Today, I’m 30.
I’m celebrating by taking a day off work. My plans for today include sleeping in and lazing around in the morning, reading my book. In the afternoon, I’m going to take myself out to lunch and then pamper myself with a massage and pedicure. After that, I’ll probably stop at Starbucks for a peppermint mocha and some reading time in one of their cozy chairs. And this evening, my family is taking me out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. All in all, it’s a day of treating myself and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I have a lot to say about turning thirty. First, I want to talk about how excited I am to be in my thirties. Everyone I know tells me that their thirties have been so much better than their twenties, and I believe it. For me, my twenties were a period of intense soul searching and anxiety. There’s college and that first post-college job and making friends and trying to decide what exactly you want from life while still feeling like a kid.
At thirty, I don’t feel like a kid anymore. I don’t feel like a complete mess. I feel like a grown woman who has her shit together and knows exactly what she wants from her life. There is something so empowering and freeing in that statement. It means I have this incredible opportunity to shape my life into exactly the way I want it to look.
My twenties were a turbulent period. I spent a lot of time being ashamed of myself. Ashamed of my shyness and introversion and inability to live on my own and codependency on my mom and financial instability and chronically single status and weight and sensitivity. But over the years, as I have grown into myself, I have accepted that these are simply parts of my story. My shyness, introversion, and high sensitivity are not character flaws, but some of my biggest strengths and they allow me to relate to people on a much deeper level. My inability to live on my own and codependency on my mom are things I grew out of, as I now live alone very successfully and find my mom leaning on me as much as I lean on her. I’ve become financially stable over the years, though I’m still not exactly where I want to be, but that’s okay. I’ll get there. And being chronically single? There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being alone if you are happy being alone. And I am. I go on dates and I put myself out there as much as I want to, but it’s a very low-pressure side of my life. I go on dates because I want to, not because I need to or because I feel like something is missing from my life.
Thirty doesn’t exactly look the way I thought it would look, especially as society told me over and over again that I was supposed to be married in my twenties and at least have a kid by now. This message is especially told to you when you grow up in church, where it felt like every sermon given in youth group was about saving yourself for marriage and waiting for your future spouse. But I honestly cannot imagine being married or having kids right now. I don’t think I was ready for either of those things in my twenties. And so I can’t be upset that I’m turning thirty, single and childless. Those things aren’t meant for me right now, and that’s okay.
If my twenties were my decade of self-discovery and coming into my own, then I want my thirties to be about settling into myself and not letting fear dictate my decisions. I want to put myself out there in fuller, richer, deeper ways. I want to ask for what I want in my romantic relationships. I want to finish that novel and publish it… and maybe publish a handful more after that one. I want to deepen my friendships, travel more, feel more financially stable. I want to have retirement savings and emergency savings and no debt. I want to read as much as I possibly can because reading is my happy place. I want more massages and pedicures and long walks in the sunshine by myself. I want solo travel and solo adventures. I want to find real, true, lasting love with someone who understands me and makes me laugh and can handle all of my anxieties and quirks. I want to have a baby, a little person who is a part of me. I want to get more tattoos, adopt more dogs, fill up my house with books.
And I want to never forget how I felt on this day – November 28, 2017 – when I turned thirty.
Today, I feel happy and whole and satisfied. I feel confident in who I am and what I want. I feel content with my life and the way it looks right now. This is exactly where I’m meant to be.
I believe in the Law of Attraction and that if I put good out into the world, good will come back to me. I believe that no is a full sentence. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in the power of a good belly laugh. I believe that I am a good friend, a good daughter, a good sister. I believe that I am the best dog-mom for my old, blind, dementia dog. I believe that I have a gift for writing and I want to use that gift to the best of my ability. I believe in naps, in reading romance novels, in retail therapy. I believe in me and my power.
I want to be clear – I’m not head over heels about everything in my life. There is a lot I need to improve on. I’m overweight and really unhappy when I look in the mirror. I have generalized anxiety, which means that every few months I go into a tailspin where I think everyone hates me and I need to delete my blog and never come out of my home again. I have trouble believing in my worth as a romantic partner, especially the hangups I have regarding sex. I spend too much money on things I don’t really need and I’m terrible at saving. I can be too sarcastic and too competitive and too sensitive at times.
We’re all works in progress, though. That’s the beauty of living. It’s messy and complicated, but even in the midst of it, we can find the beauty in it. And maybe that’s the lesson I learned most from my twenties: we’re never completely finished, but we can find peace in who we are, even when there’s more we want to do.
So, here’s to my thirties. I have a feeling they are going to be one amazing ride.