Today is a milestone in the life of Derjue. I am currently in the waning hours of my 20s. Late tomorrow morning, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of my emergence into the world.

Some of my friends had a hard time hitting their third decade, but it’s not bothering me too badly. I’ve always loved my birthday (as a textbook Leo, I like when things are all about me), and I’ve always subscribed to the it’s getting older or dying and I’d rather be alive school of thought when it comes to aging.

It’s odd to think this marks the beginning of my 30th year on the planet. Some days, it feels like learning to do long division or drive a car happened yesterday. It hardly ever feels like high school ended 12 years ago, or that I’ve been out of college for nearly a decade, or that my wee charges are no longer so wee. Someday, I’ll look in the rearview mirror of life and my 30th birthday will be a distant milestone, like those I passed so quickly before it.

I’m fine with the next decade of my life because I’ve never had a grand master plan. I knew some things—I would go to college, I would support myself, I’d travel—but I never had a timeline for when those things would happen. And it’s a good thing I didn’t plan too much, because hardly anything has worked out the way I envisioned it would. I never dreamed I’d work in municipal government. I never thought I’d be paid to write full-time. Nor did I think I’d be unemployed twice, or scream at my cheating ex-boyfriend on the sidewalk outside my house. But it all helped me grow, and for that I’ve got to be grateful.

I can only hope my 30s are full of the things that seem so out of reach to me now. Gainful employment. Maybe a husband and kids. Being debt-free. Owning property. But I’m excited to see what the next decade of my life throws my way.

And, in closing, some wisdom from Jay-Z, who’s certainly done well for himself in his 30s:

I don’t got the bright watch, I got the right watch
I don’t buy out the bar, I bought the nightspot
I got the right stock, I got stockbrokers that’s movin it like white-tops
I know you like, “Fuck!”
This is child abuse, call DYFS
I might just be getting nicer
You young boys ain’t ready fa’real
30’s the new 20, nigga, I’m so hot still


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