Since the moment I stopped being 19, I have latched on to the phrase “thirty is the new twenty” as if the proliferation of the phrase depended entirely on me. A precocious teenager, I decided to start having a quarter-life crisis at the start of my sweet 16 and have been clinging to it white-knuckled ever since. As I got older, saying “thirty is the new twenty” was a great psychological trick to dissuade the mounting tension about how to transfer myself from adolescence (which I wasn’t terribly superb at) to adulthood (a word which has become more meaningless with each passing year). This amazing phrase bought me a ten year time out of caring. If thirty was the new twenty, then my twenties were allowed to be the aimless mess I had steered it into. This free decade could be a cocoon to hide me from reality. I would hibernate in the obscurity of this lost decade, sure that when it ended I would be probably mostly kind of ready to give that whole “adult” shit a try. Emerge a beautiful butterfly of maturity.
Recently it has been brought to my attention that these ten years of existence might not be as throwaway as I had hoped.