Pulau Payar, near Langkawi, 2003. One day before my 29th birthday.
Karen has turned 29 this year and posed an open question to her female readers about what’s it like to turn 30. I’m not female but I thought it was a great topic. So here is my response.
That it takes another person’s prompting for me to write about what is supposed to be one of THE big milestones in a person’s life: when they turn 30, is telling of my attitude towards age.
The concept of age is different for women, especially to those who want children. To me it’s really just a number. I had settled into the person that I am now at the age of 25/26 and from then till I was 30 I hadn’t changed much.
My views on life were the same and still are – I cherish the important things such as family and good friends. I enjoy the simple pleasures of eating and drinking, and playing with my dog and relaxing in front of the TV or computer. And as long as my body holds up, I will still remember to party.
Society has certain expectations on both men and women, and a lot of people have a checklist of goals to achieve before they turn 30: see the world, do amazing things, marriage, kids, house, cash and assets rich. Me? I don’t have a list. The only significant event when I was turning 30 was that I had just restarted my IT career, after having run a restaurant for 1.5 years. My impending 30th birthday and what I was supposed to have achieved as a 30 year old man were not priorities.
The day came and went without fanfare. Not many friends know my birthday, not even close ones because I don’t make a big deal about it. And my parents just happened to be away that time. So it was that I woke up the next day not feeling any different. No imaginary milestones have been passed, and my life continued as before.
I’m now turning 33 in December and how have I changed since I was 30? Erm, not much. I still view life as a meandering journey with no set destinations or timetable, and that the only things that matter are the journey itself and the people whose lives that I have touched and vice-versa.
And to answer one of Karen’s questions in her post,
Should 20-somethings just get over it and save the brain cells for something more important?
The answer is yes – don’t live your life to other people’s expectations; live it to yours and at your own schedule.
At Ruvinda’s wedding July 2005 – 30 turning 31.