In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should know…
23. Where to go—be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat—when your soul needs soothing.
Something I’ve noticed many of these List items have in common is self-awareness. After nearly three decades of life, after all, you’ve likely learned a lot about yourself: what you like, loathe, want, need, crave, and so on.
Something I’ve struggled with, though, is asking for help. Or even admitting I need help. I’ve fumbled through school assignments, rarely daring to wave the white flag and request another’s perspective. I’ve drowned in work assignments, only to learn how much asking for help would have benefited me (and my sanity). I’ve considered independence a surefire sign of maturity and looked down my nose at those who allowed themselves to be vulnerable or lean on others for anything.
I spent so much time flailing solo, I didn’t learn how to fly with support.
And then I moved to a new city.
And my dad died.
And I moved to another city.
And I got dumped.
And through all of those experiences, I couldn’t possibly fight the icky feelings off on my own. I couldn’t cope with my tried-and-true combo of sad playlists and movies, sponsored by comfort food. I couldn’t shut myself away and refuse to face my fears.
I needed help.
I had to admit I didn’t know it all, nor could I handle it all by myself. I had to be OK with not knowing the perfect solution right away, and instead try different approaches until I found one. I had to accept (gasp!) that I’m not always right.
Now, I know where to go when my soul needs soothing.
If I had a tough day at work, I call a friend.
If I need unequivocal love, I FaceTime my nieces.
If I just got dumped, I go to a friend’s… and then to a bar.
If I need to zone out, I meditate.
If I want to feel good, I go to the gym or read a book.
If I need fresh air, I take a walk outside.
If I want to laugh, I watch baby videos.
If I want to cry, I watch puppy videos.
If it’s Friday at 230pm, I see my therapist.
If it’s Friday at 330pm, I call my mom. 😉
Sure, I still have my sad soundtracks and shows, and comfort food on deck as needed. But I’ve learned how to be vulnerable and open and allow people other than Papa John’s and Mark West to console me.
It’s a work in progress, but I’ve even had new friends and co-workers comment on how open I am. Gone are the days of closing myself off from others, for fear of judgment and persecution.
Getting closer to 30 has given me a lot more confidence to be unapologetic for my range of emotions. We’re all human, and if we can allow ourselves to show more compassion, humility, humanity… I think we’d all be a bit more forgiving of ourselves and each other.
Between GRAMMY Awards, the pope resigning, Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, it’s already been an eventful week! Oh, and VD Day is tomorrow. Joy of joys — I’ll be celebrating this Galentine’s Day with my truest loves: Mark West and ’90s rom-coms.
- This Article: Many thanks to Thought Catalog for providing “15 Things to Keep Doing In Your 20s,” an undeniably selfish manfiesto for my generation to follow. Because we only get this decade to use “figuring it out” as an excuse.
- Macy’s Go Red: Use hashtags for good and tweet, pin, post or share something red with #MacysGoesRed. Macy’s will donate $2 to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women cause every time — up to $250,000.
- “Bossypants”: Of course, Tina Fey is synonymous with smart humor. I finally got around to reading her much-celebrated book and devoured it in two short sittings. If you haven’t already, treat yo’self to it!
- Kid Weatherman: Just try to make it through this delightful forecast without bursting into laughter. My personal favorite? His enthusiasm for the upcoming Cub Scout winter camp weekend.
It’s been a hellish few days of crap-tacular catastrophes, but I’m still standing. I know, I’m surprised too. What better way to celebrate than with a Yankee, milestone, bottle of vino and scorned-woman anthem? Let’s get to it:
- Raúl Ibañez: My hero, my muse. Though he struck out last night to end a nail-biter against Detroit, the Yankees wouldn’t even be in the ALDS without him. I still believe in you, champ.
- Blogiversary: I’ve been so wrapped up in the MLB playoffs and FFL and insertacronymhere, I totally missed the 2-year birthday of Wittyburg.com! I’m gonna make a great parent. Thank you, a million times over, for taking part — whether you’re just joining or have been here since day one.
- Mark West Pinot Noir: I couldn’t quite believe I’d never nodded to the best Red of all time,* but I double-checked through my billions of posts.* Smooth, rich and slightly sweet, Mark West has all you need for a perfect boyfriend.
- “You Don’t Own Me”: Thank God for countless replays of “The First Wives Club” on Oxygen, so I could be reminded of SJP’s second-greatest work. The closing scene with Midler, Keaton and Hawn belting this jam gets me every time.
Doesn’t it just make you want to buy a white suit? No? Weird.
*This may be a slight exaggeration.