Many of you who know me know I jokingly say it all goes downhill after 25, but 30 is a big turning point. I feel like once you hit your 30’s there is something in your biological clock that says to get your life together. And even if your life is fairly together, the big 3-0 makes you re-evaluate everything in your life wondering what you have accomplished. I guess in a sense like your career path, what do you have on your “Life Resume.”
If you asked me 10 years ago at 20 years old, what I thought 30 would look like. Not in a million years would I describe what life is today.
Everyone asks me what 30 feels like? Honestly, just another day. As I woke up to a stream of Happy Birthday or Happy BD according to my dad, I just got dressed and headed to work. I spent a majority of my day at work and when I got home, I went to dinner with my best friend and as the clock struck midnight, my 30th birthday passed. I know, it was wild and crazy, right?
I didn’t let my birthday pass before I first took a selfie because…this is what 30 looks like?!?!? When I was 20, I thought when I hit 30, I would have lots of wrinkles, white hair, and sagging body parts. Fortunately, I feel like as I have aged, I actually look better than when I was in high school and college. I am more confident, put-together, compassionate, and open-minded.
If you asked me what I thought my life would be at 30 years old, here is a summary:
- Job: Doctor or Pharmacist-Not a budget analyst. That job title was not even on the list of choices in an Asian family’s vocabulary.
- Location: I never thought I would leave Utah. I always thought I would be a Ute. Who knew that along the way due to my career choices, it would lead me to a new adventure to the East Coast.
- Relationship Status: Married with 3 to 4 kids with my brick-faced house and soccer mom van. I still want this, but I never thought being single at this age would even be possible. I never thought at age 30, not only me, but so many girls would be struggling to find a compatible partner who wants the same things in life.
- Friendships: Never would I imagine, I would have such amazing friends in my life. Family has to love you by default, friends do not.
- And never would I have imagined all the blessings, struggles, and opportunities that I’ve had including a lot of traveling. With the good and the bad, I do believe it has shaped me to be a better person as I enter my 30’s.
Yes, I just hit 30, but I have always had an old soul, which is about 20 years wiser than my age.
When you kiss your 20’s goodbye, here are a few things that I discovered changes as you enter your 30’s, even if it’s just a week into 30:
- Traveling is good for the soul. I have been very lucky to travel a lot and in my 30’s I know there will be more travel in my future. You appreciate traveling and embrace different cultures much more than before. As they say, in your early 20’s, you had all the time to travel, but no money. Now, you have money, but not enough vacation days, you make it a priority to travel.
- You truly treasure your relationships. In your 20’s, you love making new friends everywhere you go. At networking events, on your daily coffee run, or at the gym. As you enter your 30’s, you don’t care to make friends everywhere you go, instead you focus on nurturing the friends you already have. It’s about quantity in your 20’s and quality in your 30’s. And it’s ok that you don’t like everyone, for whatever reason, a bad encounter, personalities clashing, and to de-clutter friendships where you put in more effort than you get back. In your 30’s, if a friendship is more stressful than blissful, it might be time to cut the cord and you are okay with that choice.
- Dating is not fun, it’s a necessity. By 30, you should have had your fair share of dates. When you were young, dating was fun. The older you get and the more dates you go on, you just want to hang up your boots and call it a day. You get dolled up with only one goal: To find Mr. Right. At 30, you don’t need free dinners or someone to fill your time, you just want to find someone who can potentially be your partner in crime.
- Life is not always filled with rainbows and roses. At one point, you believed you could do anything, change the world, find a cure for cancer, or eradicate world hunger. Then reality hits, life is full of battles. Some battles you win, others you lose, but no one will go through their 30’s unscathed without a few bumps in the road.
- Unplanned moments are as valuable as gold. As you get older, your life is full of plans. So when you are able to get together with your best friends on a whim, commemorate that moment because they don’t happen often.
- Money isn’t everything. Money comes and goes, you may get a little irritated with having to pay for an unexpected expense like a broken transmission or ticket, but it isn’t the end of the world, life goes on.
- There is a price for convenience. When you were younger and struggling, you would do anything to save a few bucks such as taking the metro versus taking a cab to save a $5 even if the metro adds an extra 30 minutes. Now, you weigh the price of your time versus savings.
- Thank God every day for one thing: Good health.
- A dream job doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as loving your job. 99% of people work to live, not live to work. You clock-in-and-out, maneuver through the office politics, and dream of the day you can retire for one thing: You bi-weekly paycheck to pay your bills.
- Sleep is WONDERFUL. There is a popular phrase, “You can sleep when your dead,” well obviously whoever said that wasn’t in their 30’s. You can’t help it, you just cannot go for days without sleep and Redbull like in college. Falling asleep to the CNN at 11 PM with the lights on is part of your nightly routine whether you like it or not.
- It’s time to dress age appropriate. I went through my closet and donated all my party dresses, not because they were old, but because I shouldn’t wear anything that short anymore. I don’t want to be “that girl.” You know, the one who still goes to the club at 30, trying to dress like a 20-year-old.
- Friday nights are filled with Netflix. A night in feels amazing, you don’t need to go party hopping or happy hour after work. Your Friday night doesn’t include make-up and heels, but rather comfy pajamas and a face-mask. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
- I am who I am. Love me or hate me. In your 20’s you want everyone to love you, in your 30’s, you don’t care. You have formed your habits, your vices, and routines…at this point, no one should expect you to change.
- Time flies. You look back and wonder where did the last 10 years go? Really, I don’t know!
- When you gotta go, you gotta go. When we were younger, I would always make fun of my mom for having so many stops to use the restroom. As I have aged, you really can’t hold your pee pee as long as you could when you were younger. I’m thinking…ugh…what is next?!?
- It’s not always a Party in the USA. In our 20’s, we could party all weekend and go to work on Monday, but now it takes me days, sometimes a week to recover from a night out and I’m not talking about a crazy night out. But just a night out past midnight. Normally I turn into a pumpkin when the clock strikes midnight, but once in a while when I don’t, I definitely pay for it the next few days.
- You use the term, when I was your age. When you talk to people, especially younger kids, you can’t help but say when I was your age, they didn’t have cell phones or GPS. We had dial-up and use a map.
Even knowing that all these changes are coming, I am ready to enter my 30’s and make it the best decade. I am excited for what lies ahead, but I have decided 30 will be the year to focus on me.
I hope as you enter 30, you giggle as you read this because you know it is true. Thank you to all those who celebrated with me.
Cheers to 30, being a better me, and living my next few years to its fullest.