Let’s Ditch the Bucket List and Stop Freaking Out About 30

The cringe-worthy term “adulting” is getting old.

We get it, purchasing cat food and filing taxes are sophisticated tasks. And yet, equally as glorified “adulting” hobbies include decorating your mom’s fridge with artwork from your adult colouring book – to be fair, your Crayola contours on that parakeet deserve to be celebrated. 

But what a confusing time to be alive for millennials. 

Adding even more stress to the mix are those bucket lists that attempt to prepare twentysomethings for adulthood. You know, the ones that remind you of all of your shortcomings on an impending milestone birthday.

The more these soul-sucking lists saturate my news feed, the more I feel like Peter Pan — I rarely wear matching socks and I can still crush a Happy Meal, toy included. 

At 28, here’s why I’ve decided to forgo those fear-inducing bucket lists and not let the countdown to my 30th doomsday bury me alive.

They lead you to believe life is over after your 20s.
It’s as though you morph into The Cryptkeeper the moment those 30 candles blow out. Time to trade in your Chucks for Velcros and start PVRing M*A*S*H. And forget about Forever 21 or Bonnaroo – shouldn’t your old bag of bones be at bingo?

They create myths: now that you’re 30, you should enjoy reading.
I recently asked a friend what was in her library. She listed RL Stine’s Goosebumps, The Berenstain Bears, and The Babysitters Club. She’s 29. I don’t anticipate that she’ll turn 30 and suddenly start curling up by the fire with Eckhart Tolle.

They’re usually written by bullshitters.
The author recently turned 30 and lectures her wisdom from the other side as though she has a doctorate in adult transitioning. She’ll prescribe twentysomethings to
‘wear bold coloured lipstick’, ‘join pottery classes’, ‘do something that scares you…’

OK, calm down, she was probably puking in an Uber last Friday night. Regardless, only Oprah is qualified to teach me how to live my life.

They crush your dreams. 
I’ll admit when I was younger I romanticized the idea of adulthood. I thought by 28 I’d be a CEO, own a farmhouse, have two kids, a black lab named Walter, and every night I’d dance in the kitchen with my husband (Devon Sawa) to Nora Jones’ “Don’t Know Why.”

In reality, my life is a twisted version of the song where I’M drenched in wine, and curly fries be on my mind. Maybe things didn’t quite work out as planned, but I’d like to think there’s still opportunity to dream after the age of 30.

They make you feel inadequate for renting. 
Purchasing a home can be a smart investment to build equity and establish community roots. But for jetsetters, the long-term commitment and upkeep can be a nightmare… not to mention the whole affording a down payment thing in Toronto. 

They lump you into a category.
Whatever happened to the idea that no snowflake is the same? Don’t we each arrive at age 30 with unique stories, relationships, and experiences that influence our choices? I’m a believer that the path is always ours to shape, bend and break  –  no matter what your age.

They tell you to travel somewhere exotic. 
If I’m going to join a book club, sculpt clay bowls, experiment with lipstick, and save for a down payment, I can’t afford a two-year excursion throughout South America. Zumba class followed by guacamole and margaritas is as close as it’s going to get.

Because, HAPPY Birthday!
Remember when birthdays were fun? Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have goals, but don’t freak out about the age thing. You’ll get where you’re going when the time is right. And in my opinion, you’re never too old to smash a piñata and aggressively eat cake with your bare hands.