In case you haven’t noticed, I mention that I’m over 30 quite a bit.
I’m down for my people, especially women, doing hot shit over the age of 30. When I was growing up with a baby boomer mother, it always seemed like the grown ups that I knew immediately became elderly when they turned 30. Keep in mind, I was maybe 8 or 9 and the only child, so my perspective was a bit off based on age and the level of shelter I had from my mother, grandparents, and uncles and aunts. Anyway, I actually remember asking my mother how old she was and she replied with “30” and my immediate thought was whoa she’s old! I was also the kind of kid that watched a lot of tv and the ladies who were considered to be “of a certain age” might have been in their early thirties.
Then I entered my twenties and I had friends, at 21, already freaking out about turning 30 and not being accomplished or looking old. I think I was on that train of thought for a minute, but it didn’t make sense because there were the “black don’t crack ambassadors” like Sade (who only pops up in public every 10 years with her ponytail and perfect face still intact) and Janet Jackson (who still seems to be in at least her early 30s even though she’s actually almost 50). I was also meeting women in my personal life who were over 30 but didn’t look a day over 25 and they didn’t “behave” like old women. They seemed to be perpetually youthful and still chasing dreams all the time.
My attitude about the over 30 crowd made a complete change when my baby sister and baby cousins all started entering their twenties. The age differences between my sister and cousins range from 6-16 years, so I’m the first to anything grown up, including getting married and having children. Coming from the brutally honest family that I survived (lol), my younger cousins had no problems calling me old as soon as I turned 25 and even more so once I turned 30. At that point I had to really step back and reflect on that because I didn’t feel “old” and I had no hesitation in thinking that I still had the time to do the things I want. I never felt like there was a ceiling on my aspirations. Thanks to my jerk ass sister and cousins, I had the push I needed to recognize that there is a such thing as being ageless (at least mentally).
It doesn’t hurt that a lot of the hot music is influenced by the over 30 and in some cases, over 40 crowd. My personal spirit animal, Erykah Badu is 44 and she wields influence over younger acts like Kendrick Lamar (teehee) and Janelle Monae (her mini-me). Pharrell, for better or worse, is in his 40s producing the “newest” acts (check out Lion Babe, they’re pretty dope).
Don’t get me wrong, this is not an affront to people in their 20s. I have a few really good girlfriends in their 20s and they’re perfectly responsible and accomplished. Hell, they’re the ones leading and organizing the charge in demanding justice for people of color, so I know they’re on point no matter how Millennials are painted by the older people and the media. As a matter of fact they’re some of the best people and friends I know. I get to hear the perspective of generation-mates, as we are all Millennials, but some of the things I hear make me realize I LOVE being over 30 and still having fun and discovering new things. I can really appreciate my position as an older Millennial. Along with me still enjoying new experiences, I’m old enough to not be taken down by them. After turning 30, it became easier for me to not just participate in the action, but to observe the action as well.
I guess that’s it…I know how to participate and observe at the same time in almost all situations that I find myself in. My decisions are more calculated and I’m not afraid to say no because I don’t have the fear of missing out on something. All the advice that I mother gave when I was younger started to make sense and now it doesn’t suck to follow her suggestions.
So…I have a huge amount of pride when a woman over the age of 30 hits a personal best or stuns the world with some accomplishment that was once reserved for people under 30. As a matter of fact, it’s nice to know that the architects of what’s cool now are actually over 30 and 40, and are members of the hip-hop generation. To be age defying is a bit of the norm now.
Corny as it may sound, it’s never too late to go after the life you want. The idea of what’s young seems to be shifting, and the very idea is being challenged by the “older” crowd. So I’m definitely riding hard as hell for my older Millennials and Generation Xers. Apparently we’re still relevant and are paramount in moving culture forward, so I’ll take that.
How do see the over 30 crowd these days? How do you feel about being over 30?