When Birthdays Attack…

Today, I turned twenty-eight. I’ll be honest; I’m not sure how to feel about it just yet. Twenty-eight is one of those ages that means nothing in the grand scheme of things, and yet… somehow it seems MUCH closer to thirty than twenty-seven did.

The fact is, I find the concept of “thirty” somewhat troublesome. Your twenties are fun years. That’s when you are not only allowed, but encouraged to discover what you’re good at. The world is full of options, and you’re allowed to choose any of them. Adventurousness is a trait that is admired and often times expected from the 20’s crowd. You go to school a few years, learn some neat stuff. You pick up some random jobs to further figure out where you fit. You might meet a nice person, maybe settle down and really start focusing on what you want life to be…

But thirty? What’s thirty? Thirty is when you’re supposed to start having stuff figured out. Thirty is when you start making some moves, pulling ideas together, building upon the foundation the twenties laid down. When you hit thirty, you are expected to be an adult. I mean, like for realz. At thirty, you’re supposed to have a solid grasp on your career, maybe even a couple of kids. You’re supposed to be working towards owning a house.

Today I turned twenty-eight, and suddenly I feel the hot breath of “Thirty” on my neck. I feel like a late bloomer… that’s still waiting to bloom. My job stuff is just as up in the air now as it ever was. If stuff at the place where I work doesn’t pan out, I honestly have no clue what it is I’ll do. I’ve been in Customer Service for the past five years… I’m ready to do something I love.

My wife tends to talk about it more publicly than I do, but the idea of having children seems like absolute madness to us. There’s definitely a part of me that’s curious about the experience… And I’m pretty certain I would be an awesome dad… But at this point (and all points previous) there is not one molecule in my body that is willing to make the ridiculous number of sacrifices that having a child entails. Patton Oswald says it best: “When we got married, we agreed to a mute, invisible baby named ‘Ten hours of sleep at night'”. That sounds like something I can support. And honestly, so is a life with just the two of us. I really have no qualms with the idea that Leah and I could just go on living our lives, doing anything we wanted, and not having to worry about keeping another creature alive. (Cats excepted. And possibly a puppy someday, but that feels like a big commitment.)

I guess the secret to it all is knowing that we’re in control of our own lives. We can decide what we want to do and if we’re willing to really work for those things; we can have them. I kind of like the idea of my thirties not looking like anyone else’s. I think the only way i can get to that point, though, is by working on my life now so that I’ll have a foundation that will let me do anything I want to. Who knows… Maybe late bloomers bloom brightest?

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