Earlier this month I hit the big 2-9.
I know 29 isn’t the traditional “big” milestone. But imagine turning 29 and everyone saying, “It’s the last year of your 20’s! Wow this is a big deal!”
Like I didn’t know. Thanks so much. For the reminder.
Not sure when or why it happened but 30 has become such a high pressure age. THE high pressure age.
Have you done all you wanted to do? Gone everywhere you wanted to go? Seen all you wanted to see? Found the love of your life? Started a family?
It’s like wait, isn’t there life after 30? Do we die at 31 and no one told me that’s the life
expectancy of people born in 1989?
So much pressure...for what?
It reminds me of the pilot episode of Insecure. Issa turns 29 and is talking to Mollie about how she feels like she needs to make a decision on whether or not she should stay with Lawrence because she’s closing in on 30. She asks herself, “Did I waste my 20s on this guy?”
Think about that. She was living her life, dating man she cared about for five years, but instead of asking herself about his purpose in her life, or how she’s meant to grow from the situation, her first thought is, “Did I waste time?” Why is it that as women in our 20s, we see things through a lens of time spent instead of a lens of lessons learned?
Of course she didn’t waste her time. She learned, she grew, she prepared herself to be even better and smarter at 30.
I said all this to say, I don’t think I realized how much pressure I was putting on myself about 30 until I turned 29. I’m not sure I fully comprehended how much expectation I had for myself as a woman inching closer to 30. As much as I try to go beyond the questions and expectations put on women my age by society, I still fell into the trap of believing that each age comes with a checklist of things you should have accomplished by now.
Even something as simple as a birthday party. My best friend asked me about my plans for next year and suddenly 50-leven things ran through my head. “It’s 30 I should do an elaborate birthday trip. Or should I stay local and throw an epic party? What I should be doing is forgetting these girls and going on a baecation!”
All those shoulds. But the reality is, there are no prescriptions or checkpoints for your life.
If you’re doing what feels right and natural for you, then you’re doing the right thing!
Meanwhile, as I continue to consider what kind of trip I might take (because if I do decide to do a group thing I guess folks should start saving now), I realize I have options and there is no one formula for how my life - or my 30th birthday - should look. I have more than a few options:
Party Trip/Girls Trip
My first inclination is to do a party trip with my ladies. The ultimate party destination for me would be somewhere like Ibiza, where I could completely let loose, spend my days on the ridiculously beautiful blue beaches, and party like crazy at night. Maybe even take a pill? (Just kidding, I would never, but I do love the song.) But seriously, 11 years ago the government made a law that all new hotels must be five-star, which means this is a place that tops my 30th birthday list.
Baecation (pending the addition of an official bae)
Hate to admit but thinking about 30 I’ve always contemplated in the back of my head not doing a girls trip but a baecation instead. Now, one big ingredient is missing--the actual bae--but assuming I got that squared away within the next 12 months I’d consider somewhere like Costa Rica. I went in 2015 with my girlfriends and we spent a few days in Tabacon, an amazing warm springs resort that was filled with little hidden gems and romantic moments perfect for me and the future boo.
I might just ditch my homegirls and a potential boo and just decide to vacate solo dolo. I’ve heard great things about Cape Town for solo travelers. And as a history buff and person who just finished Trevor Noah’s fantastic book Born a Crime, I’d love to take my time exploring the city and taking in all of the sites.
Who says I need to take a trip at all? I could always hang around my town (Washington, D.C) and do some of the amazing things available to do around here over the summer. I moved here because I love this city so much especially in warm weather. So maybe instead of spending thousands on a trip I could go to the monuments at night, or hit up Jazz in the Garden, or visit the beautiful new Southwest Waterfront, or finally take the paddle boats around the Potomac.
If you’ve found yourself thinking any of the same thoughts I was thinking about the big 2-9, just remember there’s no wrong way to go. If you’re alive to see it, healthy, and got enough money in the bank to consider a trip, consider it a win.