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Thirty Sentences I Only Said After I Turned 30

The things you think when you're not young or old or even middle-aged.
Illustrations by Stephen Maurice Graham

What you learn in your early twenties is not to waste time with people you don't like. I barely see anyone anymore. I think I should spend more time with people my own age. I think I watch too many cartoons. It's weird how many dead people I know.

Bars with DJs are all too loud. The quiet places are all full of yuppies. The nice bars are all full of kids. Remember when you were that age, and you drank like you were trying to win a contest, and you were comparing notes with your roommates to see who had the highest blood-alcohol percentage, which involved looking at a chart and saying stuff like, "I'm experiencing stupor and slurred speech," and, "We should be dead"?


If I have more than two tonight I'll wake up with a hangover. I have to wake up early or I'll get stuck in traffic. I have to wake up early for a meeting. I have to wake up early because we're going away for the weekend.

Sometimes I wish I could drink more.

I like my job. I thought I would like my job more than I do. I thought when I woke up every morning, I'd be in a perfect, tidy, organized little oasis of my own design, but my apartment still looks like a young person lives there. I thought I would reminisce less than I do. I thought I would feel like more of an adult. I thought at least that I would turn out to be a nicer person.

I kind of miss indie rock. Remember when you would download a new album and listen to it those first three or four times it takes to get really into it, and when you put in your earbuds and walked around town with that music in your ears, the chorus on one of those songs would kick in like an opiate, and you felt like you owned the world? I wish I listened to more new music.

I never imagined I'd still live here. I never imagined my relationship would end. I never imagined I'd watch a guy walk around the natural history museum with his four-year-old daughter, answering her questions about the planets and the big bang, and actually walk in a different direction so I could follow them for a minute and listen, and go back and forth in my head between thinking, Oh come on, that guy just won the kid lottery and got a really bright one, on one hand and thinking, No, actually kids are all excited about the universe like that, and being a parent is really where my life is going, on the other. If I had the money, maybe I'd have a kid by now. Being an adult basically means having enough money to do adult things.

I'm OK with turning 40. I think.

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