My older cousin and I have developed this sort of tradition every time it’s any of our birthdays. Whenever it’s her birthday I’d tell her, “Happy 26th Birthday!” and whenever it’s mine she’d tell me, “Happy 21st Birthday!”. We’d tell each other this no matter how old we actually were.
Contrary to what is implied in the title, I am not thirty. I am however, nearing it. But the way I feel is nowhere close to someone nearing thirty years old.
I’ve met a number of colleagues and acquaintances who were genuinely surprised to discover that I wasn’t aged below 25. On one hand I could take this as a compliment, and tell myself, “Why, my crude, minimalist beauty regimen must be working!” Or I could look at it negatively, and say to myself, “Geez, I must be acting so childish.”
Many of my family members would support the latter thought since, being the baby of the family I’ve always acted accordingly. It took me almost a decade to stop baby talking. It took me almost two to stop watching cartoons (but come on, cartoons are awesome!). Half my life I was tagged as a crybaby and a tattletale. Needless to say, growing up was a super slow process for me.
So now that I’m almost thirty, it’s not surprising (at least to me) to still feel like I’m twenty-one.
Some people would raise their brows at this. I can feel their glare penetrating through this page and into my soul already. Inside, they’re riling up their mob, gathering their pitchforks, torches and rally signs, stepping out onto the virtual streets and shouting, “YOU SHOULD ACT YOUR AGE!!!”
But what does that even mean?
Does that mean I should get a steady-paying job, drive my own car, pay my own bills and hold my own in the world? Because if it does, then I’m doing just fine (minus the car part. I refuse to purchase a car as of the moment; I’ve talked about this in another post).
But if it means letting go of simple joys like cartoons, coloring books and collecting toys, or talking about the most random things like cloud shapes and animal sounds, then sorry, I’m not up for it. If it means I should talk only about business and politics, be so concerned about money, and talk about my wealth and achievements like they’re the only things that matter- like they make me better than my peers – then I’ll definitely have to sit this one out.
So if you’re like me, turning thirty but still twenty-one inside, I tell you, go ahead. You’re not required to be old, look old or act old. You just have to be a decent human being, and you can always do that even at twenty-one.