Quite frankly, I'm tired. And I was out late last night. And I've become really good at coming up with excuses. I'm about to be old. Might as well get used to it.
I'm also avoiding the issue: I've been thinking so hard about what I'm going to say about turning 30 that I really haven't thought about what turning 30 means. I do have a sense that this is supposed to be a big deal, but I'm not sure how.
I do remember some stuff about turning 20. I had my life mapped out. I thought I'd be married to the girl I was dating at the time. I figured I'd be moving somewhere far away to start my journalism career. I also knew that at some point, my ridiculously long sideburns would go away for good.
None of that actually happened. That girl moved far away to start her journalism career while I moved from Ohio to West Virginia. We broke up. Facial hair reappeared several times in the form of a hideous beard. In short, I was wrong about who I would be in ten years.
Now, I have absolutely no idea who I'll be a decade. And I'm fine with that. People ask me a lot about what my next step is, and I never quite know what to tell them. I'm sure it'll come to me. Usually does. Eventually. If I've learned anything about setting goals for myself, it's that even when I accomplish them, they never quite take me to the place I was expecting to go.
That's what happened tonight. After a long weekend of accolades and celebrations and reminders about my age, my only goal today was to be in bed by ten. But sometime around nine, something popped into my head. Back when I was in the 9th grade (see the picture above for 9th Grade Jeremy), I went on a cruise and met a girl. Her name was Jackie. We became pen pals after the trip and wrote a few times. My family took a trip to Detroit the next summer, and Jackie and I got together for an afternoon (Here's the story). After that, we stopped writing. I never saw her again.
I'm not sure what we wrote about but I do remember one thing: we both pledged to meet up when we were 30. I tried to find her once or twice in the past, to no avail. So tonight, I figured I'd give it one last try before I missed the deadline. I punched her name into Facebook and found someone with the same name who looked a lot like her, albeit 16 years later.
I sent a message. Five minutes later, I got one back. It was her.
We swapped phone numbers and this week, we're going to catch up. I want to ask Jackie what she thought her life would be like at age 30. She must have been 13 or 14 when we lost touch. She's 28 now. If she's got milestones to hit, she's still got a little time to get them done.
I, on the other hand, have about ten minutes to tie up any loose ends, accomplish any last goals, or to make my mark. There's a lot of last-minute stuff I could do, you know.
Instead, I'll just go to bed happy. See you when I'm 30.