Monday, October 10, 2011


Not too long ago I celebrated my 30th birthday, which is both completely unremarkable and absolutely unbelievable. It is unremarkable because I've felt like an adult for a long time now, maybe too long. I've now been driving for half of my life and have held a steady job for about the same. I've been a mall employee (very briefly), a bank teller (still my longest occupation), a student, an AmeriCorps volunteer, a student (again), a Peace Corps volunteer, a federal employee, a temporary diplomat, and a full-time policy wonk. I've done things and gone places that I could have only dreamed about before leaving for college. Add all of these things up and it's not that surprising that I've reached the ripe old age of 30.

But it's also unbelievable to me that I'm 30. Thirty was always that age off in the future where I would have things figured out, when I would be settled down somewhere with a career, house, etc., etc.  Now that this imaginary milestone has arrived without me managing to pass most of the traditional adult milestones, I realize how unimportant these fake points in my life timeline really are. But I still don't feel like a "real" adult, so maybe I never will.  Instead, I've defined my own milestones. I may not own a car, but having a Vespa is so much more fun and practical. And not owning a house means that I can remain flexible when it comes to future career options. And even though I haven't started a family of my own, it's funny how throughout your 20s, your friends progress from roommates, to housemates, to drinking buddies, to crisis counselors, to family. So I'm feeling pretty good about 30, despite it being unbelievable.

Next step, of course, is to make a list. Inspired by one of my friends, I am going to make a "30 for 30 list."  And as soon as I actually come up with 30 things I want to accomplish this year, I will post those here.

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