So, you’re about to turn 30. Anxious much? Feeling the pressure to start drinking wine and talk about going to grad school with your friends? Wondering if you should start investing in anti-aging skincare and looking closely for those first signs of gray hairs?
Our 30’s get a bad rap. People seem to associate this decade with aging, drama, stress, and loneliness. Pressure begins to mount to have kids, have your finances in order, get your act together and wake up early for sunrise yoga.
I’m not here to tell you to avoid any of that. In fact, go forth… have a few kids and by all means, get your finances in order. But let me tell you, your 30’s are the freakin BOMB. If you are remotely concerned about leaving your 20’s behind, go grab an almond milk chai and take a seat, cuz I’m going to tell you why the 30’s are the new 20’s.
- You spend more time doing things you love. I don’t know about you, but in my 20’s I spent way too much time doing things I thought I should do, or that other people wanted me to do. Go to grad school. Get a 9-5 job. Brazilian waxes, for goodness sakes. Now that I’m in my 30’s I focus on what I want to do, what I’m passionate about, and what is good for me. Working out, massages, going to bed early… I do these things because I love taking care of myself. A happy mommy is a happy family, right? If I’m not taking care of myself, who’s going to do it?
- You can tell everyone else they can suck it. Suzy doesn’t like you? Boo hoo. The drama and angst of your 20-something friends do not have the same impact on you in the coming years that it once did. Sure, it still hurts a little when someone backstabs you or hurts your feelings, but you are stronger mentally and emotionally. You’ve got control over your own life and what other’s think seems like just too much energy to waste. Sorry Suzy, I’ve got other things to worry about.
- Speaking of worry, you start stressing about things WAY more important. While you were worried about that bitch, Suzy in your 20’s… now you’re worried about your fertility, the housing bubble that looks prime to burst any day now, and your carbon footprint. So while the stress doesn’t go away, at least you’re focusing on things that actually matter. Right? It’s somewhat redeeming, I think.
- Man drama slows down. This can get iffy, I know. I have many friends who are dealing with significant man drama in their 30’s. I’m a little biased, however, because I found my love in my 30’s. I believe, however, that man drama shifts in this decade. Some of the absurdities of who texted who and when, and should I call him or email him lessens a bit because — who the fuck cares. Right? When my husband and I first met, he asked me out the very next day. BOOM. We don’t have time to waste here, so we stop playing games and just get down to business.
- Money plays a different role. Credit card bills, living month to month, and asking mom and dad for a loan slows down now (hopefully). Most of us have secured some financial dexterity at this time and can finally start saving for fun trips, little luxuries, and financial security. And it feels good. No more stupid odd jobs for beer money. No more top ramen for dinner. You’ve kinda sorta got your act together and it’s a game changer.
- Respect yo-self. My body is a temple, and I try to treat it as such. In my 30’s, I started to eat better and exercise consistently. No more sneaking cigs after a few beers, no more tanning salons (God, I cringe thinking about the time and money I spent baking myself in those human frying pans). Instead, I started to challenge myself physically with workouts, races, and holy crap… marathon training? My 20’s self would be hyperventilating upon hearing this. SHE’S LOST HER GODDAMN MIND! But no, I’m more normal than I’ve ever been. I know what I want and it’s to feel good, look good, and do good.
- You respect time. I’m no spring chicken anymore. I see friends reaching their 40’s, 50’s… My parents are now very much senior citizens. I realize time is precious, and it’s finite. And I appreciate every day, every minute for what I have and what I’ve accomplished and what’s still to come. I’m not invincible, and I’m not gonna live forever. The sooner we come to that realization, the better off we all are.
- Gratitude. Maybe it was just me, but I spent most of my 20’s feeling very entitled. Money, family, health, career… what’s in it for me? And when life handed me a lemon, all of a sudden it “wasn’t fair”, “life sucks”, and wah wah wah. Now I spend more time giving thanks for what I’ve got than wondering how something will benefit me. I appreciate it all: money, family, health… I work hard for my career and I know God and life don’t owe me anything.
- Aging rocks. Okay, this sounds weird I know. But our 30’s are the perfect years for aging. We are just getting our first grays, we see the fine lines forming, and we start to notice subtle changes in our bodies. We no longer get carded at the bar, and we aren’t getting letters from AARP yet. It’s the perfect middle ground! We don’t have to start investing in botox yet. We are still healthy and fresh, and not complaining about aching backs and osteoporosis. But we are old enough that people start listening to us more at work, giving us more respect at the restaurant, and ogling us greedily when we drive into a car dealership.
- More experienced than ever. Whether or not you agree with the last nine reasons, you can’t argue with the fact that you are older and wiser. You have years more experience than before and you’ve (hopefully) learned from your mistakes. Becuase if you’re anything like me in my 20’s, you made a LOT of mistakes. You 30’s is your time to shine. You’re stronger than ever, you’re fiercer than before, and you know what to do.
So go forth, dear 30-year old. Celebrate this milestone with joy and festivity. You’ve earned this and your next decade is about to rock! Embrace it, be thankful for it, and go kick some booty.