I am turning 28 today. I am no longer “in my mid-twenties” and am solidly “almost thirty”, which frankly seems like a very serious transition indeed. I don’t feel any different, but in my mind I’m steadily moving out of the last block of “youth”. I find it unsettling to imagine being thirty-ish and going out to a goth/industrial night club. Or sleeping until 2 PM and playing video games all day. Or doing any number of other activities I enjoy but can’t square with being “an adult”. Obviously that magical age of full maturity has slid before: initially I couldn’t imagine being 18, then 25 seemed old, and now it’s 30 (or thirty-ish). So we’ll see what happens this time.
Part of it is a generational thing, or possibly it’s just related to the demographic of the people I know (mostly occupation specific). When I was young, all of the people I knew near 30, or even frankly by 25 years old, had children and seemed terrifyingly serious. They worked long hours at jobs they didn’t seem to have much fun at. They wore suits, or work clothes. They didn’t play Nintendo or sleep in on weekends.
Now of my friends, most are unmarried, even fewer have children. They can rarely be found in anything like a suit, and happily play Halo with me until 2 AM. I’m not sure if it’s generational, or simply related to the computer industry, or the people that I’ve picked as friends. I don’t think that any of us are obscenely clinging to our lost youth in the way that I’ve seen some people do: clubbing every night, working at transient jobs, having transient relationships, and avoiding anything that would tie them down to a greater responsibility. So while we play video games, sleep in, and are into cars and bikes, we also have careers we have built, investment accounts, and have certainly applied ourselves.
As I look back on the past year, and I find birthdays a better point to look back over the last year of your life than New Years, I feel blessed. I’ve spent another idyllic year married to my amazing wife, whom I am more in love with every day. I’ve quit my old job and started a new one which is a better opportunity and allows me to work from home which has done amazing things for my physical and mental health. Having less stress is a great thing. I’ve driven in the Clinton motorcade with the Secret Service. I’ve gone on some great little vacations to Vancouver, Las Vegas, Boston, and other places. I founded a company with a friend. I learned how to play the guitar for Rock Band. I read over 100 books. I’ve drunk a great deal of tea. I attained the rank of Major in Halo 3. I’ve lost 25 pounds. I started a 401k. I saved up a down payment for a house.
It’s been a full and fulfilling year. I feel great about where I am and the journey that has taken me here. Hopefully 28 will be as good a year, or at least as rich in experiences. I just have to keep in mind that you’re only as old as you think you are.