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i was talking with some people lately about birthdays. i remember how difficult my 25th birthday was, how i begun to freak out: i was officially an adult, and is this where i saw myself as an adult? why am i not a rock star? why am i not fabulous and living in new york city? why am i working in property management in phoenix of all places? i mean, sure, i have a nice car and good friends and live by myself, but GEEZ. i'm not skinny! i'm not successful! and oh my LANTA, i need to start planning for future wrinkles! after sitting at a happy hour after work one day near to my birthday, i remember frantically racing across the street to wal*mart to buy oil of olay, hair color, and anti-wrinkle under eye cream.

i had figured that my 30th birthday would have been much worse, but oddly... no.

i was the first (by far) of all of my local friends to hit the big three-oh. i had a slight inner panic that suddenly they would feel that i wasn't cool anymore, that i was too old for their crowd, and leave me behind. but only for a moment, mind you.

my thirtieth birthday came and went, and an odd thing happened: i almost immediately felt more comfortable in my skin, more confident in who i was and what i wanted to become. i mean, not IMMENSELY more confident, but the weird anxiety about my future sort of disappeared. i decided what i wanted to be when i grew up and have been preparing to go back to school for it.

and in talking with my friends that were also over 25, we all realized that 25 seemed to be a nice landmark age for us, that things began to change. we didn't go out five nights a week anymore. we began to do weird things like stay home on work nights, and spend money a bit more responsibly. it seemed like turning 25 had suddenly officially turned us into adults, not post teens, which it had seemed like we had been before that.

in retrospect, i find it almost silly that i panicked so much about my 25th birthday, and amazed at myself that so little anxiety was involved at turning 30. i mean to look at it on paper: 30 years old, living with a roommate. no car. working retail. haven't played my guitar in MONTHS.

but no, i almost immediately felt better about everything, as if the big weight of my twenties had been lifted off my shoulders.

have any of you felt the same way? what would you feel have been your big landmark birthdays?

Comments

( 55 comments — Leave a comment )
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oh_flounder
Oct. 28th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
you make me impatient to be 25 =)
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
once the trauma subsides at being A QUARTER OF A CENTURY OLD, i think that's when life really begins.
(Deleted comment)
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
LOL for some reason, i always thought you were at least 5 to 10 years younger than that! and after all these years on my friends list!

i'm quite jealous of your pale skin! even under 30 spf, i tan easily, which i hate. ah, well, grass is always greener, no?
(no subject) - gingerdc9 - Oct. 28th, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
dbaxdevilsfan
Oct. 28th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
my cut & pasted answer from <lj user="ljover30">
I had a harder time hitting 25 than any other age. Why? Because I was a quarter of a century old! Like I told Jim, I can remember both my parents hitting 30, then 40, and now 50 (my parents are 55 and 51). I don't even like to admit I'm more than 30 (I still claim to be 29 when I'm asked my age). But I can relate.......I noticed alot of changes at 25. Hell, thats when I left my husband (although I hit 26 a month later, and was 26 when our divorce was final), I got my own place, and "settled down". I wasn't out partying. I was choosing to stay home, cook (rather than eat out all the time), I was putting in extra hours at work. I guess at 25, I grew up.
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: my cut & pasted answer from <lj user="ljover30">
see? it IS a magic age!

about the hardest thing for me to turn thirty is that i realized that i was the age that mother was when she started lying about her age.
talkingpotato
Oct. 28th, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
In all honesty every birthday after 23 has put me through a bit of a depression in where I should be and what I should be doing.
I hope the older I get the less I will care, because right now the ratio of caring what others think I should be doing against how I actually feel 80% of the time (not counting blues every so often or the PMS craaanky time) is falling in favor with how I feel.
Granted I don't live the life most people have at my age but then I can't look at my life and say I'm unhappy where I'm at now. If I died tomorrow I actually think I'd be ok with it. I mean not that I WANT to but before I was so afraid of something happenening because I thought my life was so worthless.
I'm finally after yearrrrrrs beginning to have days where it's meaningful. I have friends that I love, and friends who I hope love me. I think I've made leaps and bounds as to growing in emotional maturity and seeing things in perspective, I've been able to forgive (both myself and others), been able to laugh at myself but respect who I used to be, I have tried to remain true at my core but be more of a grown up about it.
I've also finally learned how to friggen dress myself.
So I'm actually looking forward to my 30s (which will be in less than 3 years)
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
i have seen you grow SOOOOOOOOO much emotionally since i met you, so i can second everything you posted in response! and your friends love you deeearly, i promise!

ha ha @ dressing. i'm still having issues. i dropped all this weight, to where i am finally the size i was months before leaving phoenix, only to find that everything is WAY out of style now! ha!
(no subject) - talkingpotato - Oct. 28th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
nightspawn
Oct. 28th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
25 wasn't a big deal to me. 30 was awful because my life was in shambles.

