You’re F***ing, THIRTY!
Thirty years old.
I remember sitting in my office listening to my co-worker exaggerate my newly embarked milestone and thinking, “Shit.”
But, the thought wasn’t the bad “shit” moment often associated with monumental self-awakening experiences. You know, like the moment when you realized that your parents lie or that you don’t have to sneak out of the house to go sleep with your boyfriend… you can just walk out of your apartment. It wasn’t even an “a-ha shit” feeling, like when you finally realize Susie didn’t drink at the latest baby shower because she’s pregnant. It certainly wasn’t the “SHIT!!” moment, much like those when you step on the scale after returning from vacation. Not even the excited “shiiitttt” moment like when you finally turn 21 and no longer have to use Sydney from middle-of-nowhere-Kentucky’s ID to get into a rather shady bar.
It was just a flat, uneventful, matter-of-fact “shit.”
I was thirty and expected to just feel something different. Even panic would have been a welcomed emotion because, in my mind, isn’t that what is supposed to happen? Isn’t this the exact moment where my mid-life crisis happens? Better yet, what about my sexual prime, Cosmopolitan, said would be knocking at my door? I bought new panties for this.
Here I sat, waiting for some sort of initiation into the Female 30-Something Sorority and apparently, I was either late for the party or not invited.
So, what was I supposed to feel? What was I supposed to expect? What was I supposed to be doing?
Being a woman in your 30s is perplexing. It’s a sandwich between figuring out who you are and where you are (read: drunk) in your 20s and then an appearance of having your shit together in your 40s. Thirty is the gap between holding your hair and dry-heaving into your roommate’s toilet and stepping into womanhood with confidence.
Whereas the 20s mantra was freedom, exploring, making mistakes and making-out… age 30-ish takes a sharp left-turn and focuses on a more distinguished checklist of expectations. Rather than making you feel accomplished, the roadmap can actually make you feel quite left behind.
You can feel stuck. Inadequate. Frustrated. Lonely.
And truth be told, there should be no surprise that many of us, on this bridge swaying and disappearing in the fog- feel that way. The boxes on this checklist are life changing and delicate at the same time.
You should own a home by now.
You should have a sleeping and eating regime that supports a healthy lifestyle.
You should be in a committed relationship.
You should start looking at your ass more… gravity is taking over.
You should have kids by now.
One list of “25 Things You Should Do Before You’re 25” suggested to “Hang Out with Kids More.” I shit you not. Why? Because it went on to suggest that, “you’re nearing your thirties now and it won’t be long that you’ll be having children of your own.”
I am finding so many of my
generation… peers aren’t quite fitting into exact molds. A lot of us sure as hell have a lot of “shoulds” that are waiting to have a big, fat X on ’em. Then some of us have no intention to ever checking the “shoulds” off the list.
We’re in this complex situation of expectations and perception our parents have for our lives now and how culture/society has molded the reality.
My mother was raising three children when she was 30 . . . and I just reorganized my Pinterest board. Also, I am YouTubing The Tiny Kitchen where a person makes these teeny-tiny treats…andddd….
Times are different, man. The pressure is real.
Before writing and creating this blog, I did some searching on turning 30, expectations in your 30s, things to do in your 30s. While there are some decent suggestions, I still felt confused and empty.
How did these bloggers and writers have it all together and yet, I looked around in my age group and we are scattered all over the board of expectations?
And. Honestly. It is a more beautiful picture of life than any other advice column has painted.
None of us have a clue what we are doing or what we should be doing and it’s honestly…fantastic.
I want to change the perception and misunderstanding surrounding what it means to be 30… because if someone doesn’t, I think some of us are going to lose our damn minds.
Maybe this is my mid-life crisis. The DirtyThirty Pity Party. Some sort of mental breakdown. Or, maybe it’s the refreshing outlook on life that some of us are searching for.
So… Here I am.
Over the next
year undefined time range (I have commitment concerns) …. I want to introduce and interview amazing, female 30-something’s who have absolutely no idea what the hell they’re doing. But, each lady is doing really great things… each one crossing this bridge of their 30s without care or concern for the mold others believe they should fit.
And you know what?
We will make some checklists of our own.
This shit will be fun.