Dear My Thirties,
First, let me just apologize. For my whole life leading up to this decade, I have been dreading this era. I vaguely remember a TV show called “Thirtysomething” that aired when I was younger, and I thought, “Geez, that’s old.” Those people looked like grown-ups. And in my youth, all grown-ups, from 20-something to 50-something, basically looked the same.
It didn’t help that when I was in my 20s, everything said about “Your Thirties” was always negative and in a daunting tone. Wrinkles. Vision problems. A hallmark year of aging and dread that would begin at just after 11:59 of my 29th year. I only now realize that I shouldn’t have bought into all that crap. You deserved better. I was prejudicial about you, Thirties, and I had no reason to be.
Because you’re awesome.
I know I’m only four years into this decade, but it’s maaaaaybe been my favorite thus far. I’ve always felt that I had a firm grasp of who I am and what I stand for. In fact, I’m sure most people who knew me in my youth would use similar adjectives to describe me then as they would to describe me now. But it wasn’t until this decade that I came to fully understand and appreciate what I’m all about… and to use it appropriately.
For example, I’m not a big fan of crowds or experiences in which I have little control. Any younger, and I’d still be putting myself into those situations for the sake of the party or social event. In my thirties? Nope. I’m not about that life. If it’s optional, I’m opting out if it makes me uncomfortable. And I don’t owe anyone an explanation.
The more I reflect on my 20s, the more I feel like I must have spent the entire decade explaining my decisions or apologizing. Not in your thirties! Once you know and embrace who you are at this magic decade, you feel liberated to fully be that person. In my case, this is probably because I’m too tired to explain or apologize like I might have a few years ago.
I simply don’t have the youthful energy to keep up the social scene. Chilling on my couch watching The Great British Baking Show is far more appealing to me than going out. My social circle in my thirties has gotten smaller. Smaller yet more intimate. While this may have seemed like a downside to aging when I was 28, I now welcome it. Friendships have actually gotten easier in my Thirties. I’m tired and busy with life. They’re tired and busy with life. There’s no judgment if we don’t text or call every day.
I don’t even “feel” like I’m in my thirties. I hate to even say that because it implies that this age is old. It isn’t. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt better physically because now I better understand how my body works. I may have been able to eat giant cheeseburgers and fries while in college, but I also was carrying around the weight to show for it. Sure, I may have to limit portion sizes now that my metabolism has slowed, but at this age I know exactly what I need to do to get back on track.
So yeah, Thirties, just like in the song “Strawberry Wine,” “I still remember when thirty was old.” Ha! What a laugh. I’m sorry you get a bad rap. And I’m sorry that for a while I contributed to it. Because you’re awesome, and I love you!