The Panic of Turning 30

When I started writing this piece, it was filled with magical unicorns that pooped sprinkles and vomited rainbows. Though I initially panicked about turning 30 when I turned 29, I had since felt at peace and even excited about starting a new decade. I smiled and remembered when I cried the night before I turned 20 because I was “getting old.” I felt grateful that I didn’t feel that way with this decade coming around.

Then anxiety + life were like “HAHAHA. I’ma make you freak out— just wait.” When my birthday month of September came around, suddenly 30 seemed really ominous. I tried to rationalize how silly I was to focus on a number. I knew it was just a number, and that who I was on my last day of being 29 would hardly be different from who I was on my first day in my 30s. I certainly appreciated how fulfilling my 20s had been and how much I’ve grown through my trials and tribulations. After all, I was a 29-year-old unmarried woman with no children, a PhD, a great career, an adventure-filled life, and great friends and family.

I was an almost 30-year-old unmarried woman with no children…

BOOM! My biological clock was suddenly ticking louder than the fire alarm at 3 in the morning. And not only that, but the realization of death’s inevitability consumed me. Everything that I had ticked off as far as accomplishments, adventures, and travels seemed to no longer matter. All I could think about was that I was unmarried and had no children and that turning 30 meant I was closer to dying, and alone.

But WAITAMINUTE, let’s back up. The thing is, I don’t even want to get married and have kids— I mean, maybe I won’t feel that way forever, but right now? I’m good. And, yes, I realize thirty is still young. I am healthy and so are the people in my inner circle, but that didn’t stop my panic.

I was frustrated with myself for being so fickle and confused, but I couldn’t snap out of it. I’m an advocate of living the life you love and loving the life you live, but here I was lusting after others’ pathways. I ransacked all the decisions that had led me to this point (unmarried, childless, dying) and wondered if I would be one of those women who was so committed to being independent that she’d end up alone with 43 cats. Yeah… that rabbit hole was deeper than a black hole.

The thing is, the biological clock is real. Men can procreate and marry whenever, but for a woman the restrictions of her anatomy are such that time matters. Death is also real. Everyone is going to die eventually, and you will either be alive to see your loved ones pass, or your loved ones will be alive to see you pass. It was when I finally vented to my girlfriends and relatives that I realized that I wasn’t alone. All would come in due time and if it didn’t, such is life. I thought back to my sage mother’s words after one such episode: “You have to live your life within today, today. I’ve never met anyone that lived two days in one.” I felt better.

So today is my last day being 29. Tomorrow I will be thirty. The dirty thirty. THIRTY. Nothing will have changed but everything always changes constantly. That is woven deeply into the very fabric of the universe itself. All year I’ve been citing, “I’m about to be 30, idgaf.” It has been my motto to motivate me to take greater risks, tolerate less BS, prioritize my time with worthwhile people, and embrace all that is me with my faults and all. Well, tomorrow I’m going to be 30, and idgaf. I still have a bunch of love to give and adventures to seek, so I’m now ready, really, to face this new decade. I’m about to make this decade pop off.

As one woman nears thirty, she momentarily panics over the fact that she's single with no kids. It takes calling on her tribe of friends and family to realize that she's turning and she doesn't give AF about society's viewpoints or standards.

I am a consultant by day, a dreamer by night, a gypsy always. My dreams are filled with arts and crafts, travels and adventures, music and photography, nature and laughter. I chase my fears and express them in words. Welcome to my realm.

Carollaine Garcia

I am a consultant by day, a dreamer by night, a gypsy always. My dreams are filled with arts and crafts, travels and adventures, music and photography, nature and laughter. I chase my fears and express them in words. Welcome to my realm.