August 3, 2017

On Turning 30

So I turned 30 this past July. The big 3-0. Dirty thirty. 

At first, it felt the same as all the other birthdays. But now that I’ve had some time to think about it... it’s not. I can feel the gravity pulling at my bones. 

The other night I came home from a men’s league hockey game and my hips felt like fire. They clicked and popped and exploded while I hobbled around the next day. I took some inflammation supplements and my wife made fun of me.

Plus, my feet smell funkier than usual. Could just be a summer side-effect, but I don't know.

I guess that’s it though. The game changer. No more scandalous shenanigans. No more ridiculousness. All my favorite things are now ‘retro’ or ‘classic.’ Bedtime is now 10pm sharp. 

Yep, it’s onto the first official adult decade. (That feels like something a millennial would say. Am I one of those? I don’t know. The labels have changed so many times.)

I can’t help but ask myself if all this hype was for something that feels so inconsequential.  I mean... is this it? 

For 3 decades, I’ve heard so much talk about what it means to be 30. There’s been movies, books, bands, and anecdotes, all recommended or thrown at me in attempts to give me a heads-up. And now, here I am, scribbling to myself, on 7th Ave beach in Belmar’s late afternoon sun, watching the crowds pack it in, trying to decide where we should go to celebrate for dinner, unable to make up my mind about what I want to eat, drink, consume, or think about turning old enough to be considered vintage. 

I should've paid closer attention. Tack another 7 onto the list. 2017 hit me like a set of dice.

Along with getting married, I wrote a book about trying to maintain mindfulness throughout this phase, and I believe I’m headed in the right direction. But there’s still something there. Something digging at my third eye from behind my ribcage.

Why does it feel so unimportant? Am I broken? Do I not have the proper software to evoke that particular emotion? Should I be jotting down kids names instead of slingin' blog posts? Am I supposed to be taking selfies with the sunset like the rest of these mindless zombies? 

I’m happy, for sure. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I don't regret any of this. But the Southeast breeze feels just as pleasant as it always has.

So what’s different? The silver in my beard? The aches I get after working out? The existential dread of never accomplishing my dreams? Or just the reminder that I’ve revolved around the sun 30 times?

I’m still just some stardust in orbit. And now I have another label.

I'll figure it out. In the mean time, check out Mark Manson's advice on how to handle this phase of life.