The Amount You Mature After You Turn 30

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This week I turned 34 and a half. I’m now just 6 months away from turning 35, which will officially toss me out of that targeted demographic which has traditionally been the coveted marketing demographic: age 18-34.

I’m also only 6 months away from the birth of my 2nd child; who I think is a girl.

Turning a year older is not something I fear or hide. I celebrate getting older. That’s mainly because I’m so grateful for the amount of maturity, emotional intelligence, and life experience I gain each year I’m alive.

I definitely don’t wish I was 30 again, or 27, or 25, or 23… I’m perfectly happy and proud to be 34 and a half.

And research shows the same thing; that the age people report being the happiest is 34.

By now, I’m married, I have kid(s), I’m out of debt, I have money in the bank, I “own” a home, and I’m stable in my career.

Additionally, I have (hopefully) already made my dumbest mistakes and learned my hardest lessons in life.

If I simply apply what I’ve already learned from life so far, I should be alright. In theory, I should be on auto-pilot, from here on out, to some degree.

I feel that while I’ll constantly be learning something new every day, my “life’s biggest learning curve” is complete. In other words, now I know what to do, it’s just a matter of testing that knowledge and experience for the rest of my life to see what else I can make of it.

When I turned 30, I knew I was hitting a major milestone. But in hindsight, I now realize that the reason it was a major milestone for me is because I have learned some of life’s biggest and most crucial lessons since then, during these past 4 and a half years.

The Amount You Mature After You Turn 30

My son was born just a few months before I turned 30. Obviously, raising him has taught me a whole lot about life.

Plus, I made some wrong financial and career decisions around that time as well; which ultimately led my wife and I to become the strict Dave Ramsey followers we now are.

Not to mention, I was hired as Parents.com’s official daddy blogger right after I turned 30, which ultimately meant for 3 years, I had to do a blog post daily; being encouraged to be controversial by my editors.

Therefore, I can see in retrospect that I sporadically said plenty of immature and/or now embarrassing things in my blog posts during that time in attempts to “better engage my audience.” I learned a lot from that experience and I’m completely grateful for those 3 years.

On top of all that, I’ve learned the hard way what not to post on Facebook, since turning 30.

But now, I’ve lived through all that.

And I’ve been married for over 7 years now. It would be an understatement to say that marriage, in addition to raising a child, has made me a more mature, less selfish, better balanced human being.

The first day of the rest of my life began the day I turned 30. I can only imagine how much more enlightened I will feel and be by the time I turn 40.

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dad from day one: Today I Become a Thirty Year Old Dad (Plus, Why You Should Watch “Wheel of Fortune” A Week From Tonight)

Week 22 (5 months).

I’m not the kind of person who doesn’t want people to know my age.  I think it’s because I’m such a chronological person- I love to keep up with dates.  It’s important for me to remember where I was and what I was doing at each stage in my life.  For the first months of Jack’s life, I was 29.  But at 8:37 tonight, I will officially turn 30 years old.

Amidst all the other major age milestones like 16,18, 40, 50, and 60, I vote 30 as the most monumental.  Being thirty means not being seen as a kid anymore- it’s a true milestone of adulthood. It means I have now lived through three decades and have made enough mistakes to learn from them and live wiser accordingly.  Being 30 means having graduated through a decade of “notknowingness” (my 20’s) and being propelled into a life of definite direction.

I don’t know that I would call this a bittersweet moment.  Sure, I’m a deeply nostalgic person so I always miss the past, but I say despite all the blessings so far, it only gets better from here.  I couldn’t have known that 30 would come during such a transitional time in my life.  Aside from the big move and welcoming my first child into this world,  it’s now that my writing career is officially beginning.

Since August 2005, I have been “blogging for free.”  (Though actually, during my 4 months of unemployment I was hired to write a few stories in a publication format, like this story I wrote about a local businessman.)  But this morning, on my 30th birthday, I will be mailing back two contracts to Parents.com up in New York City for two different stories they assigned me to write.  They gave me the titles, now I write the entire bodies.  And how did they find me?  “Dad from day one.”

I thank God for this opportunity.  And at this point, I still haven’t gone public with what all is going on with my secret “dad from day one” spin-off.  But it is why, in case you haven’t noticed, I bought the web domain names “nickshell.com” and “dadfromdayone.com”.  It’s part of an important effort to establish my name as an author, as my name will soon be part of a well-trafficked  byline.  (The reason I originally bought “scenicroutesnapshots.com” is because at the time, in December 2009, “nickshell.com” was already taken- but it recently and conveniently just came available again.)

A few weeks ago on my Facebook wall I asked my friends for their help with naming my upcoming “dad from day one” spin-off.  The winner was Diana Jung Taub, who sent her idea to me privately.  Though the time isn’t prudent now for me to reveal the name of my spin-off, the time is prudent for you to meet her, on national television.  A week from tonight, on April 27th, Diana will be a contestant on the legendary game show, Wheel of Fortune.  So go ahead and check to make sure what channel and what time it comes on in your area.

Coincidentally, her son was born just a few weeks before my son Jack William. Diana’s son’s name is Jake William, and like the genetic miracle which my Jack has encountered, her son also has blonde hair and blue eyes, despite the fact that both parents have dark brown hair.

Her son, Jake, again.  Not Jack.