A lot of my friends are turning 30 this year. I hit the big 3-0 in February. And so far, it’s been pretty much the best year of my life. I’ve never been happier. And so, with that in mind, I decided to share my top 10 reasons why turning 30 is awesome.
1. You get to throw yourself an extravagant party.
When I turned 30, I threw myself a kick-ass party. It was a masquerade ball complete with a DJ, bartender, custom drinks and a photo-booth. I’ve been wanting to do something like that since college. But in your 20s, there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to justify spending that much money to just celebrate YOU. Unless of course, you’re getting married. But when you turn 30, it’s perfectly acceptable to throw a huge soiree in your own honor, and get all the people you love in one room. Plus, hopefully by 30 you have more disposable income than you did in your early 20s, when you were just scraping to get by and racking up credit card debt.
2. Or not.
You’re 30. At this point, you know what you like. And your feet hurt. We spent most of our 20s on our feet and in heels and now THEY HURT DAMMIT! If you don’t want a big party or the idea of putting on pants to go to a bar sounds like too much work, no one is going to convince you otherwise. If you want to stay in and have cookie dough for dinner, you will. Or you might even wind up with a low-key surprise party at the park where you spent the majority of your childhood, with your closest friends and family showing up to BBQ and climb the monkey bars. That’s what happened to one of my best friends, and it was perfect.
3. You’ve figured out your personal style.
By 30, we have pretty much gotten a handle on our personal style. When I look back at some of my fashion choices in my early 20s, I’m equally impressed and disgusted. Why did I think it was a good idea to wear a corset to a bar with my whole bra exposed? I mean, kudos to my 23 year old self for having the balls to pull it off, but it was certainly more attention-seeking than personal expression. At this point, I know what flatters my body, I know what makeup looks best and I know how to rock a soft wave in my hair without spending three hours on it. At 30, I have the confidence to wear what makes me feel good, whether it’s a full face of makeup and a Jessica Rabbit dress, or flip flops and yoga pants. My personal style is about me, and less about the actual clothes.
4. You know who you are.
My 20s were a decade of self-discovery, which is true for a lot of us. I went through break-ups, one-night stands, at least 6 different apartments, a cross country move, countless weddings, 4 different jobs and about 20 different hairstyles. There was a lot going on. I made some huge mistakes. And then I made some more. I found a therapist. And then another. That’s what our 20s are for… making mistakes and trying new things and figuring out what “fits”.
5. You know who your friends are.
While you’re figuring out who you, you’re friends are doing the same thing. And guess what? Who they really are might not turn out to be compatible with who you really are. And that’s ok. Relationships aren’t static — they are constantly evolving, and oftentimes we can evolve and grow with our friends. But sometimes we can’t. Hopefully by 30, we have distinguished who really enriches our lives and who creates friction. We learn to let go of those toxic friendships — not because they’re bad people, but because they just aren’t what we need in our lives. This opens us up to new relationships and experiences, and with a little luck we’ll continue to meet interesting people and make new friends long after we’re 30.
6. You finally know how to cook.
Even if you CHOOSE not to, you can’t make it all the way to 30 without learning how to cook a few things. And by cook, I don’t mean microwave or hide the takeout containers really well. I mean really COOK. At this point, we all have at least one or two things we know how to make that we can bring to a dinner party or cook for a date without waiting in suspense to see if anyone chokes on it or spits it back into a napkin.
7. You know how to reach orgasm.
Personally, I figured this one out in high school, but I was shocked at the number of my girlfriends in college who had never experienced an orgasm. Some were virgins, some weren’t. And a shocking number (to me at least) had never masturbated, bought a vibrator or gotten overly friendly with their shower massager. I’m proud to say I helped a couple buy their very first vibrator. Because without getting into a feminist rant about sex and pleasure, let me just say, FEMALE ORGASMS ARE AWESOME. There should be more of them. And we should know what it takes to get there. And by 30, hopefully we do.
8. You’re not afraid to ask for what you want.
This ties in to understanding your own body and taking control of your own pleasure. Being able to communicate what you need to your partner — sexually and emotionally — is something that’s fucking necessary if you want a relationship not filled with resentment. But I also think it’s true in a much broader sense. By the time we’re exiting our 20s, we’ve had enough life experiences that we’ve learned to say no or to speak up when something isn’t right. We’re less likely to care what other people think and hopefully a little less scared of hearing “no”, whether it’s for a raise, or a coffee date with the guy you see on the train every morning. Hey, at least you asked, right?
9. You finally appreciate red wine.
No one drank it in college because A) we couldn’t afford it, and B) vodka was quicker and more effective. But now that we’re hitting up Trader Joe’s every other week and realize drinking vodka tonics all night at your best friend’s wedding is disastrous, red wine is something we can appreciate at 30. A glass of good red wine after a long day at work (or a long day with the kids) is more appealing than shots at the club. The only vomit you can justifiably have all over your sweater at this point is from that googly eyed little person who is attached to your nipple.
10. You don’t go out every weekend.
Ahhhhhhh. You hear that? It’s a sigh of relief that the wedding onslaught has finally slowed down. Don’t get me wrong, weddings are great and I love seeing my friends happy, but the second half of my 20s were filled with more weekends devoted to weddings than I can count. And before that, my early 20s were filled with bar hopping, clubs and bad decisions. Now is the time to take a weekend drive up the coast or binge watch Orange is the New Black all night and then meet your parents for brunch the next day. It’s glorrrrrriousssssssss.