There’s a big, dark cloud looming over the near future. It seems to be consuming everything in its wake. And no matter how hard I’m trying to ignore it, I’ll soon have to face the inevitable.
Sure, I could be referring to Donald Trump’s candidacy for president. Sadly, I’m talking about something much less unintentionally hilarious and much more dire: at the end of this month, I’ll be turning 30.
How could this happen? I did everything just exactly the right way—avoiding reality, not looking at my driver’s license, refusing to interact much with people who are younger than me—but still the plague of time has caught up with me. The cancer of milestone birthdays has spread from 20 to 25 to now (shudder) 30. In only a few short weeks I’ll have to quit clinging to the label of “I’m in my late 20’s” and finally start saying “I’m 30” perhaps followed by a giant rain cloud, opening up directly above me.
I guess now would be the time others might offer “congratulations”/condolences in that fake-champagne smiles and real pain after-thoughts way people have for special occasions that leave people feeling not so special. Sure, you might cherish a 16th birthday. You might even be thrilled for 20. But most people are looking forward to a “Happy 30th” card the way you might throw somebody a “You’re Fired Party” and tell them it’s all for the best. “Hey, now you can work on your golf game…full time.”
By now, there are probably many who are older than 30 that want to slap the living shit out of me, and I don’t blame them. If you’re 40 or 50 or 60 or 70, there’s probably nothing worse than listening to some horrible millennial whine that 30 is bad or even “old.”
In fact, I never think anyone who’s older than me is actually old and Ageism is one of the last acceptable prejudices in America. In a society where people live longer than they ever have, it seems wrong to think anyone older than 25 is washed-up. If anything, it’s our perceptions about age—companies that routinely refuse to hire anyone over 40 or people weary of someone starting a career at 30—that need to change. It would sure be a lot easier than being able to actually rewind the clock.
I’ll always covet the superpower of being able to reverse time, but for now it looks like I have no choice but to face the inevitable. This may very well become a recurring feature, and in the meantime, if you have any advice, I’d be willing to listen…