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The 10 Differences between 20 and 30

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The 10 Differences between 20 and 30

Lach Ryan

2 men

This year I turned 30, saying farewell to my Twenty's. Many of my contemporaries are freaking out about their impending transition to Three & Zero. Instead of planning parties, they are booking tickets out of the country in the belief that reality doesn't cross datelines.  So I thought it best if I reflected on what I know now at the end of that wonder decade, that I didn't at the start...hopefully it may save someone a shock in a few years!

  1.  Accommodation: you still want your own place, but your motivations are different. Back then it was because your housemates (Grandparents) were not down with your flow, so you needed to roll. Now you’re all about getting some of your own sweet mortgage action, instead of supporting your landlords. Wouldn't be nice to live in a place where you could either choose to fix the hole in the wall or just punch one in? Depending on how the mood struck you? This would be fine if you owned, but those uptight, negative gearing Baby Boomer land-overlords won’t have either!
  2. Dreams: back then it was about ‘When and if’, now sadly it’s just about ‘If’. People tell you time is on your side when you are young, what they fail to tell you is Reality is sitting on your other side, waiting to introduces itself. This happens at about 30 just as you realise that time was on your side when you were younger. So try things, fail, try again and fail some more. Just know that by the time you are about three and zero, you’ll be wanting to have some idea of what you are doing. If you haven’t already succeeded, it won’t be about when you do, as much as "if I do".
  3. Indulgence: Chocolate, Alcohol and Sleep deprivation sounds like the diet of 23year old Account Exec or Willy Wonka running interrogations in Afghanistan. These were the spoils of youth, able to be indulged on any given night only to spring forward like a young gazelle to greet the new morning. If you try that on at 30, you’ll end up the next morning moaning like a bloated camel wanting to be put down by your Sheikh.
  4. Food: It could be just me, but recently food has become boring. No tastes really excite me. I suspect that is because I have been eating my way through life for too long. It would seem 30 is a great time to try an eating disorder for the first time or take up cannibalism (which in its own way, is a different kind of eating disorder).
  5. Employment: See also #2. A younger version of me saw employment as a temporary state, that would one day be shrugged permanently and deliberately. The older version of me now understands that work is permanent, like tattoo eyebrows and an affection for Ska music. You are more than likely going to have to do it until you die, or thereabouts. The trick is find something you actually don’t mind doing too much.
  6. Style: I remember shopping for a killer new t shirt whenever a new social/formal occasion arrived. Once you are pushing 30, you need the sophistication of a button up shirt. The button up is a garment that looks like it has had a university education and has seen the world, the only problem is you always need to iron it. It also require you to upgrade all other items of clothing around it, to the point that by the time you are 43years old you find yourself wearing full corduroy(including underwear) and becoming camouflaged against a variety of upholstery surfaces. 30 is the time to question that earring and those skinny jeans. Also if you don't have a tattoo by now- keep it that way.
  7. Health: Fitness becomes more of a priority once you leave the magic of Twentyville.  Somewhere that 6 pack lost a few cans and is now looking like a 3 1/2 pack. A focus on keeping it under control will stop you entering the Fat Elvis period,crooning to your former-self  nightly at the Regrets Casino..
  8. Relationships: You should always be open to meeting new people, just realise that by this stage of life most of them are a bit crap. In their 20's they would have seemed aspirational, independant and energetic. With the exception of those that did move forward, they are now more likely to be resentful, lonely and depressed. Chances are you will be too, so you'll have lots in common making it easier to connect.
  9. Money: The good news is that you should have much more money in your 30's than you did when you were 20. You've gone to uni, worked for a few years now and even saved. The bad news is there is more to spend it on. Loans, Investments, Insurance, Children/Dogs/illegitimate Children, Weddings, Divorces, Apple Products, Button Up Shirts and tickets to Band Reunion tours (that happens too). If this is a problem for you, you can always go play in Australia's financial sandpit- the mining industry, where people are paid six figure salary's to park real-life Transformers.
  10. Elders: I think once you pass the age of 28, your realise everyone seems to stay about that age for the rest of their life. Their face and body may decay to the extent its offensive visually, but mentally they'll be partying like their 19+9. So even though you may think 30 is the end of it all, take heart (yours is still working fine) at least you are not 40. You still have another ten years to turn it all around, kick those goals and be ready to embrace the years when lycra suddenly has more uses than just exercise.