30: Old

30 isn’t that old, really.

If someone dies at 30 folks would say that they were taken too early.

Most people make 30. Here in the UK most of us will double that, and quite a few will triple it, blowing out 90 candles.

Yeah, 30 isn’t old.

It just feels like it is.

Despite being one higher, “I’m 30” sounds so much older than “I’m 29”.

I know this because I’m rapidly racing towards the big three-oh and it’s the first birthday that feels like a big deal.

30-candles

18- Big whoop, I now don’t have to fret over getting served, knowing I have a legit ID in my pocket.

21- I can already do everything as an adult, and am confused as to why this age is seen as a big deal.

25- Quarter of a century? Big deal.

But 30?

Thirty feels different, I think it’s because thirty sounds like proper adulthood. Thirty feels like I should know what I’m doing and where I want to go next.

When my Dad turned 30 he was a fully formed adult- he had the job he’d wanted and worked hard for years to get. He had a wife and a house, one kid and another a few months away.

When I was untimely ripped from my mother’s womb my Dad was a proper grown up, and a less grey version of the man he continues to be today.

As for me?

Well, I’ve come a long way since then, but sometimes I feel a few light years away from real adulthood.

Should a real grown up still daydream about being WWE champ? Or gaining superpowers? Or their plan for if there’s a zombie apocalypse?

I doubt it.

A proper grown up should know what they want, or at least what they’re doing.

I don’t.

I haven’t been on a solid footing since 2001, when I knew that I’d do my GCSEs and go on to sixth form college.

Since then I’ve just rumbled forward, stumbling and falling my way forward like a clumsy Juggernaut.

It's the Juggernaut, bitch!

It’s the Juggernaut, bitch!

 

If you’d asked me in ’01 where I’d be now, I’d wouldn’t have even hazarded a guest, but if you’d asked 2001 Chris if 2015 Chris would have it sorted he’d probably have thought he would.

But I don’t, which both terrifies and excites me in equal measure.

On the scary side, everything is up in the air. When my lease runs out I have no idea where I’m going, probably back to my parents’, which is a drag. I’m still adrift in unemployment. Financially? Don’t even ask.

But on the exciting side? I’m planning to build a life with MWG, and we’ve even looked at a cat together (which will live with MWG’s mum for the time being, but when I get a job we’ll look for a place together.

Career wise? Well, like I said, I’m drifting but I have the chance to take stock and try new stuff, which is sort of exciting. I have a few ideas I’m looking into and it’s nice to have options.

Going back to uni might not have worked out, but it at least got me out of the situation I was in before, where I probably could have slogged on for a few more years, unhappy but getting by. Rolling the dice on uni may not have paid off, but it at least forced me to act and change my situation. To paraphrase Nick Hornby referencing Bruce Springsteen– I escaped and burned rather than stayed and rotted. And I think that’s a good thing.

And going to uni is how I met MWG which is pretty amazing. So while it was a failure, it wasn’t a complete failure and I learnt stuff about myself, so I’m chalking it up to experience.

I think that going to uni is also part of why 30 feels like such a big deal. When everyone around you is at most year or two younger, it’s probably not a massive deal, but living with a bunch of kids people who are a decade younger than you and call you “Grandad” definitely hammers home that you’re not a youngster anymore.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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