I originally started this some months ago but never finished it. But, as I turn 31 today, it seemed an appropriate post to edit and post.
I'm shooting from the hip here. I hope this doesn't sound like a self absorbed diatribe. It's not a complete thought. Just some odd thoughts, that cross my mind every now and then. An observation based on my experiences and perceptions (however flawed) at 31.
I'm 31 years of age today. Which is strange, considering that on some days I still feel (and act) like I'm 12 or 18. (Tonja might argue a 4 year old on some mornings). And then on other days, I feel like I'm old and worried that I've squandered my youth.
I know anyone over the age of 40 is cursing me for implying that 31 is old. And lets be clear, 31 is not old (for that matter neither is 40....). But, 31 is the oldest I've ever been and it is a different feeling for sure.
It's a different feeling and perspective. This may sound inconsequential (or stupid), but for the first time in my life I'm part of an age group (People in their 30's) that have an entire age group (People in their 20's) below me that is out in the real world/work world. And depending who you talk to, I'm either in competition with, being looked up to, or made fun of, by those people in their 20's. (or drinking a beer with them). As a result I'm looking at myself and the world differently.
In other words, I'm not a rookie anymore. I know some stuff now. Not a lot, but some stuff, the basics at least. I still have a whole lot to learn (and some things I will never learn). And I guess that is what this is really about, your 30's is really the beginning of a mid point (and no, not a midlife crisis). A midpoint of early adult life. And this midpoint, that is your 30's, is a giant reminder that life is happening right now (like it or not). There is no more hiding behind youth. There is no more preparing for life, the preparation is done, it's happening now and if you don't look out you'll miss it.
As a midpoint, there are constant reminders of the past and the future.
The reminders of the future are coming more and more frequently as we see our friends and family having and raising their own children. And reminders of the past are slipping away. (A grim reality that older family and friends that you've known your whole life are beginning to leave).
There are constant reminders that today is tomorrow's history. I'll one day be telling my grandkids about the great recession and how it unexpectedly effected my career and life and just generally knocked me on my ass. (Hopefully it has a happy ending.)
There are reminders of where you've come from and where you're going. I remember how it feels to be a kid and why you do things that don't make sense (I know, adults still do things that don't make sense, but you know what I mean). Yet, I'm conscious of the fact that I'm growing older and that I need to start taking better care of myself and establish healthy habits now and I need to plan for the future.
Who knows where all this will take us. But, it should be an interesting trip.
I write about these things with no real certainty or declaration that I really understand it all, but simply as an observation on this day from this milestone along the trail.
In addition, I do not take for granted how much I've been given in the first 30+ years of life. I am truly humbled by the trials and tribulations that so many have had to endure, so that I can comfortably sit where I am today and reflect and ruminate on such trivial subjects.