Home Featured Thoughts of a Twenty-Something Turning a Year Closer To 30

Thoughts of a Twenty-Something Turning a Year Closer To 30


Many of you may or may not know this, but last week I celebrated yet another birthday. I’m not 30, but I’m no spring chicken anymore. In a week filled with reflection, I came to some conclusions about life. I decided to take time away from Twitter and Gmail and check out so that I could be alone with my thoughts. That’s why, why I had no clue that Nicki and Mariah were beefing, Chris Brown broke up with his girlfriend, or that Diddy got engaged. After a while, I realized that while I should have been updating my two, five and ten year plans, the only results I had to show for myself is that I had finally seen every episode of How I Met Your Mother. That’s when it occurred to me that I should probably set my mind on a special project for myself and that would get the juices flowing.

That didn’t work either. The only results that yielded were a clean house, room and I finally did that commonly overlooked and pesky task of actually cleaning in those places people don’t look too often. You know like not just cleaning the coffee table, but actually the undercarriage of the coffee table as well? Yeah, those places.

Then the weekend came… and when I woke up on Monday and finally made my way out of bed and onto my couch for recovery, I had some reflections about just what turning a year older meant for me.

I most certainly cannot party like I used to.

I went to school in Upstate, NY. Let me give you a run down of what it’s like in Upstate, NY. It’s cold, it’s gray, it snows a whole lot and they don’t shovel a damn thing. What did we do for fun in Upstate, NY? Party, drink, and … well, you know. The younger version of myself could wake up around noon, pound beers, throw around the football, take shots, hit the bars around 11, party until 2, and then go back to “the house” and keep partying until the “punch” ran out around sunrise. Even in my early twenties, I could hang out in the club until 4AM, hit The Diner after the club and still wake up in time to make bottomless mimosas at brunch. Here’s what I learned this year; my ass has no business drinking for longer than three to four hours at any given time without a nap and steak dinner. When you’re young, you can drink from noon until 4AM, when you’re my age, you will be sleep at around 8PM… for the night.

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I have absolutely no patience for young and immature people.

I’m not some guy who prides himself on being serious all the time, or always well behaved. We all have our moments when we act out. However, I act out like someone who is in their late twenties. I do not have the patience for the young and the restless. I can’t deal with the loudness, unnecessary attention, inability to be punctual, inability to pay attention, fighting, vomiting, looking a hot mess, etc. I can’t deal with any of it. I hate to think that I used to be that person. I am not one of those people who makes light of those with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D., so I’ll just come out and say it, when I was younger I didn’t know how to sit still or keep a thought longer than a NY minute. As I turn a year older, being forced to keep the company of people like that, I’ll have to respectfully pass.

I really don’t have any excuse for screwing things up in my dating life anymore.

This was a conversation I had with my dad about a week ago. We sat down to talk about women and I told him, that by the age of 25, you’re pretty much at a point in your life where you know right from wrong. By the age of 27, you know when you’re acting like a jackass, irresponsible, or any of the other qualities that are filed under “reasons why he ain’t sh*t.” What I realized is that at this point, I’m smart and experienced enough to know that I don’t have to lie to anyone, I don’t have to play any games, and I don’t have to be a jerk to women. Moreover, I am fully aware when I’m doing those things. When you’re young, breaking up on Thursday and getting back together with your girlfriend on Monday, makes sense. When you’re young, trying to see just how far her homegirl is willing to go, seems like a feasible idea. When you’re young, spending a whole day with the boys trying to figure out an excuse for why you’ll need to skip out on meeting her parents, seems like a great plan. When you get to my age, you are well aware of the consequences of your actions and how they affect the women in your life. You may not be perfect, you may not be a good match, but screwing up is for youngins.

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The current system in America penalizes my generation and the ones to come. In other words, “Deez people wanna hold me back.”

On a more somber and serious note, there’s one thing that really bothers me about America right now. We’re electing a new President and both candidates seem to be focused on middle-class Americans, boosting the economy, and providing for the less fortunate whether they be impoverished or elderly. One question, who in the hell is worried all of us with these student loans? We’ve bailed out Wall Street, the auto industry, we’ve given stimulus’s to the people, we’ve come up with free healthcare, but for the future of the United States, we’re being constantly held back by enormous amounts of student loans with no relief. In my opinion, it’s like to get anywhere in this country, you have to set yourself back. I’m aware that all of those assistance programs are needed, but selfishly, but rightfully so, I demand to know where my relief is. I’m almost nearing the end of paying off my student loans, I’ve only got a few more thousand to go. I think about how much money I’ve spent on these pesky loans and I’m just thinking, “You know what? I really could have used that money for something more worthwhile.” I struggle with contemplating going to grad school for an advanced degree because I just don’t want the student loan debt associated with the choice. I sympathize for those folks who have hundreds of thousands of student loan debt. Somehow, the system is failing us, those of us who represent the future of this great nation.

