Today is the last day of my twenties. Tomorrow I will be 30. The big three-zero. And I’m kind of afraid.
I am not the kind of person that fears growing older normally. Here’s why:
- Age brings wisdom.
- Your top earning years are 55 to 60.
- Who do you trust more? Someone in their 20s or someone in their fifties with grey hair wearing a cardigan? Answer: you trust Mr. Rogers. Always.
As someone who wants to be wise, wealthy (is that okay to say out loud?), and wforthy of trust, getting older is like achieving a personal goal.
Call me a wanna-be-late-bloomer.
However, today is the last day of my 20s, and I can’t help but feel nostalgia and a little regret that these years, this decade during which I’ve been transformed from not-quite-child to mostly-adult, are nearly gone.
I’m a little afraid. Perhaps unsettled is a better word. And I’m not sure why.
Maybe it’s because time presses forever onward and someday it will leave me behind?
Or simply that it feels like a doorway to so many experiences, both good and bad, is closing?
I will never be 21 again on the last day of college, lying with friends on couches pressed up together, playing guitar and singing and talking, trying to make the time stretch out because I know things will never be the same again.
I will never 23 again, writing in a café at some coastal city in Croatia, experiencing cobble stoned streets for the first time, not sure how to order coffee because everything is in little cups, writing things that felt so important but which I’ve never read since.
I will never be 22 again, meeting her for coffee for the first time and not knowing I would love her. I was dating another girl and she was dating another boy and it would be years before we would figure out we should date each other, but that day was the beginning of something, many things really.
I will never be 24 again, finishing my first book, feeling more accomplished, more proud than I ever had felt, and also completely insecure and inexperienced because writing a book makes you feel like you’re the stupidest person in the world. Most people dream about writing a book, and I had always wanted to write one by the time I hit 30. I did it, sure, but I thought I would be more proud about writing a book. I’m proud, sure, but I’m more proud about becoming a writer than I am about writing a book. The work, I’ve found, is more interesting than the accomplishment.
I will never be 25 again, seeing the sliver of a waning moon while it’s still light above the cedar trees and being amazed that I’m seeing it, seeing anything, because it’s my wedding day and Talia is getting her picture taken. I knew then that I would always remember that moon. It may not have been the best day of my life, because come on that’s kind of a cliché, but it was my favorite day of my 20s—the pinnacle of something I’d long been working toward—probably my favorite day of my life thus far.
I will never be 27 again (Or was it 28? Kids make timelines fuzzy.), holding my son for the first time, knowing then more than ever before that I was an adult, and feeling the weight of every bill that was expected of me: college, braces, first car, and of course, that first bill, the $5,000 co-pay to the hospital. “I have to be ruthless, now,” I thought, not against others but against myself and my own whims and ideals.
I will never be 29 again. I will never be here, in this café, in this moment. I will never be me right now again. It makes me sad but it makes me feel alive too, like this moment matters because I’ll never have another one like it again.
Today is the last day of my twenties. Tomorrow I will be 30. I’m afraid and excited and I know things are going to get busier, bloomier, and better.
Are you afraid of getting older? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.