I’m not too old to care about things that are important or worthwhile or that I enjoy doing. But I am too old to care about nonsense and negativity and about the consequences of being myself.
I turned 30 a few weeks ago, and for those of you who haven’t made it here yet I can assure you that it really wasn’t so bad. In fact, turning 30 was like pretty much every other birthday I’ve had during the last eight years except the first number on the cake was a 3 instead of a 2. As far as I could tell, that was the only difference.
In the grand scheme of life, turning 30 doesn’t mean you’re old. Far from it, in fact. Although people in their teens and early 20’s would probably disagree, cracking into your third decade of existence on this planet is not some life altering event that defines who you are and the way you should behave.
Because, as we all know, life is about perspective. To someone who is 15, 30 seems really old. But to someone who is 50, 30 seems like the prime of your life. Regardless of your perspective and what 30 means to you, I have realized that I am now too old for something.
At 30-years old, I am too old to care.
But I’m not talking about being inconsiderate or obnoxious or not caring about other people. I’m talking about simply acknowledging that sometimes when we’re younger we care way too much about the wrong things. And sometimes, caring way too much about these things prevents us from being who we truly are and from doing the things we truly want to do.
I’m not too old to care about things that are important or worthwhile or that I enjoy doing.
But I am too old to care about nonsense and negativity and about the consequences of being myself.
I’m too old to care about so many of the things I used to care about that weren’t worth my time. I’m too old to care about what people will think when I write something personal. I’m too old to care about being cool or well liked. I’m too old to care about what other people are saying about me. I’m too old to care about things that are out of my control. I’m too old to care about not doing something I want to do because of what people might think. I’m too old to care about not being who other people expect me to be.
I still have a lot I want to accomplish and I don’t have the time, energy, or patience to entertain these unproductive and unimportant things.
But this doesn’t mean that I’m an expert at not caring. We’ve been conditioned all our lives to care about what people think, about being well liked, and about making sure we’re doing things that society tells us we should be doing.
It would be naïve to think that just because I turned 30 these things won’t matter to me at all. But what I’m realizing is that as you get older and gain more perspective, you gain a better understanding of what’s important and what you should be focusing on. It may be the greatest gift of getting older.
And as I keep getting older, it turns out that many of the things I cared about when I was younger were not important at all. Many of the things I was afraid of were not worth being afraid of. Many of the things I got upset about were not worth my time or energy. Many times I decided against doing something I really wanted to do, I made the decision for the wrong reasons.
Now that I’m 30, I’m old enough to realize that caring about certain things is a waste of my time, and more importantly, caring about these things can be detrimental to who I am.
So now that I just turned 30, I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to be myself. I’m going to be less afraid. I’m going to pursue the things that are important to me. I’m going to do my best to put aside the things that don’t actually matter and that only serve to stunt our growth as human beings.
Because I just turned 30 years old and I am now officially too old to care. It feels pretty damn good to realize you don’t have to care anymore.
Originally posted on Medium. Reprinted with permission.
Photo Credit: Getty Images