Life begins at thirty

I’m thirty now, and everything’s different. Like before I was thirty, like yesterday, I would never have said anything like, “Life begins at thirty.” But now I am thirty, and I’ve changed, I’m a different person now. So now I totally say stuff like that. I’ll say it right now: Life begins at thirty.

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And so I feel like I’m a newborn again, albeit in a thirty-year-old man’s body, but it’s like I’m seeing the world through a completely new set of eyes, a thirty-year-old set of eyes, a new thirty-year-old set of eyes,and I can’t believe all of this stuff that I’m noticing that I’ve never noticed before.

I remember I was working at this restaurant a few years ago, and I don’t know how the conversation got started, but I wound up talking with one of my managers, about life, about what we want to achieve and how we want to not be working in restaurants anymore. And he said it to me, exactly what I said before, he looked at me and said, “Rob, life begins at thirty.”

And I said, “Oh, OK, cool,” and I smiled and nodded my head. But I was thinking in my head, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Did he really just say that to me? That life begins at thirty? And I thought he was so stupid, and that I was so superior, I was looking down at this guy, come on, thirty, what does that even mean?

But now I’m thinking back on that very conversation, and I get it. Like I totally get it. Life begins at thirty. Do you get it? If you do, you’re definitely thirty or older. And if you don’t get it, it’s pretty obvious that you’re not thirty yet. And if you’re under thirty and you’re saying to yourself, “Well, I’m not thirty yet, but I see where you’re coming from,” you’re lying to yourself, because you don’t see where anybody or anything’s coming from.

Because if you’re not thirty, technically your life has yet to begin. Yes, you’re walking around and you’re taking in oxygen and surfing the Internet and eating breakfast and, so, to look at it from a distance, you might think, or I might think, this person is alive. But you’re not alive. Not yet. Not until you get to be thirty. Until then, you’re just taking up space, thinking thoughts that aren’t even real thoughts.

Like remember what I was talking about earlier? About how I didn’t get it until today? Well, now I get it. Before, I didn’t even think there was anything to get. In fact, I’m going through all of my previous experiences, all of my memories and feelings and, it’s like I’m watching a rerun of a really old TV show, something I haven’t seen in forever, like I can’t remember the main character’s name or anything.

And it doesn’t matter. Because it’s so true, that life does not begin until you’re thirty years old. Now I finally feel like I’ve got it figured out. I woke up this morning, I opened my eyes and the first thing I said was, “Ohhh, OK, I get it, I’m thirty, I’m alive now, it all makes sense.”

And my wife turned over from her side of the bed and said, “What is it Rob? What makes sense?” And I looked at her, she’s still twenty-nine, she won’t be thirty for another twenty days or so, and it’s like I barely recognize her anymore. “Nothing, go back to sleep honey,” she’ll be there soon enough, she’ll be thirty, she’ll get it, I won’t even have to say anything, I can just picture it now: I’ll get up earlier than she will on her thirtieth birthday, I’ll wait for that same expression on her face, upon awakening, she’ll look at me, I’ll look at her, there won’t be any need for any further communication, and we’ll just slowly nod our heads in agreement, saying without saying, I get it, we both get it, this is thirty, this is how life begins.

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