I moved to LA when I was 21 and started working in television when I was 22. Because of this, I hung around a lot of people who were five to ten years older than me, and who balked when I revealed my age. "You're a baby!" I also had a group of friends who were upwards of ten years my senior, so I was always the youngest. It was a new phenomenon for me, growing up the oldest, but I was okay with it.
I even bought into this idea that I was this young pup with so much time ahead of me. Right around my 27th birthday, I started to feel like I had been in my 20s for longer than most people. I started to feel that I had been young for too long. I've come to the realization that a few things have helped foster this notion over the years:
1. YOU'RE HOW OLD??: When I would meet people for the first time, they would not believe me that I was 27. They insisted I could not be older than 23.
2. YOU'RE HOW OLD?? Part 2: Older, or rather, better friends of mine couldn't believe I wasn't 30 yet. My birthday came that year, and I remember a couple of people asking me, "So, how old are you going to be this year?" "27." "SERIOUSLY? You're not 30 yet?" This exclamation was so rampant that I labeled my evite to my last birthday, "Still not 30!"
3. WHO ARE YOU AGAIN?, followed by YOU'RE HOW OLD??? Part 3: Family members began to confuse me for my younger sister Jackie, who is ten years younger than me. Yes, there is quite a resemblance, and yes, I do look younger than I am and Jackie looks older than she is, but ten years? Countless strangers have asked us if were were twins, and when when informed we're ten years apart, they are shocked.
4. OUT OF SIGHT: Truth be told, I left Ohio as soon as I graduated college and every time I go back, it seems like not much has changed. I still see the same people doing the same things. And even people that are doing different things, they're still the same friends I had when I was in high school (for this, I am truly blessed). And I work with one of my best friends from high school. So not only do I feel young when I go back home, I feel like I'm 14 every single day when hanging out with Patrick. With Patrick, I can only tell I'm older because HE looks older. But we still talk about people from high school, we still talk about marching band, we still reminisce about those days.
When 2008 hit, I noted casually that this would be The Year. The Year I Turn Thirty. But I still had so much time, and so many things were happening in my personal and professional life, I had very little time to think about it, and furthermore, I didn't think it really deserved much thought. Besides, who cares? I bought a condo in Los Angeles at 28, I had been to Sydney, Amsterdam, Budapest, Roatan, and Curacao all in one year, I was in a happy relationship, I had amazing friends, and I had good credit! Who cares that I'm turning 30? Besides, it's not for nine whole months!
We have two dry erase boards at work that act as calendars. So when one month is over, they erase it and put the next month up. For instance, we had June and July showing. When June was over, they erased it and put August up. That's when it hit me. Like a wall... a moving wall. A fast moving wall. As if those exist.
I'm turning 30. In two months.
I realized that I've been thinking about my birthday as though it were six months away since March. It's not March anymore. We're almost to the middle of July. My birthday? In September.
People ask me if I'm freaking out about turning 30, and I'm not, truly. But I fully admit, it's WEIRD to be turning 30. It's weird to think of myself as a thirtysomething. When my mom was 30, she was pregnant with her third kid. I remember when she turned 30 - I was devastated, because I thought she was on her way to death, surely. It's as though I felt she lost her immortality when she turned 30. Ah, the thoughts of a ten-year-old.
The truth is, I'm very happy with where my life is, save for the lack of creativity I exhibit, which is my own fault. Another truth is that I very much look forward to my thirties, because it will bring marriage (even for the gays!), children, a new home with a back yard, another sister moving to Los Angeles, more professional success (if things go as they've been going), and more memories. So it's good.
But it's still weird.