"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anaïs Nin
(Read this post while enjoying my 30th birthday playlist. I think it speaks truth to adulthood and memories and that you’re never too old to dance around your living room.)
This past October, with very little fanfare, I turned 30. I wish I could say that I entered into 30 gracefully, head held high, ready to take on this new decade. Instead I went in kicking and screaming and grabbing onto 29 for dear life. There was a relentless feeling of all of the things I *should* have done by getting to this point in life often based on what was ‘average’ by societal norms as opposed to the life I have had the pleasure of living. That “pleasure of living” line? That’s totally something a 30 year old would say because I turned 30 and suddenly I was all, would you like some life advice? I have plenty to spare. 30 makes you wise.
I suppose I can blame much of my anxiety on the aspirational nature of sharing on Facebook. There were and continue to be all of these friends with their engagement photo shoots, creative baby announcements and weddings plucked straight from Pinterest. Of course I cannot help but compare myself to others though relatively speaking, I am successful. Relative success did not and has not stopped me from thinking that despite the things I have done, there are many, MANY more things that I’d still like to do. Plans started to form and I have since accepted and been open to the idea of change.
Anyway, despite my internal grumblings about 30 a party was held. A small gathering of friends near and far who are very dear to me who came together for a full bar, delicious cheeses and cured meats. Surprisingly there are no photos, which I have heard is the sign of a good time. It was exactly what I wanted: togetherness. Laughter. Introducing friends who attended my 5th birthday party to my yoga teacher to other bloggers to my coworkers all while the perfect soundtrack led us into midnight. Midnight on my actual birthday where I was treated to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. Even Peg was there. I spent the following day watching Mob Wives and eating leftover spinach and artichoke dip. I could not have asked for a better day.
Now that I am six months into my 30’s I can tell you that it’s fine. I don’t feel any different physically but - and this might sound crazy - I am more in tune with myself, my wants and, my needs. The struggle that kept me up at nights leading to 30 because why didn’t I have a house/husband/baby? That struggle was not real. So, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Just because everyone has a baby/husband/house does not mean that I want a baby/husband/house. I do not want a house. Not at all.
2. It is entirely possible for your baby making parts to freak out when you see a newborn.
3. Men still suck but I feel like I’m on the cusp of finding a good one. There are currently no prospects but if you know of one, you know where to find me.
4. Say I love you and mean it.
5. It’s OK to go against the grain.
6. Never go anywhere without red lipstick.
7. Gray/Black/Navy business suits? No thank you. Bring on the fantastic brightly colored dress with the pockets.
8. Enjoy karaoke. Enjoy it so much that you find a song to make your own. (Lauryn Hill’s ‘Killing Me Softly’). Rock it out.
9. It’s OK to discuss mental illness. Encourage it. Put a name and a face to the struggle of millions.
10. Don’t always expect the worst but do expect the unexpected.
11. Loyalty is a funny thing both in act and in perception.
12. It’s OK to cry and then cry again.
13. Make time for yourself.
14. Parents are human beings. Amazing, wonderful, generous, thoughtful human beings.
15. How do you get a bikini body? Put a bikini on it.
16. Don’t react first and think later. Think first, react later.
17. You don’t have to like everyone and not everyone is going to like you.
18. Watch C-SPAN during the day. Watch Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas by night.
19. Know what you want. Think about how to get there.
20. Patience really is a virtue.
21. Time really does move faster as we age.
22. Perspective is a wonderful thing but remember that it’s all relative.
23. Don’t be afraid to flirt.
24. It’s best to observe without speaking. It’s better than speaking without observing.
25. Never regret doing the right thing.
26. Saying goodbye will always ache but channel that energy into making those who have left proud.
27. Take wisdom, advice and guidance from others. Even if it’s not used right away store it and don’t be afraid to share when the time is right.
28. Even at my worst I am loved.
29. It will always be easier to let go and let God.
30. 30 is not the end of anything. It’s another beginning.
and 31. Everything is better with your friends but don’t be afraid to spend a few moments alone.