Ah yes, the big three-oh. The age when women start keeping track of ovulation cycles and mourning each egg lost during monthly visits. The time when a woman examines her face in the mirror and takes note of each wayward line and makes a promise to her (now obviously fragile) reflection to not laugh so hard anymore, and not be so quick to frown, as to prevent the new concern of the dreaded wrinkle taking the place of your once pleasantly filled in laugh lines. Or perhaps she looks at her barren ring finger, its only decoration the shimmery red polish gleaming from her fresh manicure.
And career. Thirty is the year where everyone looks back on what they planned to do, and measure it up with what they have actually done. When I was eighteen, by thirty, my life was supposed to be the picture of a happily married with two children, successful psychologist with a best-selling book on How To Be Awesome under her belt, and a company car.
With thirty showing up today, I can confidently say that I don’t suspect a company car, and certainly not a husband and two kids, will be my birthday present.
And you know what, I’m perfectly fine with that.
Surprisingly for some, the lack of these milestones haven’t impeded on my life’s happiness. Being 30 and unmarried, having encountered bumps in the road a’plenty on the path to being a *crosses fingers* bestseller, and a newly uprooted and full-time student life hasn’t made me feel any older than I did at 26.
You know what did that?
Reality show contests.
Yes, the variety of several seasons long shows about being America’s next top model or singing idol, have made me realize that some things are just not going to happen. I read a story the other day about a former Top model contestant and it suddenly hit me: I’m too old for Top Model! I’m too old to audition for American Idol! When did this happen?
Too old has never been a part of my lexicon. No one has ever labeled me too old for anything, save for a few kiddie rides at cedar point, and I got over that when I realized with it came the ability to get a driver’s license.
Thirty is an interesting age because prior to this, I’ve spent my whole life waiting to be old enough to do something. Old enough to get on the “big kids” rides at the carnival. Old enough to drive. Old enough to be considered legal. Old enough to drink. Now, the only thing I have to look forward to is old enough to have a midlife crisis, old enough to be a cradle robbing cougar, and old enough to get AARP. I don’t know about you, but being old enough to drive and play the nickel slots at the casino sound much more pleasant to look forward to.
With my previous dreams of being the next top high fashion model or the next singing sensation or reality star (unless by chance I happen to dump my beau for a basketball player or hip-hop persona) no longer on the list of possibilities, I suppose I’ll have to focus on a real life. Gone are the dreams of belting out top 40 hits to a crowd of adoring fans (unless you count a Wednesday night karaoke winning streak), and they’ll be no glossy magazine covers to airbrush me to perfection and skew the self-images of almost-old-enough-to-drive teens.
Although I’m slightly devastated (meaning, not at all. lol) that I’m now actually too old for something, I can say that turning thirty will probably be one of the best things I do this year. Thirty has always been an adulthood marker in my mind. Like I am somehow now officially old enough to know what I want out of life and what I don’t. Who and what I’ll allow in my life, and who and what I won’t.
I’m old enough to say No, firmly and inflexibly, and not feel bad about it, not lie about it, and still be able to smile at my reflection and the person on the receiving end of it. I’m old enough to buy several bottles of whipped vodka just because it tastes so darn good. See cheesecake martinis as well. I’m comfortable enough in my skin to have sexathons with the light on (…maybe even during or after the martinis. gasp!).
At thirty, my hair and I have finally (tentatively) reached an amicable agreement about which days it is not allowed to act a plum fool (I managed to get vacations, birthdays, date nights, and some holidays in the contract). I have friends that have literally seen me through the worst and the best, who have now amassed so much dirt on me and I on them, that we have no choice but to be friends. Blackmail, the tie that binds long friendships.
I’m old enough to not feel like I have to go anywhere or do anything just because it’s the weekend, and now planning vacations most likely include passports and foreign languages. I now know that I can be immersed in all walks of life and not lose myself or my values, and still can absorb and apply the wisdom i’ve gleaned from people during my years thus far.
And most importantly, I’m old enough to walk into the greatness that awaits me, and appreciate the journey …while still young enough to look awesome doing it. Hehe.
So, while I might not be the next American Idol… I’m looking forward to being the Next Great Me.
…but in ten years if there’s an America’s Next Top
Football Volleyball Basketball Tennis Soccer Mom, i’m alllll over it. lmbo.
Happy Valentine’s Day!