Why 30 is the New 18

Hey guys,

So, I turned 30 recently, and now that I am on the other side, I can firstly confirm that it was a survivable experience.

Secondly, being your standard navel-gazing author, I thought I’d write about what turning 30 meant to me. But as I started writing it, I realised how many parallels there are between the idea of “becoming an adult” (which used to be ascribed to turning 18) and what our culture now expects from us when we hit the big 3-0.

So I pitched the article idea to an editor, and my article has now been published today at Ten Daily.

Have a read here if you’re interested.

I’d really love to hear from readers on this one. Did you feel like a ‘real’ grown up when you turned 18, or 21? Or was it closer to when you reached 30?

Did your Saturn Return (from the ages of 27-31) have anything to do with it? My own Saturn Return (not that I believe in astrology, but just go with it …) played a major role and was a pivotal point for me.

I have to say I’ve grown accustomed to being 30 now – and it actually makes me feel more confident and more like a grown man than I’ve ever felt before.

Here’s to the thirties. πŸ™‚


Author: Holden Sheppard

YA Author from Western Australia.

12 thoughts on “Why 30 is the New 18”

  1. Happy birthday, Holden. It’s a great article, which brought back lots of my own memories. And to answer your question, I didn’t really feel ‘grown up’ until into my 40s! I often looked at my kids (which I had in my 30’s), thinking – what on earth am I doing? Surely I’m not old enough to be responsible for these people!
    Now, the health complaints are slowly starting to kick in (you know, blindness, deafness, creaking joints…), and now I feel well and truly ‘grown up’ πŸ˜†

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marie, for reading and replying. Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s so funny to hear that perspective from you – because I’ve always assumed that people with kids would automatically feel like “okay, I’m a grown up now”. But the more parents I speak to, the more I realise everyone is just working it out as they go! Let’s hope (for both of us) the ‘grown up’ stage lasts a looooong time (i.e. that we don’t segue into “maturity” or “old age” too quickly, ha!). Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a fantastic article, Holden, and captures how much our society’s changed. I wonder whyβ€”perhaps because we’re living longer so we don’t have to cram a life into fewer decades, or because we can put off starting a family so we don’t have to act like adults around the kids, or because we put everything on credit so we can spend beyond our means, or because houses are so freakin’ expensive that we’ve given up saving for them and just p!ss our money away on credit instead. Who knows?

    Also, thanks for teaching me about Saturn’s Returnβ€”I hadn’t heard of it until I read this. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the little known ritual practised by (not many) writers called Pluto the Dwarf Planet’s Publication Prayer Phenomenon. It’s where you gaze into the night sky at approximately where Pluto would be if it were visible (you can use a telescope, but the naked eye is just as good), and wish that your novel will be published, and it happens! Well, it happens as often as every other astrological prediction. Try it!

    P.S. I can’t wait to read ‘Poster Boy’ in the Griffith Review. But even more than that, with a few prayers to Pluto, I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re reading your novel! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Louise for reading! I think a combination of all four reasons you presented is probably the reality – all of those cultural changes combine to shift our expectations of what the 20s should be like. And God, I have no idea when I will *ever* be able to afford a bloody house.

      You are going to realise how utterly dumb and gullible I am right now, because I legitimately got excited about this Pluto thing, and thought “Louise is telling me about it – it must be a sign!” and then I Googled it and realised you made it up. I was so disappointed haha. And clearly gullible as hell.

      Thanks for saying you can’t wait to read Poster Boy. Man, I really hope you do like it! It would be so cool to have as good a writer as you read my novella! And yes, prayers to Pluto (there’s a new saying for me), you’ll all be reading the novel soon enough, too. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry I got your hopes up and disappointed you. #prayerstopluto has as much chance of working as any other ‘prayer’, probably more because Pluto the Dwarf Planet is kind and caring, so I’d give it a go! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like the anthropomorphism of Pluto being kind and caring … there’s a children’s book in that.

      Also, if I ever learn the guitar properly and form a rock band, I swear “Prayers to Pluto” is a killer song title or even album title, no? I’ll totally credit you. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed your article Holden and as for me, I really didn’t feel grown up until after 30. Despite the fact I got married, bought a house and investment property, had to sell both for financial reasons and had 4 children in my 20’s (over achiever much?), I constantly felt ‘young and stupid’. I was doing what I thought a grown up should be doing and really not being that happy about it. My 30’s (so far) has been more about doing what makes me happy while balancing family life with that. I’m so much more settled and laid back about life in general now. Hope the dirty thirties are awesome for you Holden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sam for reading and commenting – I’m really glad you enjoyed the article. Ummm, yes can I just agree with you that you did a hell of a lot in your 20s and a lot of that stuff I would imagine would make someone feel grown up – but interesting that it doesn’t. What was it about being in your 30s that made that shift? Was it just that you learned to pursue what you wanted and that vibe came naturally over time, or was there a big lightning bolt “I am an adult” moment?

      Yep, thanks for the well-wishes – I’m hoping the dirty thirties are kickarse. *twirls moustache seedily*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have no idea I much I had to think about this!
        I can’t remember what I was doing, but I do remember looking at my kids one day and thinking I was my version of a grown up. They were happy, I was happy and I really didn’t need any more than that to be content. It’s hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment I felt in that moment. I knew that I could provide for them and myself and that I was ‘enough.’ That was my defining, ‘I’m an adult’ moment πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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