Turning 30 isn't the death sentence I thought it would be

by Bryan Kelly
Contributor

I recently turned 30, and I must say…

I now realize that, for years, I had my head so far up my ass that I could have easily performed my own colonoscopy!

See, while in college, I had friends who had always known what they wanted to do when they grew up. Hell, the only thing I had always known was that I didn’t want to grow up. Grown-ups worked at jobs I didn’t understand, paid lots of bills and drove sedans. And those were just the 25-year-olds! As for 30-year-olds? Forget it! If that’s 25, then better to be dead than 30!

During college I certainly didn’t think about what I’d do after college. But the next thing I knew, someone slapped me on the back and handed me a diploma. Just like that I was ceremoniously cast from the comfort of the academic womb.

Long story short, after college I putzed around for a while before caving in and getting a “grown-up” job. Though my interests lay with the written word, I cowered at the prospect of an unpredictable career. So I packed away my pen and pad like out-of-season clothes and gave up uncertainty’s sweets for a daily diet of safe and practical.

Well, a few raises and several questionable hook-ups later and I was approaching 30 – yep, a job I still don’t completely understand and lots of bills.

As for the sedan…

Guilty as charged. However, in my defense, I contend that there is something fundamentally un-grown-up – dare I say even edgy, in a wannabe rock star kind of way – about a smokin’ hot ’91 Accord with 148,000 miles and no paint on its roof.

Yeah, you’re jealous.

Staring down the barrel of a 30th birthday, I could either stick to my earlier instincts by offing myself, or redefine what I knew of 30. Perhaps going against my better judgment, I chose the latter. Here’s why:

In a dream on the eve of my birthday, I was haunted by the memory of a mighty antagonist from my adolescence – King Koopa, of Super Mario Brothers. Only too well do I remember the many hours I spent battling that beast. Oh, how his arsenal of metal and flame did vex me!

Many a time did I toss the Nintendo controller in disgust, and many a time did I violate all virgin ears within a one-mile radius with an assault of four-letter expletives.

Ahhh, but thankfully, I had an ally – the ‘reset’ button. Each time Koopa stole my last life, I simply pressed the ‘reset’ button. Bury a hammer in my Mario skull? No worries! Reset. Burn my butt with a fireball? No worries! Reset.

Though the score read ‘0’ after each reset, I was hardly empty-handed. Instead, I arrived armed with renewed vigor, a rejuvenated sense of hope and the knowledge I gained from my previous failed attempt.

When I awoke from the dream, it suddenly became clear to me. . .

Thirty is nothing to fear! It ends in ‘0’; it’s a zero score – a push of life’s ‘reset’ button. My thirties, I decided, will be a second chance to get my twenties right. Cause, believe me, I botched ‘em like Tara Reid’s boob job.

Just as I attacked Koopa after a reset, so too will I attack my second twenties – with renewed vigor, a rejuvenated sense of hope and the knowledge I gained from my previous failed attempt.

Enough with the bland certainty of a safe and practical palate! I’m ready to indulge in the sugary highs and lows of a life lived doing what I love. From now on, a pen and pad will be my all-season attire.

And why not? On average, we each live roughly eight decades. If we each botch one of our decades, so what. Seven out of eight is still a solid ‘B’! So if you find that you’ve fouled up one of your decades, reach for your life’s ‘reset’ button too.

But here’s hoping I won’t need my forties to be a third chance to get my twenties right, ‘cause I am not a ‘C’ student.

Born and raised in the south, Bryan is a closeted writer trapped in the career of a software designer, and after thirty years of dreaming of all the wrong destinations, he's finally ready to simply enjoy the journey.

Photo courtesy of Jose Cuervo

2023 Reserva de la Familia Limited Edition Terceerunquinto

On January 10, 2023, Reserva de la Familia, Jose Cuervo’s ultra-premium collection of artisanal small-batch tequilas and Mexico’s crown jewel, announced its 2023 collector’s box, designed by artists Rolando Flores and Gabriel Cázares of the Mexico-based Tercerunquinto Collective. The piece of custom art, titled “Structuring a Landscape”, features a geometric abstraction of the landscape of Tequila, Mexico and will adorn the 2023 limited-release collector’s box of Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo.

Since 1995, Jose Cuervo has worked with internationally recognized artists with roots in Mexico to design the box artwork for Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo. Each box is an authentic collector’s item, with a limited quantity produced annually before a new artist is chosen. Previous artists include Gonzalo Lebrija, Pedro Friedeberg, Carlos Aguirre, Ricardo Pinto and many more. Every artist is selected by a team of art curators including 11th generation Cuervo family member and CEO of Jose Cuervo, Juan Domingo Beckmann, Executive Director of El Museo del Barrio in New York City, Patrick Charpenel and founder of Zona Maco, Mexico’s number one art fair, Zélika García.

Keep reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Velvet Ibiza

Velvet Ibiza

Every year, Ibiza is home to Europe’s very epic queer woman’s party, Velvet Ibiza, which is celebrating its 7th anniversary and promises to be next level. Velvet Ibiza is an all-inclusive 5-day and 5-night party and includes transportation from the airport, a bungalow, 3 meals, and activities and parties day and night, and drinks until around 10:30 pm.

This year, international crowds of LGBTQ+ women will be attending Velvet Ibiza on May 2 - 7 to celebrate life, belonging, and freedom. Event organizers have rented an entire resort in order to build a community vibe and allow queer women to connect so there’s no reason to go anywhere unless of course, you want to go shopping, head to the beach, or explore the island.

Keep reading Show less

Financial Planning for the LGBTQ+ community

The new year has arrived. For many people, that means making resolutions and thinking of ways they can do better in the coming year and beyond. Money management and financial planning are often very popular resolutions and goals, but most financial advice tends to be aimed at heterosexual couples who want to grow their family and raise children.

But, what if your life goals are different? What if you don’t receive the same protection under the current laws as hetero couples?
What if you don’t want to have kids?

Keep reading Show less