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What You Think Turning 30 Will Be Like vs. What It Actually Is

Photograph by Twenty20

Since entering my 30s, I've found myself living in a sort of limbo, stuck between knowing that turning 30 means I should really be doing #allthethings with my life, but also not really knowing what that means and how to get there. Turning 30 as a millennial, especially as a millennial who also has children, has felt a bit like a letdown. Instead of being granted access to the eternal fountain of wisdom I had yearned for, I am left with even more questions than before, including the one that I and many of my peers can't seem to answer: Am I enough?

The truth is, my expectations of turning 30 don't exactly match up with the strangely disappointing realities of adulthood such as:

Prepping for the Future

Expectation: Contributing to your 401k will make you feel adult AF.

Reality: Being an adult is overrated. Sometimes, you still wish it was socially acceptable to stretch Fruit Roll-Ups over your fingers and eat them.

Becoming a Parent

Expectation: You will leave the hospital with your baby as well with the super-secret book containing all the answers to adulthood you will ever need.

Reality: You will leave with more questions than you ever thought possible. Are you seriously telling me every parent everywhere has been winging it this entire time?!

On Turning The Big 3-0

Expectation: Turning 30 will mark a momentous milestone in your life, from which point on you will be forever transformed. More likely than not, you will wake up on the morning of your 30th birthday having drunk from the fountain of wisdom that enables you to exude peace and contentment in all facets of life.

Reality: You mostly feel the same, except more tired. Also, you most definitely drank something and it was not wisdom.

Grooming Techniques

Expectation: You will finally find a hairstyle that both flatters your face shape (side note: you still aren’t entirely certain what shape your face is, honestly) and is possible for you to maintain without calling in professional help every morning.

Reality: You are confused by the sheer number of 12-year-old beauty vloggers who exist that put your eyebrow game to shame. *Googles "how to make a ponytail look stylish"*

Body Acceptance

Expectation: You will finally make peace with you body, get in shape and run a marathon.

Reality: You will run a marathon but discover there is no magic solution for making peace with your body. At least pizza helps. #balance

Ruling the World

Expectation: You will start a successful business, enjoy financial success and bask in the glow of all of your accomplishments.

Reality: Yes to all of the above, but you are still startled and slightly offended when someone calls you "ma’am."

Mastering Technology

Expectation: Technology will improve all areas of your life without controlling you. Huzzah to knowing how many steps I take and how many hours I sleep for no real reason whatsoever!

Reality: Your toddler tries to swipe right on an actual, real book page and you realize how very, very scary the world has become.

But hey, you're old now, so good luck with the world, future generation! If you need us we'll be over here talking about the good ol' days, when Lisa Frank ruled, Lip Smackers were the highlight of our lives and the most important debate was BSB vs. N'SYNC. (BSB forever.)

GIFs via Giphy