“Time and tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty.” – Robert Frost

I love birthdays and on Sunday, I’m celebrating one of the bigguns’ (as my dear 80 year-old friend Millie says). I’ll be bidding a fond farewell to my twenties and venturing into the next decade of my life. My thirties. I’ve been asked a few times if I’m dreading it, and I am honest when I reply that I feel like I’ve been waiting for it. It feels like an accomplishment and, once I’m 30, I think I’ll somehow feel like I’m reaching a ledge on the cliff face I’ve been climbing, and can look down below to see how far I’ve come. Like all of the churnings so far will finally mean something clear.

Maybe I would be depressed about turning 30 if I felt as though I’d left something undone, but I have no regrets…the moments that didn’t go as planned still steered me towards where and who I am today. Perhaps I would considering drowning myself in a pool of Jim Beam if I looked 30, owned cats, and wore housecoats,  but I’ve been slathering on anti-aging serums and potions since I was a teen, don’t understand the purpose of felines, and know better than to wear shapeless garments, thanks to Stacy and Clinton.

Each milestone year, I’ve checked off something fairly memorable from my bucket list. My eighteenth, for example, was spent jumping out of an airplane in my first sky dive.  (With about 6 Navy Seals, coincidently. Thank you, lord, and happy birthday to me.) This “Becoming Year”, is my memorable moment. Much of my motivation for changing everything important was somewhat motivated by this being my 30th year.  To recap some moments that brought me to wherever I am, here are:

Some achievements and such from my 20’s:

  • USAA finally forgave my lead-footed transgressions and discounted my car insurance, and I am now a much more serene driver
  • (This ended up being both a positive and a negative, but…) Permission to buy vodka. (Lessons from this are too numerous and some too humiliating to mention)
  • Graduated from college, paid for by moi (but thanks Mom and Dad for the free room and board!) I learned how to negotiate grades (thank you, Cher) and how to write papers at midnight fueled by determination and milk (Red Bull did not exist, and I really like milk)
  • Lived in DC and signed my first lease (best years of my life, to date), which taught me how to avoid contact with metro handrails, intimidate snarky Potbelly’s workers, and scope the best HH spots
  • Discovered that you do learn to breathe again after someone you love dies unexpectedly
  • Had a couple of great jobs which taught me so much… like beware of bcc’ing people, emails are forever, and it does pay to keep your opinions to yourself (even when you’re right)
  • I also learned much about myself, like I have good intuition, making me great at crisis management (I should be a bomb threat negotiator! Or Courtney Love’s stylist…)
  • Had a job that I hated, which taught me not to work for people I am smarter than, Ambien is ok for daytime, and that you must be passionate about what you do…and if you aren’t, then leave and find the thing that blows your skirt up
  • Totaled my car and received a few g’s more than I paid for it to start with and spent my earnings on my first MacBook and learned that Apple products are too pretentious for me, and have yet to buy another
  • Added 6 stamps to my passport…learned not to make eye contact with ancient sheep farmers in bars, or they will likely propose marriage
  • Discovered I’m allergic to sesame seeds. Dammit
  • I learned that skinny jeans weren’t made for girls with hips and junk in their trunk, got over it, and bought the styles that were

My twenties were chock full of experiences and lessons that I look forward to acting on in my thirties.  I’ve grown into myself, finally. Self consciousness is gone, and in its place is confidence in all the things I am or have learned to be.

Your birthday gift to me? Hmmm… I would love to hear a key take aways from your twenties. I know we learn and grow from both our moments of joy, to tragedy in our lives. What sticks out to you? You don’t have to be on the other side of your twenties to answer, either, whippersnappers.
“I’m turning thirty this year. And you know the saying, a woman over thirty is more likely to get hit by an A bomb than find a man.” – Fanny Fink

“At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.” – Benjamin Franklin

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.” –
Hervey Allen



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17 responses to ““Time and tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty.” – Robert Frost

  1. Julie

    Nothing has happened? Come on! Seinfeld had a whole tv series about nothing! Update the blog already.

  2. Leanne

    I’m one year away from the 30 (although my hubby thinks we are both 30 already, my Sept. 1981 birthdate tells me otherwise) but I can think of a few big things Ive learned in the last decade:

    -You have to pick your battles or you will make yourself crazy

    -Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, life is much easier when you figure out that everyone should just mind their own business

    -Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (thank you Ben Franklin, the founding father who probably enjoyed life the most)

    – No matter how old you are you are still feel like the same person you were as a teenager, just hopefully a little wiser

  3. Tina K

    -My eggs? Benedict.
    But if I have to cook them, fried over buttered toast.

    -If your not gonna do it right, don’t bother. You will have to do it twice.

    – Dont offer advice that no one asked for.

    – Its nice to eat ice cream in bed, but not when you step in the puddle in the morning. Theres a reason you dont eat in bed.

    – You’re allowed to change your mind, thats why its not pre-programmed.

    – Have boundaries. Let them be reasonable.

  4. carrol

    Hey, sweetie! Just wait ’til AARP starts harassing you!

  5. Lizzy

    hey girl. happy 30th! i always enjoy reading your blog. umm, i have two years left (woo hoo!) but was really encouraged by this post nonetheless. i like how you live life to the fullest and choose to not look back with regrets. as far as ‘key take aways’…

    ~ according to ‘scientific research’, whereas men reach their peak in their late teens/early 20s, women begin this process in their 30s and 40s. AWESOME is all i can say 🙂

    ~ in this new decade of your life, always try to surround yourself with friends who leave you with sore cheekbones and abs from times of frequent, intense laughter.

  6. Katie B

    I still have a couple years left, but I wanted to say happy birthday and you still are one of my favorite people!

  7. Luce

    Ok so I have not spent the entirety of my 20s just yet but I am still smarter for the last 8.833333 years of them.
    – the friends that let you down, you don’t need them.
    -Nobody can make me mad, I can only allow them.
    -I am a terriable (read bad) speller. I guess I have always known this and now I’m ok with that.
    -being a mom makes me feel old and childish at the same time and I am pretty sure thats what they call wisdom.
    -My mom was right.
    – People really don’t care what I like, because they like ME!
    – A great deal of other nonsense.
    -P.S. the well fitting jeans rule carries on into maternity wear!!!

  8. Katherine

    Three years after the big 30 and you’d think I would feel like everything is figured out. Here is what I have learned.

    Don’t avoid what scares you or makes you uncomfortable. During a moment of courage or bravery you learn to love and value yourself so much more. You will also learn something new.

    Don’t underestimate yourself. You are as smart funny and talented as everyone else in the room, probably more so.

    Friends are one of the best gifts from God. Don’t take them for granted no matter how far apart you are.

    Just because you have hit thirty doesn’t mean you can’t change or improve your life. Becoming an adult isn’t like reaching the end zone, its only the first down. (This analogy was brought to you by advice point #1.)

  9. Celeste

    Be open to change. You might’ve started out with a game plan and mapped it all out; but life happens and sometimes the unplanned is the best thing you never even thought about.

  10. Having met this ‘biggun’ myself barely a month ago (yay, 1980!), I offer some of the take-aways from birthdays past:

    – It is important to use the bathroom before long trips, even if you don’t have to go.

    – If you haven’t quite figured out what you’re doing with your life by the time you’re 25, you can keep working on it. You’re allowed.

    – When the people you love are injured by circumstances entirely outside your ability to fix, you don’t have to know the right thing to say. But being there counts.

    – Picture books may be for kids, but they are just as wonderful when you grow up.

    – Abi, your last point is worth repeating: buy jeans that fit look good on you! Those are the ones that fit.

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