At 28, can 30 be far behind?

Published 9:52 pm Friday, January 8, 2010

One of the great modern philosophers of our generation, Jay-Z, said that 30 is the new 20 in his song “30 Something,” the hip-hop anthem aimed at bucking the conventional view of aging.

In many ways, he may be right. The 20-somethings of the 2000s seem to be — by and large — getting married later, finding careers later and, overall, just settling down later. All of that is just fine with me as it makes me feel an awful lot better about turning 28 next week.

Ordinarily, I pay little attention to birthdays. They become gradually less exciting as you get older. But 28 is a little different. It’s by no means ancient, but you officially can no longer think of yourself as being in your mid 20s. At 28, you are staring at 30 and it’s coming more quickly than you’d like to acknowledge.

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Still Jay-Z’s thought process makes me feel a little better. The song itself refers to how life is better for him in his 30s than it was in his 20s. I can only hope the same holds true for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. And I’m perfectly content with everything it includes. But I’m not so much looking forward to that 10-year high school reunion this year. All the things by which people traditionally measure success are not things I’ve spent time enhancing.

There’s the home. I’m renting. An apartment. Sort of. But I have a place to live, and that is exciting.

There’s the car. I’m driving a hand-me-down that occasionally reminds me that it has been around for a while. But I have a mode of transportation, and that is exciting.

There’s the family. I’m as single as the day is long. But I’m cool with that because it gives me more time to be occupied with other things in my life.

In short, all of the things that you kind of figure would have worked themselves out by 28, just haven’t been at the top of my priority list.

But I take comfort in knowing that Jay-Z has found better days in his 30s. And he can’t be the only one right?

So 28 is coming in a matter of days and, to me, it could scarcely matter less.

Although, there is that nagging voice in the back of my mind that says, “Dude, you’re like 30 and have jack to show for it.”

But if Mayan calendars and John Cusack movies are remotely accurate, I won’t have to worry about 31, so whatever.

Jeremy D. Smith is the sports editor of the Demopolis Times