I'm turning 30 tomorrow. Everyone seems to have an opinion about turning 30, it seems to drip with stigma from my parents and grandparents generations. I think for baby boomers 30 is the "i'm not young anymore" age. The age when you should really have your shit together because you have a house now, and a spouse and children, and if you DON'T have those things... then you should REALLY be freaking out. 30 is the "I'm 5 years away from middle age" age. At least it was. For a woman it's the "I belong to a different age group now" age and is the death of the young naive 20 something who goes to music festivals on a whim and wears long flowy translucent jackets while taking pictures with a film camera.
But now I think 30 is a little different. It's still a milestone, but less of a "I'm approaching middle age" milestone and more of a "I'm not a kid anymore" milestone. I know 30 year olds who have 4 kids and are twice married. I know 30 year olds who still live at their parents and are in college. I think 30 is starting to mean very different things to different people, and to me, it's been something I thought I'd handle very well, and then found that I do actually care, and I've been thinking about what 30 means in my own life. Do I feel old? Am I sad to see my childhood dissappear completely? Do I feel closer to dying?
Everyone who I've spoken to in my life who's older than me has said that their 30s were great. That turning 30 was a really fun time in their life, that it's a sweet spot of capability and youth, of the right combination of know how and can do. It's the age where you know how to get yourself to italy, and you can play soccer with the locals without popping your kneecap out.
When I was 20, I was planning a wedding over the summer and marrying joe, befor moving in with him in florida. At 21 I was depressed, and a fulltime student. I was miserable. At 22 I was just figuring out that the medication I was on was making me depressed and things slowly started to get better. Life was still mostly hard for me. At 23 I went to Italy, and it was amazing. I stopped my medication and came out of my chemically induced depression while also being abroad. At 24 I moved to Hawaii and developed a mysterious knee injury that left me once again depressed and bed ridden for a long time. I also got to live in Hawaii, which was cool. At 25 I adopted my son, and life got suddenly much much better, while I also was finally diagnosed with a panic disorder, and started therapy, which was one of the best decisions I ever made. At 26 I had graduated from the Academy, and started a new job and met people who I'm still close friends with today. At 27 I said goodbye to my best friends, and stopped therapy. At 28 I left my family to move to Oregon and find a home, and started freelancing. My family soon followed. At 29 I settled into my life, had a baby boy, and started actually working as a freelance illustrator fulltime.
Now I'm turning 30, and my 20s have felt so eventful, and scary and chaotic and stressful and sometimes truly awful and sometimes great, and truthfully if I could turn back time I wouldn't want to. I am far more mentally healthy than I've ever been in my life, I just went through childbirth, which has left me a different person than I was 3 months ago, I'm stronger and more self assured than I ever was, and I just generally feel like I know myself better, and like myself more than when I was 20. I live in a wine town up in the hills with lush gardens and wild fruit everywhere, with streams and rivers running through it and vineyards for miles. I live in a beautiful place and I have a family that loves me and supports me. Both my mom and my inlaws live nearbye and I see them often. My oldest childhood friend is 40 minutes away. I really love my life right now, and 30 does scare me a little (it's such a big even number, it looks so new and different) I can honestly say this is exactly where I want to be right now.
In actual art news: I'm currently working on a real thing with a real writer and real publishers and since that's happening I'm not sharing it because that's how real things go sometimes. I'm trying to get back into the daily sketch habit so I'm online more, but baby+real project thing = no time, or at least challenges in time management. The real thing is cool though, and I'm excited about sharing it in the future.
Oh and I applied for San Diego Comic Con 2018. Wish me luck.