Whelp, here it goes…my 30th year on this beautiful planet called Earth. I wanted a clever title for this post or at least some rhyming words, but “dirty thirty” sounded silly to me and who knows, I might actually shower today. “Flirty thirty” doesn’t sound much like me as I don’t know that thirty will entail more, or less, flirting than before.

My birthday weekend (more like month, since I have been celebrating since May 3) has been filled so far with lots of delicious food and some of my favorite people. When this post goes up I will be at brunch then spending the day doing whatever I please, and then watching the solar eclipse. Such a day to look forward to, and even more so, such a life to enjoy as well! How wonderful the sun will be setting on my birthday with the moon and also with Venus and Jupiter. That these two bright celestial beings are coming so close together feels like a brilliant gift from the universe to me (and also those with my same birthday, but mostly I pretend just me). Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how to feel about this milestone birthday.

There’s a part of me that’s really excited as I see how much I’ve changed over the years and have only gotten better (and more myself) with age and another that wants to hide under my covers and watch episodes of the Sex and the City. Already I notice how much my  self-worth has changed as I’ve gotten older. I now feel kinda sorry for 20-somethings who are so concerned with the way they look). I have a lot to proud of up until now. While I may not have a best-selling book or a family…or even a boyfriend for that matter. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in a gorgeous apartment, with amazing friends, and (almost) have an M.A. Of course there’s a sadness that comes with this birthday as well that I think also has to be acknowledged. My 20s were the best years of my life and I also would be lying if there weren’t a part of me that’s worried about some seemingly silly things. This really means I’m getting older and with that outgrowing a lot of things, which can be simultaneously exciting and sad.

Something that I’m certain won’t change about me in my 30s is my love of lists and becuase it’s my special birthday extravaganza post, I have two. A year ago for my 29th birthday I made a list of 30 things I wanted to do before turning 30. For honesty’s sake (I’m apparently also getting more honest with age), not all of them will be done. Majority of them, yes. I still have a few that will take more time, and money than I currently have. So instead they will just go onto my Life List where I can be excited about the adventures ahead and not just the ones before 30.

Instead of things to do, it makes more sense to me to talk about what I’ve learned because if the past few years have taught me anything it’s that if you live, you learn. So here it goes…”30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years (most of which you already know, but needed to be reminded of),” by Becky Farrar:

1. Love yourself, whatever that means to you.

2. Touch is a necessity for being a live.

3. Allow yourself to be moved to tears by the true, good, and beautiful.

4. Take time for gratitude.

5. Spend time with people who make you feel good, no exceptions.

6. Appreciate your body and especially parts of it. (I am quite clear that I have amazing legs.)

7. Have a personal ritual. (In my case it is eating sweets and watching documentaries on Sundays, it brings me back to myself when you feel lost.)

8. Remember your dreams, they give you much more information than you think.

9. Find something creative that brings you joy and make time for it.

10. The best days in life are the ones without a plan when we allow the day to unfold exactly as it should without our interference.

11. Take good care of your body with exercise and good food, it’s a very worthwhile investment financially and otherwise.

12. Find something you know cheers you up everytime without fail and do it as often as possible. (Mine is dancing to Beyonce or jumping on my mini trampoline.)

13. Trust the voice in your head that comes in when you least expect it – it usually  has the best answers.

14. Life is meant to be a sensual experience – feel the breeze on your skin, the water on your body, the sweetness on your tongue.

15. College was fun and being an adult is just a different kind of fun.

16. Don’t read dating books, they will only confuse you and make you think you need to be someone you aren’t.

17. Have faith the universe is on your side.

18. Never underestimate the power of bubble baths with opera music, chocolate, and a good book.

19. Stop pretending not to need love and closeness.

20. Listen to your desires, not your wants, and learn to know the difference.

21. Believe in something not “proven” by science.

22. Don’t believe science has all the answers.

23. Make time for what matters.

24. Know you have the power to feel however you want to feel.

25. Take the time to know yourself – emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

26. Embrace change.

27. Allow people to come in and out of your life without holding on or resisting them when they return.

28. Don’t settle — in anything and especially not in love.

29. Stare at the stars.

30. Be you, you’re really good at it.

And for your reading pleasure, here’s one of my favorite lists from Glamour Magazine called 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30 (I’m still unsure how I feel about the word “should” in this list, but it’s still a good one):

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come. (Yes, and they both live far away as in almost 13,000 miles from where I am.)

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family. (Done, I went on a furniture purchasing spree when I got my first job out of college.)

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour. (Most definitely, and hopefully not the same hour!)

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying. (Duh! Why would you have anything you’re ashamed to be seen carrying?)

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond. (Yes, drinking tickets are not so lovely for a lady at my age.)

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age. (For sure, even my parents know how crazy that summer in Cannes was…)

7. The realization that you’re actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it. (Yes, although no where near enough as I’d like.)

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you. (Most certainly, I don’t like to share.)

9. A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded. (This is what I’m probably most proud of.)

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry. (Yup, I’ve got lots of both of these!)

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra. (Yes, no, and yes. Although I’m confused why  these were categorized together.)

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it. (Yes, but I don’t remember what it was…)

13. The belief that you deserve it. (Whoa, still kind of working on this one…this has to do with self-worth, yes?)

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few facets of life that don’t get better after 30. (I suppose so and am thinking this is something I should look at again.)

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better. (Hmmm, sure, why not.)

16. How to fall in love without losing yourself. (I would like to say yes. However, I haven’t been “in love” for quite some time and don’t really remember.)

17. How you feel about having kids. (Want ’em, but in no rush.)

18. How to quit a job, break up with a man (or woman I will add for the lesbians out there) and confront a friend without ruining a friendship. (My communication skills have improved greatly since 20.)

19. When to try harder and when to walk away. (Listen to your heart?)

20. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next. (Or I could just say it.)

21. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town. (Yes, no, yes.)

22. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to. (Done and done – LOVE it!)

23. Where to go — be it your best friends kitchen or yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing. (That was an easy one, the ocean.)

24. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents. (Do I get extra points if I like all three?)

25. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over. (Yes.)

26. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love. (Yes, and I suppose I’m more of a romantic than I thought.)

27. Who(m) you can trust, who(m) you can’t trust, and why you shouldn’t take it personally. (The grammar snob in me is annoyed at this one, but my answer is still yes.)

28. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or flossing for very long. (Amen!)

29. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault. (Yes, like when someone runs into me on the street, or steps on my foot.)

30. Why they say life begins at 30! (I guess I won’t know that one until tomorrow.)

So, there you have it, “30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years” by  Becky Farrar and “30 Things to Know and Have Before 30,” according to Glamour Magazine. I guess I’m more excited for this birthday than I thought I was. Because from what I hear…life actually only begins at 30.

[photo: Glamour]

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