I was born on October 30, 1986, which makes me 27 years old today. At this point in their lives, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain had already done everything they would do, so I officially can never be as cool as those guys. Ah, whatever. 30s are the new 20s, right? 35 can’t be too old to be the Voice-of-a-Generation-Great-American-Novel type guy, right? 8 years is a good, solid amount of time to write a great novel.
Delusions of grandeur and jokes aside, I feel pretty good about being 27. I think because it’s an odd number it sounds a lot older than 26 does. Like 27 sounds much older than 26 than 28 sounds older than 27. To me, 21 sounds a lot older than 20, but 22 does not sound much older than 21. Once you pass 10, it only ever works the other way if the even year is a symbolic milestone, like 16 or 18 or 30. I wonder if it’s just me or if anyone else thinks that way.
Unlike the majority of birthdays that came before it, I spent the last couple months of 26 thinking about how I would be 27 soon, so I already transitioned into feeling 27 weeks ago. Moving away from Illinois to New York and all the experiences that came with that — of having to deal with adult problems on my own for the first time in an unfamiliar city that can at times be very stressful to live in, and far away from any family who could help — has definitely put some years on me. As recently as 24 I still felt like I was a recent college grad, but at 27 my undergrad years feel pretty distant. When I meet a college kid now I feel less like we’re peers and more like “Oh yeah, I remember when I thought that beer pong was the best thing ever and Natty Light was an acceptable beer to drink.” That’s what makes it really depressing whenever I come across people (especially friends of mine) who are still in that college mode.
I acknowledge that anyone a few years older than me reading this blog post is also thinking “Oh yeah, I remember when I felt like that.”
I would like to think that I’m already ready to be 30 and that the next three years are just bonus, although I guess that’s not entirely true. I do fear 30 somewhat. At the least, I’m hoping that turning 30 won’t be the psychological shock it will be for most people. After all, in New York I have mostly made friends who are older than me, who have been 30+ for some time now. Maybe I can get used to being 30 over the next year and by 28, the next two years will be bonus.
I think my body already thinks it’s 30. When I grow a full beard, it has plenty of gray in the left side; it takes a lot more to prevent hangovers and/or recover from unprevented hangovers; I notice parts of my body that hurt sometimes that never used to. At this point in my life, I officially would not want to play football without pads like I did all the time in high school.
Age is a funny thing. How old you feel and how old you look aren’t necessarily tied to how old you are, and yet how long you’ve been alive is a simple fact that, when you think about it, is silly to deny or be afraid of.
The sky is blue. Leaves are green. A mile is 5,280 feet. I’m 27 years old.