So I turned 29 two weeks ago. I’m teetering on the last legs of my twenties. Hmm.
I have a lot of friends who’ve already turned 29 (and some who have recently turned 30), and based on my casual observations, I think 29 is the year that you practice being 30. About the shenanigans of our similarly-aged acquaintances, my friends have started to say things like, “Seriously, we’re 30 now. We’re too old for that.” When Fun.’s “We Are Young” came out, my 20-something friends passed around a parody aimed at 30-somethings called “We’re Not Young.”
But we are young! I wanted to protest. We’re not 30 yet! This song still applies to us! I couldn’t quite figure out why, as soon as we began turning 29, we were already identifying as 30-somethings. Is it because actually turning 30 is a quietly terrifying milestone? Do we need to spend all of 29 preparing ourselves to bravely march into our fourth decades of life?
I hung on to 28 until the last second, partly because I could: of my friends who graduated from high school in 2001, I’m the youngest. And I liked being grounded solidly in my Late Twenties. Wise but youthful. Open-minded but sure of myself. Number-sensically, 29 seems to belong to that same category, but now that I actually am 29, I have to admit that it does feel like new territory.
In the last week, I’ve traveled to the Macalester and U of M campuses to present to students about volunteering with the ELC. It’s not like I haven’t been on a college campus since I graduated from Madison, but being on one in a professional capacity made me feel o-l-d. Why are these people so loud? Why does everyone have 85 piercings? Why is that girl wearing a green bodysuit to class? So many questions.
The weird thing is that I tentatively like being 29. I don’t know what’s happened, but I think I’m actually looking forward to my 30s. While I can appreciate Green Bodysuit’s youthful self-expression, I feel pretty comfortable and happy with my own creative outlets (and piercing-less face). I like going to sleep at 10:30. I like being a sustaining member of MPR. I like having A Career and An Education. I like my financial advisor, and I really like my retirement plan.
I also just like birthdays. Here’s how I celebrated this year: