A few weeks ago, I celebrated the big 3-0 and it was quite the fanfare. Complete with hiking, biking, eating my weight in onion rings, a Beyonce concert, and even getting a brand new tattoo. Leading up to it, so many friends asked me how I was doing with it, presuming turning 30 was a hard thing to deal with. In my mind, I was excited. Birthdays are awesome and my husband usually plans all my favorite things—what's there to be sad about?
But I get it. For some, turing 30 is a milestone that slows things down a bit. Fewer crazy nights with the girlfriends. Most likely, a mortgage to worry about and a few butts to wipe besides your own. More gray hairs and wrinkles to be found. Etc. But in all honesty, I am super pumped to be thirty. Here's why...
1. I finally know a little bit about self maintenance. Like, I know how I like my hair—both the color and the style. I know which lipsticks look good and I have some sense about how to do my eyebrows. If I had a nickel for every minute I spent trying to figure this stuff out in my 20s, I'd be rich!
2. I'm more grateful for what I have. I've spent a decade working hard to build a life that means something. I've also seen the fragility of life, making me all the more grateful for who I am and what I have.
3. I no longer need approval from others. Seriously. If I want to rock a top knot or eat four donuts for breakfast, I will. The peer pressure that somehow lingers after college has finally vanished!
4. I know my limits. I know when to push harder and when to take a time out. I know how to say "no" and when to speak up for myself. And when things start to get crazy, I know how to manage my anxiety and stress in a way that is healthy for me and my family.
5. I have people now! It's amazing to finally have real, deep, and lasting friendships. It's awesome to have families that are close to ours to raise children with kind, generous, passionate friends.
Seriously, friends. Thirty does not mean life is over.
6. I'm better with money. I see the value in the things I buy, turning purchasing into a conscious decision instead of a frivolous, thoughtless one. I have seen the payoff of saving for a large purchase that will benefit our family. Most importantly, I am proud to earn money and provide for my children.
7. I am confident. I no longer need personality tests or self-help books to discover who I am. At 30, I have a strong sense of self. From my interests and passions to my dislikes and shortcomings, I finally know who I really am.
8. My experiences count. I've finally lived long enough to make mistakes and work through them. My past experiences have taught me a great deal about life and help me as I continue.
9. There's still tons of life left. Seriously, friends. Thirty does not mean life is over. The biggest eye-opener for this golden birthday is that life is wide open, it's not too late to try something new or go down a new path. I'm only 30, and I have lots of good years left.
10. I feel like a grown-ass adult. Yep. I finally feel OK calling myself a grown-up. If having three kids didn't do it, turning 30 certainly did. I'm a grown-up, an adult. It's like I reached another level. Turning 30 was a rite of passage for me.