Some Thoughts on 30

In which I write a litany of things I’ve discovered to be true upon entering my fourth (gasp!) decade, much of which will have to do with poetry because sharing too much about my personal life makes me queasy. (If you think this is incompatible with being a poet, let’s chat sometime).

I’ve been 30 for three days now, which makes me an expert on the subject.

* 30 feels exactly the same as 29. The first thing I said on the morning of my 30th birthday was, “I could keep sleeping for hours and hours.” I say this every morning.

* When people say “30 is the new 20,” (do people really say that?), they say it like this is a good thing. They clearly don’t know how naive I was at 20, or how awkward I was in my own body. I hope 30 is not the new 20 because I’d hate to regress so much in terms of self-esteem, or worldliness, or maturity.

* Though I might prefer “woman” to “girl,” I still bristle at “ma’am.” (Pay attention, well-meaning students!)

* In the three days I’ve been 30, I’ve had two poems accepted for publication. One journal contacted me on my birthday, which was a lovely gift indeed. The other journal will be sending me a $25 dollar check. I almost wrote, “And who says poetry doesn’t pay?”, but that is too depressing, even as a joke.

* I also learned this week that the New Yorker basically accepts creative work at random. Seriously, they rejected a story they had previously published? Maybe they throw their slush pile at a unicorn and publish whatever pierces its horn. Maybe in my 30s, I will write a unicorn poem.

* I’ve outlived Shelley and Keats, and almost Plath. Any many, many other people—poets or not. I find this heartbreaking.

* Apparently I’ve also outlived the pun? For my birthday, mother sent me a novelty mug like this one and a pack of lollipops that read “30 Sucks!” Mom and I, along with the fine folks at r/Punny, are committed to returning the pun to its former esteem.

* And because I want to leave you with something beautiful, here’s a poetry mashup of T.S. Eliot and Jonny Greenwood. Really, it’s lovely.

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