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5 Things that are Awesome about Turning 30

girl balloons

It’s my birthday. I’m 30.


I know what you’re thinking. These days, 30 is not a big deal. 30 is young. Plenty of 30-somethings still don’t have kids (though I don’t seem to be friends with many of them). Plenty of 30-somethings still go out and party (though not past about 9:00, because we have jobs, and we’re tired, people).

Plus, I’ve been socially and emotionally in my 30s for nearly a decade, anyway. Perpetually Defective Papa is nearly 35, and many of my friends are in their late 30s and even into their fifties. I’m not discriminatory when it comes to age, and if anything, I like hanging with people significantly older than me. They tend to be wiser and less prone to annoying habits like pretending they know shit about the world and drawing on their minimal life experience to back it up. I mean really — when’s the last time you tried to talk to a 24-year-old about their life plans? It’s maddening.

(Don’t get me wrong — I wouldn’t want to talk to myself at 24, either. I thought I had my shit figured out. I didn’t.)

I’m not thrilled about turning 30. I don’t have kids yet, and thought I would by now. I enjoyed my 20s, and still feel like I’m 19 most of the time. This 30s shit is completely uncool.

But here are 5 things that are pretty great about turning 30, just because I’m a cheery, smiley, rainbows-and-unicorn-farts, glass-half-full sort of person.

We’ll get started with the superficial shit before I move on to the sappy stuff…

1. Presents.

Presents are great, and you probably get them every year around this time, but they’re better when you turn 30. Much like when people turn 50, people assume you’re going to have an emotional crisis when you turn 30 (and they’re not always wrong), so they’re more likely to recognize your 30th. Papa got me pearls, for example. #winning.

2. Booze.

In case you didn’t know already, I’ve been trying to get pregnant. This morning I peed on a stick, and if I this month had been successful, it would’ve been positive. Well, it wasn’t. Boo-hiss. But that means I can have a beverage tonight to mourn the fact that I’m 30 and childless, so yay. Plus, now that I’m 30, I make enough money that I can actually afford decent booze, so I won’t be drowning my sorrows in PBR like I did when I was 20.

3. Work.

Yes, work. Now that I’m 30, I’m far enough into my work life that I feel like I can say I have a “career,” and I like it. When people ask me “what I do” at a party, I have a coherent answer. I just finished my doctorate, so I’m no longer in school and don’t have to answer with “I’m a graduate student.” Despite being an adult for the past 12 years, I finally feel like one.

4. Home.

Dr. (future) Papa and I put a lot of effort into making our home our favorite place to be. At the moment, this isn’t much of a silver lining, because we’re in-between houses and are renting. But soon, we’ll have a home that we plan to make permanent and raise a family in. Plus, home doesn’t require a house, and I like my “home space,” regardless of the shape of the walls that encase it, quite a bit. When I was 20, I lived in a shithole apartment on a college campus. I’m lucky I didn’t contract some horrible disease just from breathing the air, and I’m lucky the building didn’t burn down thanks to the incense-burning drunken psychopaths who lived beneath us.

5. Body.

There, I said it — I like my 30-year-old body. Yes, when I was 20, my skin was tighter, the circles under my eyes were lighter, my breasts were a little perkier (and I swear bigger, WTF is up with that?!), and my hair was thicker. But I started running when I was 26, and my 30-year-old body is much stronger than my 20-year-old body was. It’s much more resilient. It’s healthier, because I eat things like kale and spinach now. I walk more confidently in this body than I did in that one, because I know this one can run a marathon. And I know it will soon make a human (it’s gonna happen, dammit). And that’s pretty fucking incredible.

So, I guess 30 isn’t that bad.

Could someone fill the rest of my half-full glass with some whiskey, please?