Alden Boon

Turning 30 is the Worst


When I was a toddler, my excitement would reach a fever pitch whenever I traipsed into a toy store. Shelves upon shelves of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers action figures in pristine boxes. Before the Lord of the Rings, I had the five rings of the planeteers. These days, I feel the same visceral exhilaration only when I’m browsing front-load washing machines. I mean, you can control a cycle via your mobile phone!

Somehow without my knowing, the 30s have crept up on me, like a beetle worming its way into an ear. Turning 30 is the worst. The only people who will refute that are people in their forties. People in their fifties are too far gone. I had just turned 30 in December 2016, and now it just dawned on me that I am in fact 31 this year. The years go by so quickly.

The 30s are exhausting. The number of things I need to do by the next decade has drastically increased. Headlines of guilt-trip articles used to read “30 things you need to do before you reach 30”; now it’s forty. And I’ve wasted my twenties not doing anything, so really I have an accumulated backlog of seventy things, one of which apparently involves trying something called Machu Picchu. Yes, I’m sure it tastes really nice.

In the workplace I do not know where I belong. I used to wave my pitchforks at millennials, until I realised I too am a millennial. Yet I do not embody any of the terrible qualities synonymous with millennials!  I mean, I am the most perfectest person in the whole world, and any company would be lucky to have me. And I’m not that old to be a baby boomer. So where does that leave me? Should I be a petulant kid or a self-righteous know-it-all who starts every sentence with “when I was your age…”?

I also feel very out of place whenever I play games such as Clash of Clan and Clash Royale on my mobile phone. I had gotten into heated arguments with other players, berating them for their lacklustre skills and selfish attitudes towards troop donations. When I ask for a wizard, don’t give me an archer! Later, I found out the players were only twelve. And just like that I had become the Donald Trump of the gaming world.

And being 30 means you’re suddenly on the other side. All these young, un-jaded, able-to-party-ten-days-long twenty-something juveniles will turn to you for sage advice, as if all of the universe’s life wisdom had suddenly been heaped on you. And they’re only two or three years younger than you! I’m not that old, I still make mistakes — of course not reckless mistakes like jumping off a cliff just because my asinine jock-of-a-friend does so, but mistakes like staying up past nine when I’ve already pulled an “all-niner” (Geddit, niner? It’s a pun, a play on words? Because instead of “nighter” I said “niner”. Oh, there I go, explaining my jokes like only a 30-year-old would.) the night before, or almost brushing my teeth with my shaver because it was in my right hand and my toothbrush was in my left, or drinking tea without generous amounts of condensed milk because my taste buds are no longer as perceptive and sensitive and everything just tastes like paper these days — like any young person does.

If only I had a time machine. I wouldn’t go back in time to kill Hitler. I would go back to being a baby.


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

Have Your Say