So it turns out, the cliches about turning 30 are true.
(Except that one about the biological clock. Fuck that shit.)
Welcome back. You may have noticed that I haven’t updated this blog since last May. In the interim, I covered Marvel’s Secret Wars (still not complete, by the way), taught myself to draw, and started cartooning. I closed my Etsy shop, picked up bullet-journaling, and, in the face of a so-called milestone birthday, had more than one breakdown over my apparent lack of progress as an adult.
They call my generation ‘Boomerang Kids’ – Millennials who left the nest for college, then turned right around and moved back in with Mom and Dad post-grad because the wider world is terrible, and depressing, and an empty nightmare of struggles to find affordable healthcare.
I’m thirty years old, and there’s almost nothing adult about me.
The society we live in would like me to be ashamed about my failure to meet its standards for what a woman in her thirties ought to be. She ought to be living on her own. She ought to be in a relationship. She ought to be thinking about children. She ought to have – if not a career – then stable employment that allows her to afford all those other requirements.
I have two dogs, a part-time job, and live in one of the most expensive cities in the world – with my parents. And I’m lucky.
Most of the people in the world aren’t as lucky as I am, and yet everywhere I go there’s pressure to conform to someone else’s standards for adulthood. It’s in the pitying looks when I explain that I work 22 hours a week in a comic book shop. The concern about my lack of romantic partner. That pause just after I reveal that I still, yes, still, live at home.
Because despite having loving, supportive parents, a ridiculously expensive education, and all the privilege that comes from being a middle-class white woman, I am afraid of everything – managing money, leading people on, failure in general – and, particularly, I’m afraid that by putting off all the milestones of development for a person my age, I’m so far behind the curve I’ll never catch up. So congratulations, world, I am embarrassed by my failure to be a successful grown-up.
And yet, as I chronicle life after 30 – which I imagine will be very similar to life leading up to 30 – I hope for understanding, both for myself and for others. This is the story of a control freak who’s not in control. I’m not living the life I want – yet – but, you know what? As long as I continue to ignore the supposed rules, I still have time.