Age is a funny thing. Many people make such a big deal about growing older, when really it’s something that should be celebrated. By the time next month’s column is printed, I will have aged another year, turning 36 and hitting the second half of my 30s. While I know that I’m still very young (many of my older friends will remind me of that!), I always get to thinking about age this time of year.
In 2010, as I was approaching 30, I wrote a series of columns in my former “Life with Benny” column with San Diego Gay & Lesbian News about my fears of turning 30. For several months leading up to May 3 — the big day that year — I shared about my fears and excitements of “growing older.” Looking back, I chuckle because I have certainly learned since that my 30s have been absolutely wonderful so far.
Sure, we’ve all read those articles about how — especially in the youth-obsessed gay male culture — people over 30 are considered invisible or dead. While acknowledging the fact that I am still youthful looking, healthy and active, I have found the notion that life “ends after 30 (or 35)” to be false. And while I have much respect and admiration for our youth and younger community members, I’m certainly not going to let a group of folks who have less life experience than I dictate my relevance.
Being in my mid 30s is an interesting place to be. I’ve learned that the idealistic view I had 10 years ago of where I imagined I’d be at this point (living the high life in New York City with a corner-view office; attending the hottest parties and events; travelling the globe) did not quite pan out.
And I’m glad it didn’t.