You may be wondering why I chose the name Thirty Years Young for my blog. Well, the name actually popped in my head before I had the idea to create a blog.
That phrase came to me after many conversations I’ve had with friends about aging, youthfulness, and the expectations of women in today’s world.
Last fall, I had my second baby, Jana. This also came with the decision to become a stay-at-home mom. Actually, I still work as a freelance writer, so I guess I’m a work-from-home mama now.
Last April, I turned thirty.
In the days leading up to my birthday, so many people asked me about my feelings on turning thirty.
These questions made me feel as if I was about to turn a million years old. Or as if I was on the verge of a major life shift that everyone else seemed to know about but me.
Perhaps this is true for some people, but it sure wasn’t the case for me.
I turned thirty. And guess what?
The world kept spinning. Just like it always had.
In fact, I actually felt more grounded. During my early twenties, I didn’t have a care in the world. I truly lived in the moment. I never went to bed early. I made plans to fill every free moment. I worked hard, but I played hard too. And this was unstable. I was always uneasy or anxious, and I was my own worst critic.
I was always looking for the next exciting thing.
This lifestyle can only take you so far.
As I approached my late twenties, I felt that shift. Maybe this was the shift everyone warned me about when I turned thirty. I’m still not sure.
But I found myself wanting to stay home. I preferred a quiet night on the porch over a night shouting over a loud table. And it seemed like most of my friends also felt this way, too.
Of course there are still nights where we get together and act like we’re 18 again, but that’s just not sustainable anymore. We all have homes, families, pets, spouses, intense jobs, and responsibilities. And this is just the way life is now. It’s the cycle of life. It’s how we all stay sane.
So when I turned thirty, I didn’t feel any different.
This got me thinking.
Why does everyone around me seem to put so much pressure on this milestone birthday?
What is it about turning thirty that causes us frustration, regret, or even anxiety? Why does this age cause such a commotion, especially for us women?
It’s no secret that we live in a world where comparison breeds uneasiness and discomfort. What’s that Teddy Roosevelt said?
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
And this man was right on the money.
We spend so much time invested in everyone else’s lives, sometimes I think we might forget to live our own. We scroll through our social media feeds to look at the latest trends, staring at someone’s better outfit or someone else’s bigger home. And we often wonder why we don’t have those things. That’s when the jealousy stifles our progress. It puts unrealistic ideas in our heads. It causes us to re-evaluate the dreams we thought we had and the progress we thought we’ve made.
And when we turn thirty, it escalates for some reason. It’s all about whose married, whose career has taken off, whose children are the happiest (or even just who has children), who has this, and who has that.
We’re officially teenagers when we’re 13. We can drive when we’re 16. We can buy cigarettes and enlist when we are 18. We can drink when we are 21. We can rent a car when we are 25.
So why is 30 the official age where you need to have everything figured out or own that house with that metaphorical white picket fence?
Who decided this for us?
And why do people continue to shove this belief down our throats as this day approaches?
We should only be concerned with one thing.
Are you happy?
This is really the only important question you need to ask yourself.
In fact, you should always be asking this question, regardless of the day and regardless of your age.
If you answer no, the reason isn’t because you are thirty. It’s something else. And you’ll figure it out in time.
But for now, society needs to stop putting pressure on women turning this age.
Stop asking women a million questions about marriage, relationship status, babies, more babies, weddings, and other future plans. Many of us still want more even though we have happiness and fulfillment already. Turning thirty shouldn’t be this hurdle that we seem terrified to jump. As if there’s extreme danger on the other side.
When you turn thirty, you are just that. Thirty.
And you still have plenty more years left in you.
So I challenge everyone to stop saying they are thirty years old. There is nothing old about this age.
It’s time to embrace your youthful thirties. To those of you who are approaching this age, don’t be afraid. Be excited. To those of you who’ve already turned this age, enjoy it. Savor it. And be happy with where you are at. Stop looking around you to see what everyone else is doing.
I promise you that if you keep trying to keep up with the Joneses, you will always be running.
It’s time to stop running and chasing after other people’s goals. It’s time to embrace YOUR youth, YOUR life, and YOUR happiness. It’s time to look ahead at all that you have left.
It’s time to be thirty years young.
It has a much better ring to it anyways, right?
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