Today I am 30. It’s been a long time coming. (Three decades, some might say.) And for most of my life, 30 has seemed like a finish line of sorts. I assumed that by the time I reached this milestone, I’d have a house at least, and maybe a kid on the way. And then I moved to Boston.
Most of my close friends here are well into their thirties. Nearly all of them still live in apartments. Many travel extensively. Almost none have kids. And it’s a revelation. Now, 30 no longer feels like the threshold of serious adulthood; 30 feels like the new 20. Except way better.
Somehow over the past 30 years, I’ve managed to grow up. I have a career now—complete with direct deposit and some honest-to-goodness professional respect. Not only that, I finally have a pretty good sense of myself. I know what I want out of my life, and I know what I’m not all that worried about.
I don’t need a big house with lots of extra space and fancy finishes: My tiny, crumbling Boston apartment was the greatest place I’ve ever lived. I don’t need a nice car: I prefer to walk wherever I can. I don’t need a house full of children: My kitty cat is cute, cuddly, and capable of feeding herself.
What I need is a quiet living space with a well-stocked kitchen. I need a job that’s fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I need a passport, a small suitcase, and easy access to an international airport.
If you’d asked me five years ago what my life would look like on my 30th birthday, I could’ve drawn you a detailed map. If you ask me today what my life will look like when I’m 35, you’ll be met with a very sincere ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Maybe I’ll have a condo in Boston. Maybe I’ll be back in school. Maybe I’ll have made it back to Africa or finally visited Chile and Argentina. Maybe I’ll have managed to move abroad. I have absolutely no idea, but I’m looking forward to spending my thirties finding out.