A self-assessment 30 years in the making.
I turned 30 this week.
I was expecting it to be a big deal. Mostly because it seems like it should be a big deal. Turning 30 is supposed to finally make you feel like you’re turning old – like you’re running out of time. 30 is when you finally realize your own mortality and do something crazy. Bah! I’m getting too old for that stuff.
I think we all have different “trigger birthdays”. Mine were 19 and 27. I realized my own mortality at 19 and promptly jumped out of an airplane to compensate. I felt the unyielding march of time at 27 and finally opened a 401(k). Same thing, really.
My 27th birthday was also the year I had my existential crisis. I guess I was three years ahead of the curve. I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be in life, and I realized that I had been banking on my “potential” for far too long. At a certain age unrealized potential just becomes disappointment. I was at that age. I was happy, but I wasn’t the raging success I always pictured I would be – that rich guy I was somehow waiting to become.
I also realized that for a long time – maybe my whole life – I had been trying to prove myself to the world. The seed of that realization became the first post on this site. I didn’t want to operate like that anymore. So I stopped trying to define myself and started down a path to discover myself.
I made progress. It wasn’t always easy – unearthing the dark parts of one’s psyche can be disturbing – but I soldiered on. I tackled fears, and doubts, and insecurities along the way. I found a lot of good things too.
I reflected on my progress a year later when I turned 28. I had come far and it felt good. I could also feel 30 quickly approaching, but I welcomed it now. 30 would bring two more years of insights and self-discovery. I couldn’t wait to see who my 30-year-old self would be – to know what that person would know.
And now here I am. I’m 30. I am the future self I looked forward to knowing – to becoming.
Here’s what I know about myself now that I’m 30. Read the rest of this entry »