1. You begin this decade with an advantage over your 20-year-old self: your independence.
You have your own place, car, and a dependable job (hopefully). Yes, those things are also accompanied with bills, but you don’t have any nagging and nosy parents yelling after you every time you leave the house. That alone is a win within itself.
2. Unlike in your 20s, when you’re trying to figure stuff out, you now have a good idea of who you are as person.
You know who you aspire to be, what kind of life you want to live, and what it takes to get there.
3. You know what you want in love because you can now distinguish your desires from your wants.
You may desire the kind of tall, dark stranger that exists only in Harlequin novels, but you want someone with whom you can build a future: a loyal, honest, reliable, driven, and focused partner. Someone who inspires you to be better every day while you do the same for her or him. You understand that sometimes you cannot reconcile your desires with your wants. There’s a strong chance that the person you desire and the person you want won’t be the same person, and you’re okay with that.
4. You’ve established a concrete circle of friends who will most likely remain there until death.
You have no qualms about cutting people off who add no value to your life. Those negative, judgmental people that you called “friends” during your 20s are barely associates in your 30s, if they’re around at all.
5. You’ve developed the f*ck its.
You don’t give a damn what people think or say about you because you’re comfortable in your own skin (see #2) and if they have a problem with that, they can hit the road (see #4). Deuces.
6. You went from living with reckless abandon to being more of a calculated risk taker.
The risks you take in your 30s are more of a means to an end rather than an act on impulse. In fact, you’re probably more of a risk taker. This is due to two reasons. First, you realize that life is short and there’s no use in waiting to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Second, you understand that life is about choices and the choices you make shape your future. Some of those choices may involve taking a risk, but you know the risk is better than the alternative: doing nothing.
7. You’re more hopeful.
This may be surprising given the belief that people become more cynical with age, but those cynical people in their 30s were more than likely just as cynical in their 20s. They’re probably just more cynical now because they now have more “reasons” to be that way.