It seems that many people, when they turn 30 tend to look down on the occasion as if it were some kind of horrible ordeal. Getting those gray or white hairs, real or imaginary. Starting to see crow’s feet. Not relating to teenagers. Whatever else it is you gauge “oldness” by, people can find a way to find themselves in a tiff, or simply feel a little down. You are not alone! There are men and women everywhere who feel the same way, at least in the United States, and I am sure the sentiment is felt throughout the rest of the world to a degree. While I do feel a lot of the reason is because it is a cultural apparition, I do admit that it is easy to feel that at age 30 you are different than those both younger and older than you.
Older generations finally take you seriously because you have a little “seasoning” of adversity on your plate. You’ve been through a few ringers. You know when to spot a phony, at least now and then. The simple tricks of some bewitching words no longer enthrall you. Younger generations think you’re old, so you have the benefit of getting the authoritative stance pro bono. You have a few more wrinkles and pounds on your frame that you can definitely notice, and you’re staring to have that look that just doesn’t fit in on either end of the spectrum. So embrace it!
On my 30th birthday I decided to do 30 nice things for people throughout the day, basically for surviving that long. I figured I wanted to make it a grateful day rather than one of self pity, so when I went to the grocery store, I put an extra tip amount in the cashier/bagger tip jar, and paid for the next person’s coffee at the Starbucks in the store. I am not going to detail everything that I did because I really want to make a profound, positive change in the world, but I want to do it from the shadows. I don’t want credit. But what I want to do is to inspire others to do the same.
Wherever you are, you could help in any manner of ways. Put a token in the subway ticket booth. Pay for someones electricity bill (ask if you can put it toward someones bill who is behind, but not for a name). Put a box of tennis balls on the beach for dogs to enjoy. Tape some popcorn to the Redbox for the next person to enjoy with their movie. Give homeless people those nice clothes you don’t wear for whatever reason. I shouldn’t have to come up with more examples because each of you know a hundred different people who need something or a situation that needs positive change. Everywhere, I promise you, there are people who need your help and your particular expertise.
It is my belief that we live a sequence in which our lives are roughly divided into thirds — The first, Birth to 30 is a period in which we learn life’s lessons. The next, age 30 through 60, we put to use all that we have learned in the first period. We make the change that propels humanity into the future. Then finally, age 60 onward, where we enjoy the fruits of our labors, or bask in the hell and fury of our misjudgements. I wanted my 30th birthday to be a good entrance into the second period of my life, and it was just that. It definitely helped me to motivate myself into a period of doing.
By the way, I only did 27 nice things. I didn’t have enough money to just tip everyone, but I did try to be creative in the other things that I did. Besides, money isn’t always the most important priority to some. It took me the entire day, but I just decided to continue that habit at least once a day and have been doing it ever since. Ill be 32 in November.
Much love to everyone who reads.
(edit: I found out how to JUSTIFY my posts!)