As I head into my 30th year I feel no different than at age 29. Imagine that. But it’s actually a big deal. Behold, the dawn of a new decade: the 30s! Thirty is a hefty, round number that sounds mature, but not quite dilapidated, right? I often pat myself on the back for having nabbed a partner who is ten years my senior, granting me permanent status as the young one. But enough moaning and groaning; I’m here to tell you how life has gotten better as the years pass.
My 20s were a…transformation. I left the home nest, flailed around, and once steady in flight I decided which ideas to adopt, modify, or bury forever. This process was mostly confusing (So, people of which religious doctrines/political parties/sexual orientation are Hell-bound?), scary (What exactly does the wrong side of the blood alcohol level feel like?), or boring (You mean to tell me that I have to pay bills and file taxes?). Dating was perplexing. Is he treating me well? Should I break up with a perfectly “perfect” guy? Was that train wreck supposed to be romance?
After most of this messy business was sorted out, I took more notice of the constants in my life—dance, literature, writing, cooking—things that keep me happy and never steer me wrong. They are beautiful tiny lights just bright enough to keep my footing on an unpredictable path.
The very best thing about being 30 is finally feeling comfortable in my own skin. This probably happens to most people much sooner, but I can honestly say it took this long. Only recently was I able to be clear and decisive about what I want in a partner. I always knew what type of man my parents wanted and what type of man society wanted, but I needed to grasp what works for me. I’m the one who has to love him.
And only recently was I able to understand what I want to do with my life—focus less on a high salary with cushy benefits; focus more on what satisfies my soul. I have a better sense of which friendships are easy and lifelong and which ones expire. Ultimately, being comfortable in my own skin means I worry less. Self-consciousness and anxiety don’t dominate; instead I am left with me. I can free my mind to enjoy the present moment, lose all of myself in it.
My peers are doing such inspiring work. I am so envious and proud. It is my time! This is the decade to do some indulgent, kickass projects. I can feel it. Only recently was I able to produce work I was proud of. These are the years to make it shine.
It is true, I am one year closer to death and I welcome it. Death is the most honest friend we have. It reminds us that we are small. We are here to love ferociously and enjoy ourselves. Cheers, Thirty!