This is the year that I hit the big three-oh and I didn’t think it was a big deal until people started telling me it’s a big deal.
I’m a big fan of celebrating milestones in life. We each have our own goals and our own achievements throughout our lives that are defined by us, not others, and those are the ones I like to celebrate as and when they happen. A trip to Thailand when my first business hit one year, a champagne dinner at the start of my second, a good pedicure to congratulate myself on getting through a rough time… big or small, I have my ways of celebrating ‘myself’.
What I’m struggling to grasp now, is the need to celebrate reaching 30 years of life. Look, it’s not difficult to survive in this world with a good upbringing, decent education and a clever pip in your head. What’s the big deal?
I suppose birthday parties have always been a non-entity in my life. I don’t get it. Just an excuse to have a good party? Perhaps. But now the whole “Big 30” thing comes and smacks me in the face and I’m supposed to create a big celebration for it.
The big 30th parties are popping up all over the place – it’s like 21 all over again. It means bigger parties, bigger presents and dress-ups – just like our 21sts, but on our budget instead of our parents’.
I watched an interesting TED talk a while ago, which delved into the topic “Why 30 is not the new 20”, where a clinical psychologist (Meg Jay) talks about how your twenties are not a throwaway decade, but rather a defining decade in our lives. She says that 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by the age of 35.
I tend to agree with Meg Jay on this one. I didn’t necessarily waste my twenties, but I did go through it with a mindset that it is a temporary period of my life and I only started to take things a bit more seriously a few years ago (thank frik for that).
But I digress. These days we marry later, have children later, start making money more in our thirties than we did in our twenties. SO perhaps 30 is the new 21? Is that why I am supposed to have a second 21st?
Being defined by a number grates me. I know that I’m getting older, you don’t need to point that out, and I’m very much okay with it. I’m much happier with myself and my life now than I was when I was in my early twenties. I can see the physical effects of age and I’m okay with that too. My laugh lines mean that I’ve laughed. My wrinkles and dimples mean that I’m not the same person that I used to be and that is good.
Please enlighten me then – what is the big deal about ‘The Big 30’?