Hi, I'm Pernell. I celebrated my 30th birthday this year with another rewatch of my favorite sci-fi film, 13 Going On 30. And it scared me.
It's all fun and Razzles until Jenna discovers she doesn't actually like the selfish person she grew up to be. And that led me to an epiphany: neither do I.
Just like Jenna, I achieved a life I used to only dream about. Now that I'm here, I feel incredibly lonely. Ultimately, Jenna and I turned out to be 30, flirty, and toxic. But that doesn't mean we have to keep being that way.
So here's what I realized I want to change about my life as I rewatched this surprisingly profound movie (and how I'm going to do it):
1. I want to move on from "the one that got away." After just one week of reconnecting with Matty, Jenna wants him to call off his wedding? Toxic!
2. I want to find my own interests, not copy them from movies. At 30, Jenna's supposedly got it all, yet she feels hollow in her life.
3. I want to stop pushing my friends away. When Jenna rekindled her friendship with Matty, it reminded me how lost I would be without my own best friends.
4. I want to have more community in my life. Rewatching the movie's dancing scenes reminded me that deep down, most of us crave connection.
5. I want fewer meaningless relationships. Adult Jenna only cares about climbing the social ladder, and she doesn't have any real friends because of it.
6. I want to be a friendlier neighbor. Adult Jenna makes no effort to be kind or empathetic to the people outside her circle.
7. I want to go home more often. Watching Jenna run into her parents' arms at her lowest point made me want to immediately call my own mom and dad.
8. I will not choose between my career and personal life. Even though Jenna grew up to be a mean adult, I loved that she had such an amazing and exciting job.
9. I want to (continue to) discover my own personal style. There's something admirable about Jenna dressing up the way she wants to.
10. I want to stop moving the goalposts in my life. When young Jenna first wakes up in the future, she's so smitten with her life. But it turns out even that wasn't enough for adult Jenna.
11. I want to remember the past (and the pain). Unlike Jenna, I remember my 20s — they sucked.
12. I want to revisit more old things. Jenna's embrace of nostalgia and facing her past is what (almost) saves her future.
13. I want to actually enjoy my 30s. Just like with Jenna Rink, it might seem as if you have it together, but that feeling of being a confused kid never completely goes away. And that's okay.
So no matter how this decade turns out, I'm determined to be fully present in it. After all, "30, flirty, and thriving" isn't a checklist — it's a state of mind.
What other classic movies hit differently as an adult? Is there anything you’ve rewatched recently that you realized you completely misinterpreted as a child? Let me know in the comments.
I'm going to go to the bar and order a Manhattan because I can. Cheers, y'all. 🍸