35 was the big one. Ya wanna know what thought came up a lot and it was depressing?

I was no longer in the prized-by-advertisers 18-34 demographic. Silly, I know, but that's what made it real for me.

I'm glad 30 actually seemed to rejuvenate you :)
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
i almost spit my tea out when i read the demographic part. i'm sorry that 30 was so rough for you.

i was talking to one of my customers at officemax one day bout it, and he said that his REEEEALLY hard birthday was 37 for some reason, that turning 37 killed him emotionally. we both had a good laugh at the random number.
37? In a row? - nightspawn - Oct. 30th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
geminigirl
Oct. 28th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
Twenty six was hard, because I was in a bad place then. I finished grad school just a few weeks before I turned 25, and was looking forward to finding a job, moving back out of my parents house (I lived with them during grad school because I ended up deciding to go to school for free just a few minutes from their house rather than scrambling for every cent to go to school two hours away) living near my then-boyfriend and getting on with my life. At 26, I was underemployed (even though I had an interesting job) my relationship was falling apart and had begun to turn abusive, and I was just feeling kind of lost. A year later at 27, I had a new job and had moved out and split with the boyfriend and was getting to a place where I really liked me, and where things were at.

A lot of people were asking me how I felt about turning 30, and what I had to say is that I think I was just too busy with the rest of my life to worry much about it...I turned thirty about two and a half weeks before my wedding, and seven weeks before we moved to Florida...at the time of my birthday, we still hadn't packed up our house, gotten rid of the furniture we didn't want to move, and didn't have a place to live. The rest of my life took precendence.

We'll see what happens next.

Happy birthday, Aubrey.

aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
i will never cease to be amazed at how some of our lives change SO drastically within a year, sometimes even less. (i.e. spending my 28th birthday in a travel agent career in phoenix, spending it actually in mexico at a friend's resort, and one month later, suddenly no longer independant, and living on my mother's living room floor, unemployed, and in washington state. wtf?!?)

you're such an incredibly strong and wonderful individual, luv. never forget that.
(no subject) - geminigirl - Oct. 28th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
pyrochan
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
In a little over two months I'll land at 30. I'm totally not phased by it at all. I've been graying since I was 23 but since I have light colored hair it's hard to tell. I was carded at a bar much to the embaressment of the bouncer who returned my id with a, "I am SO sorry, ma'am." My boyfriend says I look 16 when I wear my hoodie. At 25 I finally felt comfortable in my skin and turned my life around in various ways (better job, lost 30 lbs, financially independent & debt free, etc) so I haven't had an age freak out since I turned 20 when I cried 'cause I wasn't a "teen" anymore.
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
hee hee, i almost get offended when i go to bars and don't get carded, which is TOTALLY silly. granted, the majority of the friends i go to bars with are under 25, so they get carded, so when they skip over me... *shrug*

whenever i get carded buying beer, i grin VERY happily as i hand it to them.

i generally get guessed around 24, so i'm not complaining too much. i'm hoping that i age as gracefully as my mother (face-wise. health wise? i hope i'm 180 from what she's gone through.) as she's 55 and looks to be in her late 30's at most.
(no subject) - pyrochan - Oct. 28th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
frosty_pickle
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
I don't remember turning 25. I'm almost 28 now and I'm scared to turn 30.
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
it's not as awful as it sounds, i promise! cooome to the daaark siiiide!
(no subject) - frosty_pickle - Oct. 28th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - frosty_pickle - Oct. 28th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sweet_tiffany82 - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
bigstusexy
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I think I have a unique position on this.
I'm not 25 yet, I've got a few more months :P However I feel as though I've already started with the things you spoke of doing at 25. I've done most of them by choice and some by necessity, I don't go out needlessly (read: at all) and I am quite responsible and fugal with my money. I don't get a lot of it but you'd be surprised what I can do with it. In ways I feel like I am still a lot more responsible than people my age although I think people younger than me are older and everyone is passing me by.


