In exactly one month, I will be the big 3-0. Thirty. How did this happen? I certainly don’t feel like I’ve been alive for thirty years.
This is the age that I’ve been taught to fear since I was little. I’ve watched TV shows and movies, one after another, where the women refuse to admit they’re any age above 29.
I have witnessed this phenomenon in real life as well. My own mother has been know to say “this is the Xth anniversary of my 29th birthday.”
I updated my Facebook with, “Exactly one month until the big 3-0,” and I received comment after comment implying that women shouldn’t admit to being above 30.
It’s like women lie about their age so others, mainly men, won’t judge them.
But, what is there to judge? Isn’t age just a number? Am I going to suddenly be a different person, a person I should be ashamed of being, a month from now? Is there something I should prepare for?
What am I missing?
Ok, fine, I’ll admit it. If you would have asked me how I felt about my approaching 30th birthday a year or two ago, I probably would’ve responded that it scared me. What was I afraid of? Getting old? Being closer to death? Society viewing me differently? Suddenly having to stop acting like my goofy self? I’m not entirely sure what exactly I was afraid of, but I knew that was the emotion I was expected to feel.
Fear. Ha. I guess I’ve learned there are more important things to be afraid of, because I don’t waste my time fearing my impending birthday anymore. I’ve made peace with it at some point along the way. I’ve realized that 30 isn’t any different than 29, which isn’t really any different than 25.
I’m actually looking forward to it a bit. These days, I look at my 30th year with excitement instead of fear. Right now, at 29, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve let go of a lot of the negativity and unrealistic expectations about life and decided to just live. I’ve figured out how to appreciate what I have instead of just marking time until I get what I want…. or wallowing in the past, throwing a tantrum that I didn’t get my way.
I’ve also realized that I don’t have to be ashamed of who I am. So what if I have severe anxiety issues? So what if I’m introverted and antisocial? I’ve learned that the people who matter don’t care, and the people who choose to make fun of me or put me down for these things aren’t worth my time. Because of this realization, I’ve been more open with my issues. There’s something very freeing about being completely open and not hiding parts of yourself. It’s actually helped me form a support system, make amazing new friends, and learn more about myself than I ever realized I could.
My 29th year has been a year of change, and I’m optimistic about year 30 bringing even more positive change. I have big, exciting plans for this year, and I can only hope that I’ll be as excited about 31 as I am right now about 30.
So, to all my friends with a 30th birthday on the horizon, forget how society tells you to feel and figure out how to make this the best year of your life. Figure out what you want out of life and go for it.