I am 24-years-old and for some reason, all I can think about is turning 30. It seems like since I turned 21, the time has been going by at immeasurable speed and no matter what I do, the time slope gets steeper.
I turned 21 in 2103, and three years later, I feel like I am closer to 30 than I am to my youth. It’s definitely the bills, and the overwhelming antics of adulting. It’s working 9-5, making me feel like I’ll be here for the rest of my life. I keep thinking to myself, “Is this life?” Always worried about what my next move will be and if I’ll make it there.
My friends and I are constantly having the discussion of “life,” which is something I never really talked about when I was younger. But now, the conversation seems like a necessity every other day. It keeps me on my toes. After work, we occasionally get drinks and chill at a local bar, relieving the unwanted stress from our necks, backs and brains. We are still worried, carrying years of discomfort, fear of contentment, and anxiety for the years to come. We are concerned with losing our jobs, not being able to pay our rent and making sure we get enough sleep each night. We are getting old and letting it be known.
The first part of the conversation starts like this, “How was your day?” Then shortly after, we trickle down to the nitty gritty, shamelessly implying that we are already over the idea of adulthood. Thus concluding with the discussion of money and men.
Last week, I told a friend that I would give anything to go back to middle school―and I was serious. Give me the braces, the pimples, the hand-me-downs; I’ll take it all to be able to feel like I’m living again. I felt alive as a child. My biggest issues were what I’m going to wear to school to match my brand new J’s or how I should do my hair―it was always a ponytail and on occasion some over-sized corn rolls. I remember being ready to grow up fast. I wanted to be 16, 18, then 21 in the blink of an eye, and I wasn’t concerned about how much control I had and how crucial my adolescent age was. Now, I’m just counting the days until, I am officially “old.”
Sad right? I’m sure some of you are reading this like what kind of 20-something year old speaks like this? Yes, I know I’m still young, but my biggest concern is letting that be a distraction. 20 is the time to “have fun,” but more importantly―for lack of a better quote―it’s the time to get all your ducks in a row.
I certainly don’t always feel this way and I nearly never say it, but we’re all thinking it. We’re all watching ourselves and everyone else around us age and turn into a more serious, more worried and more seasoned version.
Because the signs of time and age are omnipresent and the media makes it clear that 30 is an over-the-hill moment, we have to mentally train ourselves to understand that age is completely mental and time is relative. I remind myself that time is a myth and you’re never too old or too young to make yourself full. I can assure you that my mother is no senior citizen. Contrary to the numerous discounts that she can always count on, and her “special” metro card, my mother is about as youthful as I am.
What I’ve realized is that there is something great to look forward to each decade that we are blessed with. In my 20’s I got my first real job, working in a powerhouse company that I never thought I would be in. I got my license and I got to take my dad out for a drink for the first time. These are the moments that keep us young―enjoying the little things.
As I am sitting here on my computer typing, in an office that I’ve recently become accustomed to, I know that age and time are all about change. Growing older is about growing better. Instead of looking at 30 in fear, I am choosing to look at 30 with faith, knowing that at that age I will not be the same person I am today. I will be stronger, smarter and flyer than ever before.