My friends are turning 30.

One of my best friends turned 30 just over a month ago. Her birthday is 6 months before mine, meaning, when she turned 30, every day after that, I was closer to 30 than I am to being 29. I don’t know who was more affected by her birthday, her or myself; but I sure know I felt waves of emotions around her big day and have continued to feel them these last thirty days.

There is something almost scary about entering into a new decade, yet something so beautiful about it as well. I remember being 9 years old and everyone telling me what a big deal it was that I would soon be 10; I would be able to hold both my hands in the air, with all 10 fingers, to enthusiastically indicate that I am the number 10 when asked about my age. I was told that soon after I was 10, I would become a teenager upon turning 13. I was then told about how only a few years after that, I would become 16 and could learn to drive a vehicle.

I remember being 19 and turning 20. Everyone kept telling me that I would no longer be a teenager; I would become an official “Adult”. I would graduate from University in a couple of years, enter into the “real world” and have endless possibilities presented to me. Everyone seemed so excited for me and my future, just as they had been when I turned 10.

But turning 30 seems a little different. No one is coaching me on what to do next. Instead of telling me all the wonderful things that my 30’s will bring, people seem to be more concerned on things that I haven’t done yet.  I’m being questioned about when I’ll get married, when have kids, if I have life insurance, when I’ll buy a home, what my career and retirement goals are, etc., etc.  I am not worried about myself, yet the overall impression I have is that people focus on what items haven’t been down when turning 30, rather than encourage all the possibilities that this new decade will bring. I don’t understand why turning 30 shouldn’t be any less exciting than turning 10 or 20. Heck, I’m already thinking about how fun it’ll be to turn 40 and then 50!

I am going to really enjoy these next five months of my twenties. I am not going to let other people’s projections affect how I feel about myself in terms of my age. And that, I suppose is the main difference in turning 30; I can create my own excitement and my own future.

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