Twenty-Nine is a Very Strange Age

gossip girl - I don't feel like I fit in anywhereI turned 29 February of this year and I have to say that it is a very strange time. Twenty-nine has to be one of the weirdest ages to be.

No one would consider 29 old. Sure, I may feel old at times but I’m still aware that I’m at a young age. I’m at that “Omg, how tragic, she was so young” age if I were to pass away. But I am getting older. I can see it in the reaction I get from people younger than me when they hear how old I am. There’s been way too many times in grad school when I’ve told people my age and I can just see them thinking, “Oh God, I don’t even want to think about when I’ll be 29.”

I feel like nothing is actually geared towards me. When you read those thousands of articles on the Internet written for twenty-somethings, I know they don’t really mean me. They aren’t talking about a 29-year-old, months away from entering her thirties. Those articles are for people in their early to mid twenties. Same thing goes for books, movies, and TV shows. If I find characters that I actually relate to, I get disheartened when I find out they’re only 23. The characters my age? All established in their careers, most likely married or at least engaged, and starting a family or seriously thinking about it. Where’s the stories about 29-year-olds still trying to figure it all out? I can’t be the only one.

The divide between the people my age who have their shit together and those who don’t is just getting worse. It’s as though a line is being drawn and you can only be on one side. One side is getting married, buying homes, moving up in their career, having babies or discussing the possibility of when they will be having babies. The other side still has no idea what they are doing with their life. They have twenty roommates or still live at home with their parents. There doesn’t seem to be any real in-between at this point.

I don’t go out as much and a heavy night of drinking will leave me in rehabilitation for the next three days. But somehow I wind up drinking more now than I did when I was younger. And it usually always starts with a glass of wine. A glass of wine for dinner. One or two while I’m catching up on my shows on Netflix. A bottle here and there when I’m trying to bullshit my way through a paper. For someone who doesn’t drink and go out that much, I sure do go through a lot of wine.

As much as I like to go with the flow and not stress about the future, it’s almost impossible to not dwell on it. I can’t help but fully realize that I’m getting old. Everyone does things at their own pace but it’s harder to use youth as an excuse for why I don’t have it more together by now. It’s impossible not to think about the fact that 30 is right there, waiting for you!

I care less about what people think of me than I used to but I also find myself caring a lot about what people think of me. (And even I’m not sure how that makes sense.) I don’t care anymore about what people think about the way I dress or the things I like or my personal opinions on issues. I’m way more confident in who I am as a person and if someone doesn’t like that, it’s on them. However, I still can’t help but feel self-conscious when talking about certain aspects of my personal life. Yes I am STILL single. Yes I am back in school again. Yes I had to move back in with my dad when I returned to school. I wish I could own up to these aspects of my life as easily as I do when it comes to my shameless love for superhero movies and Oreo’s.

People say that your twenties are some of the most confusing years of your life. And technically they aren’t wrong, but they are a little off. I would say that 29 is by far the most confusing year of your life. You’re in limbo. You’re old and young at the same time. You will seriously start to think about your future and the choices you’re making today that will affect it because that future isn’t that far away anymore. Twenty-nine is just a very weird age to be. Here’s to hoping it’s a little more normal for my fellow 29-year-olds. And if you find it just as confusing, here’s to hoping that it gets better with age. (That motto works splendidly for my beloved wine so let’s hope it works for people as well.)

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22 comments

  1. I turned 28 a few months ago and I whole-heartedly can agree with you on so much of this! It is a very strange age, isn’t it? At certain times I feel sooooo old (a double-header softball game will leave me not walking for two days afterwards and I find myself in bed on weekdays by 9:30pm), but I also still feel so young (I have so much that I want to do/see that I haven’t yet, I’ve never really been in love before and yes, I still eat ice cream for dinner on occasion). I’m also a lot more confident in myself and where my life is going. It’s limbo x 1,000, but it’s also kind of exciting! I’ll raise a glass/bottle of wine to that! xoxo

  2. Note to self: write more books with 29-year-olds πŸ™‚

    I turn 27 this year, so I’m not *quite* in that place yet, but I’m starting to get a sense of it. I’ve reached the point where I can’t drink like I used to and not put on weight that makes me look pregnant. Must be a sign of severe immaturity that THAT is the most depressing part of my twenties so far :-p

    1. You should. The world needs more books written for 29-year-olds. Weight gain is one of the worst parts of being in my late twenties for me as well. I always used to be really thin and had an incredibly fast metabolism. I can just feel it getting slower and slower every day.

      1. That was me too – ice skating 5 days a week and keeping a strict diet helped too. Then it got too expensive and I quit, and my first thought was I WANT ALL THE CARBS.

  3. You’ve given us ideas! People are always looking for niche markets to sell to. Perhaps more dating websites, products, books and services should cater to the upper 20’s to low 30’s who aren’t in the married, kids, taking off in their career stage. I might start trying to sell T-shirts or something….On a serious note, I remember being in the stage for a brief time and it did seem like you didn’t really fit in and it kind of sucked. Keep hanging in there and maybe you will find others out there that can relate!

    1. Thanks for the comment! But I really do think there needs to be more things dedicated to the fumbling late-twenties, early-thirties people in this world. I know a few who would benefit.

    2. I want to see more for people who made the “adult” step of marriage but still enjoy going out with friends, social drinking, basically doing what single people do, except we’re always together and don’t want children. We also pat ourselves on the back for remembering to pay rent on time each month. It *seems* like marriage forces you to grow up, but really it gives you another person to help you wade through all that adult stuff like bills and taxes you could never figure out by yourself πŸ™‚

      1. Well, I’m a little older than that age range, but I do remember that fumbling stage that we both went through. There definitely is a demographic there too.

  4. Being 29 was definitely a strange place for me. You read my post about when I turned 30, right? Geez…so glad the confusion is gone lol. But in its place sits a bit of disappointment at my lack of progress/achievements now. And with the recent layoff, I feel even worse :(. BUT… its nothing that a little wine cant handle LOL. Don’t worry – I go through twice as much wine now as I did when I went out also. And Netflix has become my new soul mate. Well…Popcorn Time is now taking its place. If you haven’t heard of it, its like Hulu and Netflix mixed (with more up-to-date movies). Thank me later πŸ˜‰

    1. Sorry again about the layoff but as cliche as this sounds, it just made room for something better to come along. You’re talented and seem like an awesome person so I have faith that good things will come your way.

      I have never heard of Popcorn Time but now I’m very curious. I want to check it out but I’m scared. I already waste so much time with Netflix.

    1. Thanks! I just need to keep reminding myself that everyone does thing at their own pace and most people don’t have it figured out. (No matter how much they want you to believe otherwise on social media.)

  5. I’m a little off 29, but I am starting to feel this way. Another of my former classmates got married yesterday, and we were quite good friends in primary school, so it’s quite strange to see the people settling down getting a bit closer to home.

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