I 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.)