In three weeks I am turning 30 years old. This is apparently a big deal, or so says everyone around me, and I am feeling a lot of pressure to celebrate it as such. But for some reason, I can’t really get worked up about it — either in a positive or negative way — and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.Last year I made a big stink out of my 29th birthday. I spent the weekend in Atlantic City with a few of my closest girlfriends and partied my butt off. I had a birthday party with everyone I could possibly think of invited. And then I had a birthday dinner with my nearest and dearest. I did all of this because I knew I might be crippled with depression otherwise. After all, my fiancé had just dumped me and my 29th year was no longer going to be the one in which I got married and started thinking about having kids. I was back to square one and I desperately wanted to distract myself from thinking about that with the help of a little pseudo celebration. It sort of worked.
This year is different. Thirty is a fairly epic birthday as it’s the start of a new decade, one that will likely feature all those “getting older” milestones of marriage (if I decide I want to, that is), kids, and career advancements. Some people find this scary because they think it signifies the end of a fun, fancy-free youth filled with boozing and boning and that they’re oh-so-much closer to death. As a result, I think a lot of people go balls out on 30th birthday celebrations as a way of telling themselves and anyone who will listen that they’re still alive and kicking, and having a great time of it, dammit! Kind of like I was doing last year, only I was trying to prove to everyone, including myself, that despite getting left by my fiancé and not knowing what in the hell the next stage of my life was going to be — because that was seriously frightening to me — I was going to be OK.
Three weeks away from turning 30, I feel great about where my life is. I have an awesome group of friends who really proved how supportive they could be in the last year. My mom and my brother live in the same city as I do and my dad and I, who have had a rough go of it over the last few years, are on good terms and getting to know each other again. I’m healthy and, most of all, I’m happy. I have a wonderful dog, a great apartment, and the best — if exhausting — job a person could ask for. I’ve met someone new who, at the very least, has made me realize that I can feel strongly for someone again. And Barack Obama is president! How can I not be content?
I don’t feel the need or the desire to make a big deal out of turning 30, because it seems so inconsequential in comparison to the changes that have occurred in my life over the last year. I don’t feel depressed about being another year older, but I also don’t have a desire to make a big stink about what a fabulous 30-year-old I’m going to be. Basically, I think I’m going to treat 30 the way I would treat any other birthday — I’ll put on a fun dress, have dinner with my friends, drink myself stupid at a bar, and then tuck myself in, content with not knowing what is going to happen next.