If you haven’t decided to stop smoking marijuana, turning a year older has the same effect. I simply just don’t give a f*** about a whole lot of stuff anymore.

When I was coming up, we used to say in jest, “All I got to do is stay Black and die.” We heard our old heads saying that to one another and we just emulated their behavior. Somewhere on the other side of 25 is a true understanding of what that really is all about. There’s a maturation that we go through with age that basically removes self-doubt and the need for acceptance from our bones. At this point in my life, if I don’t want to do it, I won’t. If I don’t want to buy it, I don’t. If I’m not trying to go there, I’ll sit at home until the Knicks win the NBA Championship. Then, when my actions seem to aggravate others because they can’t control me or influence me in the ways they used to when we were younger kids, I sit back and think to myself, “I don’t really care, so whatever.” As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I have to do what’s best for me and my loved ones; I’m not really concerned about anyone else. A lot of people elevate their friends over their family, their boys over their old lady, not realizing that sooner or later, everyone will move on. People will move to different cities, you’ll be in a new relationship, you may marry and have a family that takes precedence. I learned a long time ago that when the time came, I wasn’t going to be the one holding onto the dream, so I best put myself in a position to take care of numero uno. Once I did that, I felt a lot better and started focusing on my personal and professional goals a lot more. That was fulfilling, helped me to sleep at night when before I may have tossed and turned.

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That’s pretty much the five main takeaways from my reflections from the time of my birthday until today. I really think that all of these are related to one another, but each one is important on their own. I’m not getting older makes you wiser, because I know some people who are younger than me who are much wiser, and I know some who are older who don’t have a lick of common sense. All I’m telling you is what I reflected on and what I think, that’s all I can offer.


  1. I just turned 29 last week and couldn’t agree with you more. All week I was revved up to party my tail off….I went to dinner and was out after 2 long islands. The kiddies can keep that party till you die mentality I’m good.

  2. Welcome Youngin to maturity..glad to see you finally growing up..clubbing & drinking half your life away isnt productive. Your future children & wife will thank you for it.

    1. seconded!

      old enough to be decided on what it is you truly want and do not want out of life. and young enough to go out and accomplish it… while looking good doing it. #pow.
      My recent post Boomerang

      1. LOL. i keep trying to put it up and always get pulled in some other direction. it's been sitting almost-done for months upon months. lol. that's my project this weekend.
        My recent post Boomerang

  3. Doc J if only there were more men with the mentality of you, Wis, Slim and any other man with your mentality under 30. More and more based on what I’ve seen and here the root of many peoples problems is lack of maturity and responsibility. Unfortunately nowadays a lot of folks are only aging physically, but not maturing. I know folks over 30, almost 40 and over 40 that are not half as mature as you and Wim seem to be and you guys aren’t even 30 yet. Relationships would be much easier and go much more smoothly if more men were more much more mature and responsible. It’s funny folks always say and think “older men” are so much better to be in relationships with. I’ve dated very young men and older men and honestly the younger men I’ve dated were more mature in many ways than the older men. I know men almost 40 and over 40 still running around making babies and excuses. It’s ridiculous, sad and pathetic how so many folks never seem to really “grow the hell up.”
    So much respect and mad props to you and all the young men like you. You guys represent young brotha’s very well and make me proud. Keep it up….*smile*

  4. I agree, I’m only hitting 24 and realize how you have to moderate different facets of your life. It all becomes about levels of discretion in hopes of securing longevity in terms of your life’s goals and plans. We can still enjoy a lot of what we did in our early 20s it’s more of a decision of when to and how much to enjoy it. It’s just another nuance in playing this game we call life I suppose. Check out my Editorial “Damn He Got A Point” over at http://www.viralstatus.com happy Friday to all!

