and/or the beginnings of marriages and/or children took place in the 20’s. The 30’s are like open water, comparatively. Personally, I think that’s exciting. Instead of universal milestones, you decide what method to navigate by, which landmarks are significant to you, and what you keep on the horizon. To way-WAY oversimplify, my navigational method is my faith, and this blog-of-my-30’s is like my travel notebook. I love figuring this journey out and working alongside others, both in person and in the ‘blogosphere,’ as they do the same.