Supposedly, 30 is the new 20 but I really hope not. Sure, our twenties were filled with less responsibility; staying out all night, house parties, bar hopping. They were also filled with apartments the size of a closet, dead-end jobs that leave us with no money, insecurities and, let’s face it, most of us learned how to cook by eating a lot of really, really bad meals.
As my 30th birthday approached this year, I am willing to admit that I handled it less than gracefully. At 29, I stood in my closet, drunk and crying, throwing clothes out at an alarming rate, screaming “I’m too old to wear this anymore!” All the while, my much younger friend was sitting in my room, rolling her eyes, repeatedly telling me “I’m not going to do this again when you’re 30.” Fortunately, she didn’t have to. The day I turned 30, I woke up in the morning and cried, non-stop, for two hours. My also much younger boyfriend at the time looked on, dumbfounded, trying to figure out why I was so distraught and how to stop my crying. The best I could come up with? My life was over. I was 30. Don’t statistics say that women over thirty have a greater chance of being struck by lightning then getting married?
Now, six months later, I’ve learned something spectacular; 30 is amazing! While those of us without children may have finally become aware of our biological clocks, there is still plenty of time left. I have more confidence in who I am and it shows, making the new relationships I form stronger and more interesting. I have an apartment I love, a great job and money to actually enjoy life more than just going out for dollar beer night. My house parties have turned into dinner parties with people I actually know and want to spend time with. I’ve learned to cook as well as any guidette should and, at the end of the night, I’m not falling asleep on the bathroom floor, hugging the toilet. Sure, my options for men my own age are fewer but, being a “cougar” stopped being white-trash and started being hot.
Twenty was fun but I’m not sure I would want to go back there. I’m lucky I lived through it the first time! While I might be ashamed of myself now and then when I think the music in the bar is too loud or I can barely move after spending the day at Great Adventure, I like to think I’ve still improved with age. I’m smarter, more confident, comfortable and secure, and I still look like I’m under twenty-five. I don’t know what twenty-nine year old me was so afraid of. If pink is the new black then thirty is definitely the new pink: it goes great with everything!
“Well, now thirty ain’t like fifteen And it’s not like twenty-five My back’s a little stiff And there’s some lines around my eyes But I’ve still got my energy And I’ve got most of my hair And I’m not too old to rock and roll And I’m not really scared” Randy Stonehill ~ Turning Thirty