I’m 30, now what?

*Originally posted spring 2022

Today was a strange day – but in a good way.

It’s the day after my 30th birthday, and I’ve been joking with my friend about how I’m just going to “stay 29 forever.” I know it’s a lame joke but it’s all I can think of. After A lifetime of using humor to mask my insecurity, I needed to go for the low hanging fruit on this one.

I have a small social circle – just me, my best friend, and my cat. The only other people I interact with are my coworkers. I’m not against having more friends, but I’ve been kind of a shitty friend lately. I can’t go back in time, but I can make sure I don’t forget that. One of my favorite YouTubers, Larry Lawton, has a catchphrase: “I don’t believe in bad people, I believe in bad choices.” So, I’ve got a lot of good ones to start making. I am making myself sound like a monster here, it’s not that I like, punched any of them or anything. It’s more like, I rarely, if at all, respond to messages or answer my phone. So, it’s like…an emotional punch? I digress.

Back to my small social circle – I went out of my way to hide that it was my birthday, even at work I deleted my birthday from my employee profile just so it wouldn’t show up on the daily birthdays list. It sounds like I was afraid, and I suppose I was. I couldn’t stand the thought of being reminded that I was 30. I get along with my colleagues and the most that happens on someone’s birthday is a few people giving a lazily excited “Happy Birthday!” But still, I was afraid of hearing it. I was being dumb. Even with all those stupid thoughts I was exhausting myself with, yesterday ended up being my favorite birthday ever.

It was super special, and I wasn’t ready for that.

I went to work and happened to have an earlier shift, getting off at 3:00pm instead of my usual 6:00pm. The plan was to leave work and hang out with my best friend. In my mind I would go to her place to talk and have coffee, you know, keep it simple. She did say she got a present for me, against my protests, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t really excited for whatever it was.

After work, I went straight to my friend’s apartment, where she had surprised me with cute little birthday decorations all over her place. It was a really sweet gesture, and she welcomed me with a hug and wished me a happy birthday. I was already having a great time when she gave me the gifts, a couple of new outfits. It was simple, yet the perfect gift. I am appreciating more and more that a good friend won’t try to give you a special day, they will try to give you your special day. Kind of like when Leslie knew what Ron’s perfect birthday would be.

But that’s not even the coolest part! We sat and talked for a while before going to our new favorite coffee shop. Then we drove around the city and just laughed like two morons. I felt completely out of my shell. I didn’t even think about being trans. It’s happened only one other time before this, and it’s weird. It’s amazing, but weird. Both times it made me feel like I had just caught up on a decade of sleep the next day.

I forget how much I can get in the way of myself. The last time this happened was a little less than a year ago, on the first day of my new job. It was my first time working at a place where I was out before they knew me. I definitely let myself fall back down again after that, but it’s okay, I keep getting better in small but significant ways. I need to stay proud of the fact that I’m getting much stronger when it comes to pulling myself back up.

Here’s to 30

Thank you

Featured Image: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


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