The big two-nine.

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:

Matt got me some new wheels for my big day. This little hottie got me to work a full fifteen minutes faster than my old behemoth.
These are also from Matt. My favorite candy AND a 90% reduction in dog hair?! Clearly, the man knows the way to my heart.
We had lunch at Zakia. Ooh-la-falafel!
I spent my birthday evening hosting the back-to-school teacher meeting for our volunteers. We made gazpacho for the meeting, with fresh veggies from the Hmong Farmers Market near our house. The teachers sang “Happy Birthday” to me, face aflame. Matt was there. It was kind of an awesome night.
The following weekend, we traveled to Little Girl’s Point to visit with my folks, sister, and grandparents and to enjoy the scenery. Manny and Vilas provided endless entertainment in and out of the lake.
I found a killer agate, which I’m thinking about making into a necklace. It matches my ring like whoa.
We caught a little (and by little, I mean delicious) coho salmon.

I blew out the birthday candles on my funfetti cake with orange-flavored frosting. OMG. Almost as delicious as a fresh little coho.

We ended our weekend up north with a quick dip in the lake. Swimsuit-less, but we couldn’t resist. It was a gorgeous day.
Back at home, I sank into a hot mug of birthday cake-flavored tea. I know! What genius came up with this? It even has sprinkles. I’m not kidding. Big thanks to my birthday triplet sister-in-law, Leah, for finding this little gem.
So bring it on, 30! I’ll save you some tea. To be totally honest, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere in life except where I am now. I know people who wish they could go back to college, but I am way smarter now than I was in college! I can also afford to treat myself to a manicure and brunch every once in a while, and my neighbors are quiet. 
And turning 30 doesn’t mean that we’re not still young, because we are. You know who else is 30? Nate Ruess- the lead singer of Fun.

One comment

  1. I LOVE your take on the subject. I however, am terrified of hitting the big 30 and have no idea what I'm doing with my life. I plan to spend my 30th laying on a beach somewhere… just in case I have a total breakdown at least I'll have something pretty to look at and a cocktail nearby 🙂


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