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