In no particular order…
1. There are roughly 8473938042 other lists out there compiling these same borderline preachy truths that are easier said than done. Take it as a sign that we are both not alone in mourning the loss of our twenties, or in moving on to this inevitable next chapter.
2. Everyone does it. There is nothing soul crushing or life-altering that will happen purely because of turning 30. It is a milestone, yes, and one to acknowledge, but also one to move on from. Kind of like a good poop.
3. Life does not end. Life does not end. Life does not end. Not because of turning 30, anyway.
4. Getting married, having babies, settling down. These are stages of life with no expiration dates. Your fridge, though. Clean that out sometime?
5. What did you really look like at 20? Was it really better because you were “YOUNG”? Were those spaghetti strap crop tops, slouchy, low-rise jeans, and painfully over-plucked eyebrows really a good look? No. Take a long look in the mirror now. You’ve never looked better.
6. Your friends who married at 25 or 26 don’t have any more of a guarantee at lifelong happiness than you do if you marry in your 30s, 40s or thereafter. There is no iron-clad promise on life-long love based on age. Might as well wait for someone you like. A lot.
7. Celebrate your still intact youth, lessons learned, and stronger heart. And do it with the people who really matter to you even if it’s only one or two.
8. Let go. Your twenties are over with whether you want them to be or not, so release them with grace. And with that, let go of the heartbreak, bitterness, and regret you’ve held onto with them. New decade, new start.
9. No, but like, really let it go. That boyfriend who screwed you over when you were 27 and is now living with, and probably soon-to-be engaged to, his “rebound”? He’s her problem now. Not yours. Be grateful for what it taught you and thankful for the happy memories. The rest isn’t worth dragging into a new era.
10. Be kind to yourself. Not all lessons are easily remembered. Just because you’re 30, 31, 32, or any other 30-something doesn’t mean you’re immune to repeating mistakes from the past. Sometimes you date the same person over and over. Other times you elect to eat bad pizza at 3 am and wonder why you suffer from heartburn. We’re only human.
11. Be patient. You’re only 30. You have SO much still to learn. What’s the rush? Are you that excited to turn 40?
12. Defriend exes. Unfollow on instagram. Hoping he sees you in a random picture in his newsfeed, looking smoking hot at that rehearsal dinner, is just not worth it when the one who broke your heart moves on faster than you did and gets tagged in lovey-dovey pictures by his new girlfriend. He also does not use Facebook as much as you do.
13. It can’t hurt to start using eye cream, right? Even if, ugh, it’s another thing you have to do before bed now and learning to wash your makeup off in the first place was a major victory.
14. Raucous, drunken-out-til-4-am nights are still fun – every once in a while, especially now that you can afford better alcohol. But they aren’t something to make a habit of, either. Because, hangovers.
15. Friendships change. People move, marry, have kids, and become a bit more selfish overall, and that’s okay. We’re all becoming who we are going to be and it shouldn’t be the same now as it was at 18. In fact, it would probably suck if it were.
16. That guy you went out on four amazing dates with and never heard from again? He’s obviously an asshole. Total jerk. Worst guy alive. Doesn’t deserve you. But honing in on all that negativity won’t make him call you any sooner. Chasing after guys who just want to chase is no fun. Games suck. Don’t play them.
17. With that said, if you’re not feeling someone, let him or her know. Giving someone the fade-out is the ABSOLUTE WORST. So is settling. Nobody wants to be alone, but nobody wants to be only half-loved either. End it.
18. Speaking of that guy who didn’t call you back – a month or so ago you didn’t even know he existed. There are other people out there, maybe look up from your phone every once in a while. Also, you’re less likely to trip in the street this way and that’s always super embarrassing.
19. Love the ones you’re with. This doesn’t only apply to significant others. Family, and friends who are like family, are just as important as spouses and sometimes more so. We take them for granted because we can.
20. Single and free? Take advantage. Travel, indulge, start over, treat yo-self. Do you while you still can without judgment or permission. Your bank account, your choices, your time. YES I WILL move to a new city because I can thankyouverymuch.
21. You’re turning 30 and still single. Obviously you’re going to be alone FOREVER. Actually, probably not, but you can’t win if you don’t play. Put yourself out there. Again. And again. Didn’t work? Try again. You never know and you won’t know sitting at home on the couch. Or so my mom tells me.
22. But take time to yourself when you need it. Say “yes” to the things that either really matter, or will push you to grow, because YOU WANT TO, not out of guilt or obligation. Those are the immature decisions reserved for your twenties.
23. Your body is yours and yours alone. It is not any better, worse or comparable to someone else’s no matter how many hours you log at the gym. Work out to feel strong, healthy, and the best you possible. Or go to the gym because the TV selection is better. YOUR CHOICE.
24. Eating a slice of office birthday cake with the really good sugary frosting will not determine whether that hot person decides to hit on you or not.
25. You’re no longer one of the youngest people at work. But that’s not a bad thing. You may not be the cute, innocent 22 year-old, but you are the respected, sophisticated 30-year-old whose opinions matter. Also, you’ve finally figured out the fine line of finding the perfect buzz at the office party. Serious kudos.
26. You make money. Spend it! Wisely, natch. And if you don’t, make inroads to do so. Ambition is attractive and coulda-woulda-shoulda games at 50 probably won’t be.
27. Telling people how “old” you are to downplay your birthday is fine and all if that’s your self-deprecating thing, but it’s going to be awkward a week later when you’re trying to empower your BFF on her big day.
28. Hobbies change and sometimes they revolve around Netflix, HBOGO, Showtime Anytime, Hulu or any other preferred media outlet. We’re older now and we get tired and most of the time, bars are boring. Also, if you haven’t watched The Wire, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Game of Thrones or Lost, you haven’t lived. And you’re already 30, soooo….
29. Anything Tina Fey (and obviously Liz Lemon) or Mindy Kaling says about life is true. When Amy Poehler writes a book it will be based on irrefutable facts you should follow too.
30. Paying someone to do your laundry and/or springing for a cleaning lady every few weeks or months will be the best decision you ever make. See number 26.
31. 31, because there is no magic set number of items in an SEO-friendly, hypocritical internet list that will make you feel okay or excited about big change if you don’t want to be. Some days I feel like this, but most of the time, it’s this, and that’s what matters, right?