Well now, since Meera brought it up, I'll tell you what I'm doing for my 30th birthday: I'm celebrating having learned certain things about myself. In the past decade, I've been pretty open-minded, I think. I've tried new hobbies, rejecting some, but assimilating others, and learned more about myself in the process.
Cooking Light Magazine
For instance, I tried cooking, and learned I'm not a foodie. I subscribed to Cooking Light because I knew some kids who had a magazine drive at their school, and this was the only magazine I thought I might open. I tried some recipes, and they were delicious! The pizza we made for dinner last night included some special seasoning from one of their recipes. But I've realized that I'm not willing to spend more than half an hour preparing a meal. Maybe if I were throwing a party. Maybe.
Sure, I appreciate fine foods, but I'm not willing to learn to produce them myself. Restaurants are plenty good at that. So when Cooking Light came up for renewal, I said no, thank you. (Most of the recipes you can get online, anyway.)
I also tried gardening. It's not for me. I've already written about that. There are other options (farmer's markets, a local food co-op, etc.), and I just don't care for weeding that much. And I'm not good at it and not interested in learning. Though I'd be happy to come to your house and pick blueberries for pancakes.
I tried DJing, and I like it, though I'm not going to make a career out of it. I tried several different kinds of swing dancing, and I like some (lindy, west coast, blues with some partners) and dislike others (balboa, charleston, blues with other partners). I joined a chorus and mostly enjoy it.
I've begun to think of life as a series of choices. (Some people have more choices, or more attractive choices, than others.) As you make those choices, it's not just getting one thing, it's not getting all the alternatives. Choosing one college means not choosing 5 others. When I was looking for colleges, I imagined myself at every one of them, but I only got to go to one. (Ok, two.)
This closing of doors may seem sad, but in this case, it's liberating. Knowing what I know now, I can look forward to countless nights eating macaroni and cheese, and enjoying it, and not feeling guilty about not spending 2 hours preparing a fanciful dinner! I can shop for fresh vegetables without thinking, "I should be growing this myself." I can go to chorus rehearsal and remember, "I do this because I love it, not because I should or because I'm obligated."
And therefore, I celebrate.
(I'm also being taken out to dinner and to see Annie Get Your Gun at the Goodspeed Opera House.)