“Hangin’ wit’ the n****s don’t pay the bills. And being broke at thirty give[s] a n**** the chills.” Christopher Wallace
It’s October 22, 2015. My thirtieth birthday is a month from today. The older you get, the faster time seems to fly by; so the thirty-one days that used to seem like a very long time will be here virtually by the time I finish this post. I am actually looking forward to this.
My friends have had mixed feelings when their big 3-0 was approaching. It’s definitely a milestone. You’re a grownup for real after completing three decades. Whether it’s your early, mid, or late twenties, one’s childish ways are mostly looked at as some childish shit one would do in their twenties. It’s the end of the ten years where you’re full of ideals and supposed to be selfish.
I am looking forward to putting my twenties in my past. Mine have virtually been about handling responsibilities and experiences many don’t until they are mentally and emotionally prepared to. It’s been a lot, and I would say that I am thankful for how life has played out. While some aspects were difficult to comprehend due to a lack of life experience and maturity, all that has happened did so at a time when I am the most adaptable. Often, adversity shifts the way that one thinks and it crystalizes a paradigm.
It is now November 5. I started this post two weeks ago and haven’t gotten around to finishing it. I have been running around somewhere between surviving and getting my life together. For the last five months, I have been putting the past in perspective to give context for the future. In my mind and heart, the future is now, so I’m focused on what’s next.
In all of this time somewhere between reflection, closure, and applying life lessons, the lyric mentioned at the beginning of this post has frequently been playing in my head. Thirty seems to be the beginning of the end of youth. The first fifteen years of life is growing up, we spend our teens formulating our identity, and our twenties being selfish and trying out new experiences. There are very few consequences and repercussions from the decisions that we make that can’t be salvaged.
My peers are beginning to settle down, get married, having actual careers instead of jobs, and life is less about living in the moment because the future rides heavily on our present. I don’t see my friends that often because simply it doesn’t pay the bills…I have someone else to look after and that is my primary concern. I’m over living check-to-check.
Ten years ago I had this picture of what I thought life would be like by the time I turned thirty. I thought I would have an office job working in the music business and probably still living in Atlanta. Five years ago, I knew I was about to become a father. I had put most of my musical aspirations aside because of my family. I thought by now I’d be back in Atlanta, married to Timile with two kids and we’d own a house in Cobb County. Right now, I’m writing this on my phone while crossing 14th Street and Avenue C in Manhattan continuing to plant seeds in this writing career that started out of tragedy and the hell that was the second half of my twenties while on a lunch break at a well-paying job that has nothing to do with writing. But that’s how life works.