I had some time thinking about life so far (and we all begin to think about this when something eventful is about to happen in our lives, like the last exams, the first bike, the marriage, the kids…) and I finally found out what being 30 really means. To me, at least.
Maybe being 30 means a whole different list of things for some, but this is what I thought true. I haven’t really found out 30 things these past few days, but i’ve gotten at least 10 things down for the moment, on what being 30 means to me.
30 things about being 30:
1) You are already looking after your parents.
When we turn 16, we’re sort of free. At 18, we’re already there, but the parents don’t really know it. At 21, we were absolutely free. At 25, we sort of crawl back to the crib sometimes, check out on our parents, doing the responsible adult thing. Close to 30, when you’re married, your parents are living their later years away from you, and you getting into a fatherly/motherly age, you tend to check up on them more. At 30, you’re doing some parenting already, over your kids and possibly over your parents.
2) You’re past trying to impress with just looks.
At 30, it’s not about how you look, it’s who you are and what you do. And we get it. Be it at work or play, we know looks will open more doors. But that door’s gonna slam shut in your face if nothing else backs that looks up. At 30 we know it’s substance that works.
3) We judge.
We judge the younger ones because they haven’t been there, and we judge the older ones because they think we’re going to go the same route. At 20, we judge ourselves, and we judge others. At 30, you’re at the stage where you feel you’ve done all the studying and you know who you are. So you stop judging yourself. You get that confidence. But you don’t stop judging others.
4) We don’t really know who we are, but we think we do.
Well, in a way. At 30, from all the experience we’ve had, we tend to think they’ve mould us into what we are today. But that’s not entirely true. We actually mould ourselves into what we are today, based on the lessons we choose to take from these experiences. Imagine when you were 18 and playing rugby. You had an injury and a few people told you that you should stop or you won’t be able to walk. So you stopped and studied real hard, got a great job, earned your 5th million at 30. You’ll say the experience you had then made you the person you are now. But if you didn’t stop, and persevere, did great, got drafted into the nationals, worked harder, got talent scouted, made your 10th million at 24, that could’ve been something too. At 30, we think we know who we are, but we really don’t.
5) We want companionship. Need companionship.
Yes, you have the independents who can live with dogs and pets and have a great time at yoga class or gardening and the likes, but at 30, we need someone. And the reason we do is because all our friends at 30 have someone, have grown up, and lead their own lives. No matter how cool it is to have a bro’s night out or a ladies’ night out, or getting that promotion or having your best friends being there for you, it’s not the same. And at 30, we know it.
6) We wish to change the younger generation.
Just like how our parents wanted to change us, we’re going the same circle. You can call it whatever you want – a new approach, a softer approach, whatever – the bottomline is we want to change the younger generation. But to what? A better generation? No, that’s judging, and that’s point 3.
7) We miss the things we had when we were younger.
This goes without saying. But the main things we usually miss are the carefree life of a kid / student, the inability to discriminate, and the ability to believe in love as that Romeo & Juliet story.
8) We love differently.
Where love used to mean making a Mother’s Day card, or folding stars, or saving money for a present, or a plain simple hug, love is now a holiday together, a great meal for two or that stuff your partner has been eyeing for the past month. We are 30, and we are entitled to celebrate love in a way we can afford to, but the feeling is different. I’m pretty sure the day I teach my kids to make a handmade Mother’s Day card for their mom, or the day I get them to bring a birthday cake for granny, that love is definitely different from a nice family meal at Tony’s. Don’t get me wrong – the love is the same, but we love differently.
9) Comfort takes over style
I used to wonder – how the hell can someone wear that out in the streets? Now, I sometimes wonder – why the hell am I wearing this to go out on the streets? But I still do, because it’s comfortable. The perks of being 30 means you give a shit, but you kinda don’t really give a shit.
10) We worry alot more. ALOT more.
Of course with age comes great responsibility. And society is such that you get a list of things you should do, and if you don’t do it, you’re not a responsible daughter/son/husband/wife/mother/father/colleague/employee/lordofthering/. The things we worry about are the same things we worry about when we’re younger and will probably still be the same things we’ll be worrying about for the next 10 years. But we worry, and at 30, when life hasn’t really begun (they say it begins at 40, right?) that’s a hell of alot of worrying already done.
I’ll tell you the other 20 things about what being 30 means to me in the next weeks.