★ Well I Guess This is Growing Up

Three weeks ago I celebrated my 29th birthday. I’m extremely thankful for my friends and family showing up to celebrate not just my birthday but moving into my own apartment. All the mayhem was recorded and has been posted on my Flickr page.

I’ve been wanting to post something about my birthday on my site but never got anywhere past posting that Flickr link. For me turning 29 is probably the next biggest thing until I turn 30. Turning 30 is, well, turning 30. But turning 29 puts everything into perspective. This will be my last year in my twenties. While I did most of my physical growing up from ages 10 to 20, I did A LOT more growing up in the past 9 years by far. I got my inspiration to post about my birthday when I ran across this article which I found on Kottke’s site. If you haven’t bookmarked him, it is THE best site for finding great little reads like this.

My friends and I have come a long way since our days of being newly full time workers still desperately holding on to our college lifestyles. We notice a lot of things that are different now in our late twenties than when we were in our early twenties. That Tomato Nation article literally hit home on every point. Along with those 20 points, I’d like to list my own, in no particular order.

  • Until you get married (which is when you should DEFINITELY get your own place), the largest number of roommates you should live with is ideally one other. Two other roommates is the ABSOLUTE limit. If you can, live on your own. There’s nothing more satisfying than saying that you “have your own place.” The college frat style housing arrangement is definitely fun for awhile, but it’s not fun cleaning after someone else’s mess and it’s definitely NOT attractive to your date when you show her where you live.
  • Learn how to cook. Not only does it impress the ladies, it’s good for you. Eating out is generally unhealthy and it can get expensive. I’m not saying NEVER eat out. Eating out is a very social activity by nature. It’s always good to meet up for lunch to catch up with a friend or go out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday or to treat yourself and your significant other to a fancy meal. I like to say once or twice a week is a safe limit.
  • Stay active. I truly believe that if you can incorporate an active routine into your lifestyle, it’ll go a long way into helping you lead a healthy life. You don’t have to buy a gym membership, but pick up an active hobby. I have friends that go bike riding, snowboarding, stand up paddle surfing, running, etc. It’s another great way to stay in touch with friends by having a similar hobby. Which leads into…
  • Never burn bridges. Ever. I had the misfortune of being laid off earlier this year but by keeping in touch with former colleagues, I was able to land my current job. It’s important not just in your professional life, but your personal life as well. When in relationships, you’ll meet a lot of people because of your significant other. Even if that relationship doesn’t last, don’t forget the people you met through him or her. You will have met a lot of great people and you don’t have to end those friendships. Remember, you broke up with just one person, not everyone you met along the way.
  • Take turns buying rounds of drinks or driving places. This is a big one with my friends. You don’t always have to be the one to buy the first round but a reciprocation is almost always expected. Driving with your friends has its own set of unwritten rules. I believe that the person who drove does not have to pay for parking and never has to buy the first round of drinks. As for the driver, asking for gas money is so high school. Just buy me a drink at the bar.

I know I’ll probably think of more but I was able to bang these out in 15 minutes. I’ll add more to these if I can think of more. It’s crazy to think that in the US we are legally considered adults at 18, legally allowed to drink at 21 but I only now feel that I am finally growing up at 29.