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The Big Three-Oh

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Starting a whole new decade.   By Hannah Wallace   “Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” Billie “Glenda the Good Witch” Burke   Don’t get me wrong; I don’t actually think turning 30 is that big a deal. I didn’t designate that signpost; but it’s still a signpost, one that […]

August 4, 2009





Starting a whole new decade.

 

By Hannah Wallace

 

“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” Billie “Glenda the Good Witch” Burke

 

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t actually think turning 30 is that big a deal. I didn’t designate that signpost; but it’s still a signpost, one that everybody looks at, so I figure I should look at it, too, if only just to see what I think it says.

 

So far it says, “Simplify your sentiments, dingbat.”

 

So on Saturday I will say goodbye to my 20s. Actually, when you put it that way, it is kind of sad. I’ll never be 20-something again. Huh. I mean, I sure as hell didn’t mind saying goodbye to my teens, but my 20s never hurt anybody. Except me, on occasion. Still, I haven’t been to the ER in nearly 10 months now.

 

But as much as it’s an ending, 30 is also the start of a whole new decade to wrangle. Ten years of my age starting with a “3”. What are the expectations there? I was still trying to get a hold of the 20s, that adolescent-bedlam-into-adulthood transition, and now there’s this whole new thing I’m walking into.

 

Where was I ten years ago at 20? An incoming college junior, playing soccer and working on my English degree; ready to jam the worst of my romantic disasters into the next couple of years or so; wholly uncommitted to any plans for the future beyond “wait and see and get a tan in the meantime.”

 

During my 20s I got my degree, worked summer camp post-college gigs and temp jobs in laid-back warehouses and stuffy offices; got laid off, fired and quit a couple times; paid rent with unemployment; moved back in with the ‘rents, yelled at some boys, broke some bones and gave up entirely on being a grownup; started playing hockey within two months of landing this job, met a boy, built up some momentum and tried to make it out of my 20s without too much more turbulence.

 

So now what? Am I supposed to aim for something different now, the next big step(s)? Or just sit back and brace myself as maturity yanks me into something else entirely? I’ve got a few big things in mind for the future, but certainly not a decade’s worth. What will I do?

 

I guess, despite the mindset and milestones, it always feels like adulthood remains just out of reach. The difference, as I get older, might be that I’m not in such a hurry to be a grownup anymore. Or maybe the closer you get to adulthood, the more you realize that it’s just an apparition, and as it fades in front of you, the solid ground under your feet takes precedence, and you realize can do more with that than the fog you’ve been reaching for.

 

Great. Dementia has set in.

 

Anyway, as much as I feel confident in my progress, I still dread what my 40-year-old self will think of me now, looking back with chagrin and a few regrets about embarrassing things I haven’t even done yet (unless I’ve grown out of those neuroses by then, which: fat chance).

 

At least nearly all of my friends have gone bravely into their 30s before me, so it’s not like I’ll feel old. That is, not till the end of August, when CCB celebrates his birthday. He’s turning, as he calls it, "the big two-seven." Ah children, they have no idea what’s in store for them.

 

Although, really, I guess none of us does.