    1. I just turned 40 something today and I realized that I too have very little patients for foolishness. I have focused more on my career, education, and family. Yes I have missed out on hanging out with friends but, I want to obtain financial freedom and also obtain a home for my kids and myself. I know with that comes responsibility. Yes, there have been guys that have dropped off my friends list and dating list because I have no time for them but, in the same token, I am not going to choose them over me. I think allot of the guys now want the attention that I can not give them now because I am working on me. I put my objectives and goals aside for the guy I was with. Now that I am older, I want for me. Again are those that want to be like a leech and suck the life out of you. I say NO to them… I do agree, as we get older we see things differently and want more out of life than just hanging at the club. I am celebrating my day today by being at work, then going home to my kids, cooking dinner, and doing homework and watching a little ID (Investigation Discovery) with the kids before bed. Tomorrow is another work day for me so I will talk to you all later.

  5. A 1000 co-signs to this list. I feel your pain brother. I call myself getting amped last night because I was going to "hit the club" and "these fools not going to know what hit them" …. bruh, I ended up watching the debate, having two glasses of wine, and passing out on my couch by 930pm.

    I'm doing it "big" for my 30th in Dallas. My boys are all putting it together. They keep talking about XX clubs this and XX shots that. All I wanted to do was eat a steak and drink some wine. Would really be no shock to me if I was sleep by 10pm. I'm definitely going to have to implore my 30-year-old 'night of partying' cocktail: 2 glasses of 8oz water, 2 advil, 2 – 4 hours of pre-game nap, and an energy drink.

    "Youth is wasted on the young."

    Cole World.

  6. As a recently turned 30 person this year, this process started about 3 years ago if you sit back and think about it. I found myself going to the club much less while replacing that time with various lounges and bars. I would still hang out to about the same time just in a different atmosphere.

    Life is about to get a whole heap better for you. Don't listen to the folks saying that you are maturing. You've been mature. Your preferences are just changing over time.
    My recent post Murci, Murci Me

  7. Question – what do u young men attribute to your maturity and growth?
    I've noticed that the more successful mans career is, the faster he matures in almost every other aspect of his life. Now that I think about it many of the men who aren't very mature and haven't "grown up" are men with no real career and real career goals.

  8. Yes we do change with age. But it’s nothing new. In the 8th grade we all detested anything relating to our prepubescent years. Yet as adults we happily accept regression. I’ve got very progressive friends. Mid 30’s they are having their first or second kids, have the house and car. But I have the friends with mixed results. They can be called “ain’t sh!t” dudes (and women too). Perpetually unemployed and never finished their college education yet had three kids. Was the striving sexy young woman good job and car, single ready to mingle. Then had a baby like they were 17 looking for daddy in a thug. At 29 years old no less. For me I was called by sixth grade reached a “old man”. I thought at times like a an adult much of my child hood. I stopped watching cartoons by 12. I started watching 60 Min at about 15. PBS docs and HBO docs were the thing. I didn’t watch rated R movies for titillation I really was into the stories. Now with women is where things really changed-but not by much. I was never out there like that but what I had to start including is with all of our “moves” if you are still single when you embark on them you do have to consider your love life and yes kids. I have pretty much given upon kids. I don’t see that as being negative rather I see it as being mature. I always play things out as they actually may happen. I’m a film maker, nuff said. The opportunities came come from anywhere at anytime. I’ve thought about having to leave home a wife and kids while I’m shooting some indie flick for 8 weeks several times a year. At my age you just can’t be glib or blazay about things. After all I’m at the ate where our parents would say “you are young you got time for that in the future” I’m in that future right now. Oh I’ll leave on this oddly enough I can still drink and smoke with the best. I just rather not, I rather smoke and drink moderately, its way more smooth!

  9. Good post and happy B-Day Dr. J! J. As an early 30's young man, entering your 30's is the best. At the ripe age of 26 is when I really started to focus on those things that I felt were important to (career, finances, and etc.). While it took me a few years to accomplish, at the age of 30, I was able to finish graduate school and now I am in the process of purchasing my first piece of property in Washington, DC. Maturity is definitely apart of becoming a man and with all the obstacles that face a black man faces in America, just remember to keep grinding, keep focused on your dreams, and no matter what, you can obtain anything in life.

  10. I super feel this post. I've always been more of a nonchalant type of cat…even as a kid. At 31, the 'nonchalant-ness' has been taken to a Whole New Level. Nowadays, I've noticed that I act similar to the O.G./OBG's that were before me lol. In short, All I focus on is my career and my hobbies…and in a Very single minded fashion *shrugs* 🙂


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