Featured, Theory & Essay

I Just Turned 30, And, Well…How Does 30 Work?

Forty-one days ago, I turned thirty. I didn’t make a big deal of it. ‘Twas a lovely day, though. I had a quiet, masterfully seasoned dinner with Mister Man. Got me some birthday sex. Bought myself a serious person’s winter coat (that I hardly wear). The sky didn’t crash on my head. I’m still not on AARP’s radar. Dick still works like it should. All good so far.

But now that I’m 60 in Gay Years, I figure there are certain things I reckon I should start thinking about. Investments. Polo shirts. Metabolism. Tube socks. Unfortunately, life can’t be all about sex and delicious homophobic chicken biscuits.

So, yes. It’s time for me to get some grown up savings. Yes, I should get me some stocks and perhaps some prune juice. I need to learn how to play dominoes and knit du-rags for my grandbabies. I need a respectable suit. By now, I should know how to sew on a button and eat pussy (in a parallel universe), but everything in time I suppose.

I can admit that I’m still figuring Thirty out. I am trying to not be too hard on myself for not meeting ultimately meaningless deadlines that I set arbitrarily at 21. (By now, I was supposed to be Janet’s choreographer, own a BMW and be somebody’s pappy.) I’m old enough for the grown and sexy parties, but four decades too young for Kem fandom. I’m old enough to understand the horror of adding salt to your sugar grits, yet not quite ready to purchase my burial plot.

The consensus is that the sex gets better from here on out, gods be good. I’ve already developed an allergy to teenagers, so it appears I’m right on schedule. More importantly, I’m one year closer to being able to claim that which is my birthright: old people discounts. What beautiful motivation to get up in the morning in this abominable, Iggy Azalea-endorsing world.

I guess what I’m trying to say is…How does Thirty work? How long do I have before I’m expected to own a white linen suit and attend jazz festivals? I’m a decade away from closed-toe leather sandals, right? Did I miss the committee of butt nekkid dancing ass niggas in Timbs and loincloth that welcomes everyone on the shores of Thirtyland? Where is the manual on Slowly Becoming Your Damn Dad? Does Obamacare cover colonics? When does my Maze featuring Frankie Beverly box set arrive? When is the shirt-tucking seminar?

So, I’ll turn it over to you fine folks. Which parts of Thirty would you do differently if given the chance? Did your dick get bigger or your ‘gina get wetter? Are you looking forward to turning thirty? Dammit, let’s talk about it.

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Alex Hardy

Alexander Hardy is the dance captain for Saint Damita Jo Jackson's Royal Army. He is a writer who escaped Hampton, Virginia and is now based in Panama City, Panama. There, he runs The Colored Boy, and consumes copious amounts of chicken. He has written for EBONY.com, CNN, Gawker, and Huffington Post among other outlets. Alexander can likely be found daydreaming about his next meal or Blacking It Up on someone's dance floor. He also doesn't believe in snow or Delaware. Read more from Alex at www.thecoloredboy.com

  • Val

    The statement, ‘age ain’t nuthin’ but a number’ is pretty true for the most part. You are as old as you feel. With that said, even if you feel young one should prepare for the future like a grown-up. That’s what I learned at thirty.

    Happy birthday, Alex!

    And quit eating those biscuits!

    • but the biscuits are so good.

      • Word. Ain’t like you can barf up biscuits you ate 12 years ago. LOL

  • miss t-lee

    I turned 30 *cough, cough* years ago, and I must say it’s been pretty awesome. Much thanks to melanin and genetics.
    Outside of the new occasional grey hairs that I keep finding, and new ways of injuring myself by simply doing everyday tasks I can’t complain.
    I also appreciate a new perspective that I’ve gained, can’t quite put my finger on it, but when you realize it–you know.

  • sylvia gray

    I spent my 30’s wandering in the wilderness, I mean earning grad degrees and trying to stay funded, so my good times actually came in the 40’s, which were a revelation. It’s like there was this great party going on that no one told me about. In fact, they lied and carried on about how sad and depressing things were over in that room. So, for what it’s worth, something else to look forward to until you can get that AARP card!

