For as long as I can remember, I lived in dread of my 30th birthday. I felt that once it came, it meant game over: time to leave partying behind and move on to a boring adult life.
Most of us have a really hard time leaving our twenties behind. Being 30 seems so serious, so real and so full of responsibilities. After days of nostalgia, sadness and disappointment, your 30th birthday will come and go just as any other.
Here are some ways you can prepare yourself for the big 3-0:
Let Go Of Your Imaginary 30-Year-Old Self
A big reason turning 30 is so depressing is most of us have a mental picture of where we wanted to be when we reached that age.
My 30-year-old self had a doctoral degree, an engagement ring, an adoring fiancée and lots of money in the bank. If you’re feeling disappointed at how your life turned out, join the club. Stop beating yourself up for not reaching your goals or going in the right direction.
Embrace your current life, with all of its failures, challenges and accomplishments. Look at this new decade as a brand new opportunity to redefine your life and take it into any direction that you want.
Accept That You’re No Longer a Teenager
I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed your body is no longer that of a teenager. Your metabolism seems to have stalled, your hangovers feel like the apocalypse and you can’t seem to keep up with your grandma.
The problem is, many of us have a hard time accepting this. We still want to party like a college student, dress like we’re going to a frat party and live a careless lifestyle, but we can’t live this kind of life anymore. We have a job, bills to pay and a future to think about.
Instead of staying trapped in the past, focus on how you want to move forward in your life. Plan for the future, surround yourself with people who motivate you and find ways to grow as a person.
Congratulations, you made it (or have nearly made it) to your 30s! Be thankful for the gift of life and all the wisdom and experience you have obtained in your three decades.
Instead of focusing on the things you can’t do, focus on things you can do. There are probably many things you can do now that you couldn’t do a few years ago, like travel the world, make your own decisions, buy yourself nice things or have an interesting conversation with your grad school classmates.
You’re 30… Flaunt It!
Stop feeling ashamed of your age. When someone asks, don’t respond in a barely noticeable whisper. Say it loud and clear, full of confidence. Then wait for it: the surprised look on the other person’s face, and the endless flattery that is about to come your way:
“You can’t be thirty! You look 19!” “You’re lying.” “I must get your esthetician's number.”
Enjoy being in your 30s. Older adults will assure you that this is by far the best decade. It is the time when you are old enough to be completely independent, yet young enough to still be able to have some careless fun once in a while.
Savor this age because, just like your 20s, it will pass in the blink of an eye.
Photo via Tumblr