I believe that 25 is going to be a big milestone. I'm not sure if I posted this but I set 25 is a due date of sorts. 25 is the date that I was supposed to be “marketable”. That is done with classes or just about, on my way or having a nice paying job and saving for the future with a good head on my shoulders. If there was a someone in my life I wanted to be on the way to having one or at least be extremely attractive to the market. If I didn't that would mean that I had fallen behind schedule, fallen down on the construction of my life. With the bleak outlook that there is no real making up time this is disheartening and... depressing. Interestingly enough if things keep going well I might either end up being closer to my goals than I thought I'd be say three months ago or off the market for an acceptable reason ;)

I don't feel the pressures of life coming to a head. I know I am not a loafer just waiting for life to come and swallow me whole. I feel like I've already gotten a lot of work out of the way but I've got more to do. Lastly there is perhaps the denied side that might start itching to come out then there way be nothing. I'm not quit sure what it will hold but I'm sure I'm going to come out of it on top but I'll be vastly different... even if it is just those little bits inside that I don't show to anyone.
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmmm... I think I have a unique position on this.
you're a very driven individual, stu! and quite optomistic!

i go through periods where i'm highly motivated, and others where i avoid responisibility like the plague. i just wish i could remain constant.

beautiful response :)
aintesduck
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
Oddly (?) enough, none of my 'landmark' birthdays (21, 25, 30) have meant much to me. They just sort of happened.

i had a slight inner panic that suddenly they would feel that i wasn't cool anymore

I guess never having been cool, I had nothing to loose...

In the past few months I've felt like I really want to do something with my life, do something with my art, but I think that's less an age thing and more because of the enforced inactivity, lost time and energy, and (if I want to be pop-Freudian) the fact that I'm realizing I'm mortal, all due to Sue's extended illness.
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
i'm waiting for the Big Shoe of Death to drop, to help me to realize i won't live forever. i find it almost eerie that i am 30 and, other than all of my grandparents dying off before i was 8 (and before realizing what death meant), that i have never lost anyone close to me. with my mother's failing health, i'm sure that it's only a matter of time, but still.

i go through little times where i feel like i need to get myself out there and expose myself (in a non sexual way, naturally) to as many people as possible, because once i'm dead.. i'm just a memory. so why not imprint my memory on as many people as possible?

part of the reason i wanted to become a musician, methinks.
(Deleted comment)
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
aww, sweetie! *hugs tightly* i took 6 days off of work to cope with my birthday! ha! i did go through a bit of a depression, but i don't feel it was totally because i turned 30. i can't remember what spurred it on, but know that it hit right at my birthday, so maybe subconsciously....?

and you're so much more than just a mommy!
beccak1961
Oct. 28th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC)
birthdays just have never bothered me. 18 would have been the big one because I moved away from the nuthouse. 21 was big, I found out I was pregnant with Josh on my 21st birthday.
I guess this year was kind of exciting, what with having to FLEE for our lives and relocate and blah blah katrina blah blah.
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
wow, what a birthday present!!!

my 21st sucked ROYALLY. i had had all these ideas about how 21st birthdays should have been. unfortunately, i was the first one of my friends to turn 21, so a bar was out of the question. i was living with a friend and her husband at the time. her husband was out of town, and we invited a coworker to go to the movies with us. so i went into safeway and bought jack daniels wine cooler thingies and smuggled them into the movie theatre. we watched the birdcage.

afterwards, we went back to our apartment, and i promptly ended up sitting by myself in the living room as the friend and the coworker went and made out.
gingerdc9
Oct. 28th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC)
I've found my 30s to be infinitely better in many ways than my 20s.
LOVE the leaves, btw! :D
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
thank you! due to my complete lj html idiocy, my dearest belenen made it for me!

i do feel like my life is just beginning, in a lot of ways. funny how that works, as nothing's really changed yet.
soulresilience
Oct. 28th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
I just turned 25... :(
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)
it may not seem that way NOW, but i promise that in retrospect, it will seem that life began right around now.

maybe it's just that i'm getting so old that i don't remember much before i was 25!
(no subject) - soulresilience - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - soulresilience - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aubkabob - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - soulresilience - Oct. 28th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
poptopia
Oct. 28th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
I kind of felt the same about my 30th.

I didn't make a big deal out of it and didn't have negative feelings about turning 30. I actually looked forward to it because I somehow felt that it was a more "legitimate" age, you know? Like, people in their 20s, no matter how mature or smart they are, automatically get written off just based on their age. I felt like 30 had more cred to it somehow, for whatever reason. I definitely feel more comfortable in my "30s skin" as opposed to 20s!
aubkabob
Oct. 28th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
i remember about how i had gone back to work the first day back from my birthday vacation and they handed me keys to everything, as if i had suddenly gone through some rite of passage in order to be able to obtain the Magical Keys, so i can definitely understand the more credibility thingiemabob!
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