    • OSHH

      Just entering the 40’s and I love them so far, I love me in them LOL

  • OSHH

    LOL, I am a decade older than you, but my 30’s were still incredibly youthful and fun.
    You start applying wisdom and tend not to make the “young” mistakes anymore because you really you haven’t the time or inclination. You know better so you do better.
    Your confidence increases as you are more self assured.
    Your style, should be refining all the time
    **I would encourage all to start strength training with cardio in your 30’s if haven’t done so by then, the 30’s is the time to pick up them weights, stave off effects of gravity, maintain bone strength and density, muscle mass burns fat etc.

    Now my 40’s, the first six months have been like “I never did mind about the little things” type fly.

    • miss t-lee

      “Your confidence increases as you are more self assured.
      Your style, should be refining all the time”

      YES.

    • Mutsa

      I would encourage all to start strength training with cardio in your 30’s if haven’t done so by then, the 30’s is the time to pick up them weights, stave off effects of gravity, maintain bone strength and density, muscle mass burns fat etc.
      –on it!

  • Freebird

    I went into 30 knowing the dope sh it was just getting started. Received a surprise party, went out got drunk and apparently ran around downtown gliding like a bird. Got kissed a couple if times for being sweet. My boys carried me home.

    Homie. Everything is better after 30. The opposite/preferred s ex, booze, confidence, vacations, relationships with parents, friendships, everything. And after 35?
    If you stay single this sh can get really fun.

    Happy Birthday

  • As this year for me is aptly titled the “Farewell to the Twenties World Tour,” I, too, wonder what is on the other side. The Thirty side. As I feel my f*cks decreasing and my propensity to comfortable couches and wines increase, I can only be assured a good time awaits. That said, I guess what lies is confidence in doing whatever the f*ck you want. No parents to question your haves/have nots (and even if they do, f*ck it). Have friends of varying levels of professionalism and relationship-isms (because you get to see what you’re missing as a model, or have a spectacle for popcorn viewing a la MJ in Thriller), and hang out with a toddler or two (if that’s your kind of thing). You get more comfortable taking trips by yourself, because who wants to spend more time deciding with 17.6 other people what to do together, when you could have just dipped off on your own? F that. While y’all decide, I’m gonna go to my indie coffee shop and play a rousing round of “spot the hipster” where the plot twist is everyone is a hipster.

    All rambling aside, I’d say Thirty (and beyond) is yours for the making.

  • Mutsa

    I would encourage all to start strength training with cardio in your 30’s if haven’t done so by then, the 30’s is the time to pick up them weights, stave off effects of gravity, maintain bone strength and density, muscle mass burns fat etc.
    –on it!

  • MzzPeaches

    “Did I miss the committee of butt nekkid dancing ass niggas in Timbs and loincloth that welcomes everyone on the shores of Thirtyland?”

    See I’m trying to bust 30 wide open (in 7.5 months to be exact) and this would be just the welcome wagon I need.

    But in all seriousness, I’m trying to stave off the tick-tock of my biological clock. To be the eldest of three girls, still childless and unmarried is starting to earn me the side-eye from family members as they purse their lips inquiring “When you gone have a baby?”

  • miss t-lee

    “If you stay single this sh can get really fun.”

    WOO.

  • uniquebeauty79

    Hello. My name is Denise and I am a member of the 35 and confused as hell club. When I turned 30, I don’t know if it’s harder for women than men, but I went through some tough mental shit before 30. I had been married (read divorced here). Had the kids. College. I actually liked my career path. For some reason, I still woke up confused about where I was in my life. And feeling like some things just didn’t work out the way I had planned. Now at 35. I’m still the same I was then all youthful and what not but more honed in on what I deem important vs what society tells me is important for someone in my age bracket. Focus on what YOU want and that will solve half of your queries.

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