Alden Boon

I’m Scared to Turn 30


I was born in 1986. That means if I were Taylor Swift releasing an album in 2016, I wouldn’t name it after the year I was born. Or if I were Adele I’d stop with the numerical album  titles. I turn 30 in two months. When that New Year countdown reaches zero and the iridescent fireworks explode, my life is over.  I vapourise into nothingness.

Turning 30 is scary. Don’t let anyone fool you. 30s is not the new 20s. That’s hogwash. So what, 20s is the new 10s? Orange is the new black? Some people are so poor they only have money? Like, what?

Turning 30 is scary. I mean, FRIENDS had an entire episode dedicated to the topic. When you turn 30, you cross over. To what I do not know (yet). But you cross over. You no longer “check someone out” you leer. You walk to the other end of the train station just to avoid the arduous, possibly-life-threatening hassle of descending the stairs. You begin to think adult diapers are the best inventions ever. You go to a Lady Gaga concert and you don’t recover from standing three hours in the mosh pit. Ever. You slap your knee repeatedly and there’s no knee-jerk reflex.

I once partied for two nights straight and then reported for a 24-hour shift duty. Now I scream “TORTURE!!!” after a one-hour meeting. Where once I would browse the men’s section, I now derive great pleasure in looking at bluewick candles and humidifiers and *gasp* Egyptian Cotton 1000 thread count. On. Sale.

I guess turning 30 is scary because I am not everything I had hoped to be when I was 7. You know those essays you essayed to write, answering profound questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up”, and you never could distil it because Pussycat Dolls hadn’t released their single “When I Grow Up”?

My go-to answer was “policeman”. Yep, how naive I was back then: I didn’t know there was a weight limit to get into the police academy. See, that’s why that Pussycat Dolls song is so important: it sets young people on the right path.

Social media have not allayed my fear one bit. Photos immortalising wedding moments only remind me that I’m still single. Dark thoughts inundate my mind: I cannot wait for the seven-year itch to crawl up on you guys. Photos of cute babies only remind me that my life is so fleeting and pointless. I do the next best thing: pretend I’m part of the ministylehacker family.

I also cannot be happy for successful people who are younger than I am. I just can’t. The only exception is Adele, but that’s only because she sounds so poised and collected in her songs I thought she was older than I. And the realisation only hit me after I’ve listened to ‘Someone Like You‘ for the 10,000th time. It was too late.

Turning 30 is scary but it’s okay. God and I have an agreement: He will set the earth ablaze on 7 December 2016: the day I turn 29 years and 364 days old.

Enjoyed this? Read What’s So Happy about a Birthday, anyway?, written when I was 22.


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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