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…
30. Why they say life begins at 30!
What a long, strange trip it’s been. As I enter the last week of my 20s, I find myself talking about turning 30 more than I ever thought I would. I’m embracing it head-on — some might say a bit too much — but I’m genuinely excited for what this next decade may bring.
I’ve talked about it before, but I truly never want to look back at a time in my life and think “Those were the best years of my life.” That feels futile and sad. And while not every week, month or year can be the best all the time, I want to look forward and remain hopeful that the best is yet to come.
The editors of Glamour write this week’s closing (before sharing a few more Lists to consider), and they make an excellent point about why 30 often feels so different.
The “comparathon,” as they call it, is generally over. Your 20s are largely about what others are doing, where you “should” be and what’s wrong with you if you’re not there yet. At 30, you start focusing on your own timeline and appreciating what you have done, instead of what you haven’t.
Of course, I had grand plans when I was a child about where I might be at 30. I may not have ever been a “dream wedding” kind of girl, but I thought I’d be so old at 30 — I’d surely have a husband and kids and a white picket fence. A week before 30, and I don’t have any of those things. And that’s not only “OK,” it’s 100% authentic to me.
I have a career I’m quite proud of, one that’s about to reach new heights in just a few weeks (more on that later). I have a social circle of close friends and family, who I know would drop anything when I’m in need. I have a lovely shared home in the most expensive rental market in the US and am no longer sweating over the bill each month. I have relationship experiences which have taught me countless lessons to take into my next partnership.
I still would love to marry someday, maybe have kids (or not!), and own a home. But I don’t think I’m any less successful than my peers who have those things. I’m biased, of course, but I don’t believe success is defined by anyone else but yourself.
My definition of success relates to things you have to work for — whether that’s your education, career accomplishments, parenting wins or being committed to a relationship. A wedding in and of itself, in my opinion, is not an achievement. (For more on this subject, check out this article.)
Your definition of success may be in polar opposition to this. And that’s OK, too. No matter where you are in your life, if you’re happy with it, I’m not going to rain on that parade. I just hope you won’t rain on mine, either.
Some may say I’m making too big a deal over 30, taking more than half a year to chronicle this series, organizing a wine country day and a fundraiser, and — oh yeah — doing a photo shoot. But as I’ve said from the very beginning of this series, I believe in celebrating full blast… getting older is a privilege denied to many.
Cheers to that — and to you all who’ve stuck with me ❤️
Photo credit: Tracey Mammolito, hired via Thumbtack
Sign credit: LaineyBugsDesigns, hired via Etsy
Cake credit: Whole Foods
Props credit: Target
Shirt credit: Meee
Accomplice credit: Stephanie Merek & Bear
Yesterday, I neglected to mention one place I go when my soul needs soothing. It’s particularly on my mind as I sit in the Milwaukee airport, awaiting my connection. Florida will likely always be “home” to me, whether it’s because I spent 25 years there or because my entire family is there or because I will fiercely defend it against all of the alligator and Florida Man jokes. (I can make those jokes, but a non-Floridian can’t; you get it.)
So after 9 hours of travel tonight, I’ll spend the next six days with my family back home. We’re celebrating my baby cousin’s graduation — and while I know he’s a genius, he’s not actually an infant; he’s 22 — plus the bonus celebration of Mother’s Day. I’ll catch up with hometown friends and squeeze my nieces and try new beers with Brother and watch my SIL in awe as she parents #likeaboss.
And while I don’t have a formal WO collage for you to peruse, I thought you might enjoy my favorite song about home. It was the first dance at my hometown friends’ wedding five years ago, and it still rings true.
After a whirlwind week in New York, suffice it to say I am le tired. For example, I actually thought yesterday was Friday. So close! Yet so, so far.
- Amanda’s Burgers: My return to the SF office was punctuated by my team’s creativity in crafting a full-on burger stand at my desk. Back story: One of the guys calls me “The Burg” or “The Burger.” That’s really all you need to know — well that, and that it’s Yelp official.
- Orange Is the New Black: OK, so I didn’t actually enjoy this book but it took me so damn long to finish, I have to recognize myself for it. The true story of Piper Kerman’s year in a women’s prison is eye-opening … I just kind of hated her writing style and schizophrenic stories.
- 200th WO: I can’t quite believe it, but these little Weekly Obsessions turn TWO HUNDRED this week. Holy crapballs, y’all. Thanks to each of you for your continued support and making this blog a creative outlet — it’s something I truly cherish.
- “Love Shack” – The B-52s: Your what?! Tin roof, rusted. There is potentially no greater song to bring people together of all ages, as I witnessed at my friend’s wedding last weekend. Groovy, baby.
The best part of a long weekend? Um, it’s a long weekend.
The worst part of a long weekend? It takes the rest of the week to figure out what day it actually is.
I’m 80% certain it’s Wednesday, so here you go, faithful followers:
- Treasure Island: A few days of sand and surf were more than enough to send me straight to relaxation station. You have to check out this idyllic vacation spot the next time you’re in Florida — I know I will!
- Allison’s Baptism: My niece, AKA the cutest child alive, was baptized this weekend and I’m honored to be her Godmother. Just look at that smile! She’s obviously perfect. And trouble.
- The Fault in Our Stars: This book deserves its own post, because I devoured it in less than 24 hours and felt all the feels. The movie looks interesting, too … even if I don’t like Shailene Whatsherface.
- “Not a Bad Thing” – Justin Timberlake: Well, JT does it again. I’ve learned that an earworm stuck in our heads for days is just his MO. The video is also great, because, you know, Jusssstin.
This year has brought some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life, but I can’t quite believe I missed my very own blogiversary (again)!
Thanks to all of you who’ve taken the time to read, Like, comment, share and inspire. You guys put up with a whole lot of crazy, and it means more than my cold heart can express.
And Wikipedia tells me the traditional 3rd anniversary gift is leather, so I expect one of these at my doorstep soon (in Coffee, please). No takers? Weird.
Here, watch some Lionel and reflect on what you’ve done. Looove youuu!
I haven’t felt as emotional about living in New York as I have today, the 12th anniversary of our nation’s deadliest terrorist attacks. The city that never sleeps is a little bit somber, but it’s also stronger. If you haven’t already, thank the servicemen and women in your life for their continued support. And with that, here’s what else I’m celebrating:
- These Guys’ Birthdays: It’s my godfather’s birthday, as well as my good friend Charlie’s. They’re some of my favorite fellas, and I’m so glad they’ve kept me around for years. Cheers, boys!
- Lazzara’s: Pizza There’s no better way to honor New York than with an authentic slice, and Lazzara’s is a new fave for just that. Their daily specials are great, and a half-size pie is perfect for a hearty lunch treat.
- 9/11 Memorial: My college bestie and I visited when she was here for Labor Day, and it was such a heavy experience (in a good way). The stories and perspective it offers are invaluable — I think it should be on every American’s bucket list. Visit the site for more info and how you can donate.
- “The Final Countdown” – Europe: We’re in the final weeks of waiting for my niece to arrive, so naturally, this anthem has played in my head on repeat. Fun fact: I sent my company’s entire NY office the below gif in an email … on purpose.
WO has a new look ’round here, you may have noticed. The reason for this redesign? It’s WITTYBURG’s 1ST BIRTHDAY! Hard to believe that I started this a year ago, with just an idea and a penchant for sarcasm. Many thanks to all of you who’ve supported me this past year … and here’s to many more!
- “New Girl”: My girl crush on Zooey Deschanel continues. Just reading her character’s rental application had me in stitches.
- Celebrations: I think a blogiversary™ is a damn good reason to say way-hooo! Plus, this song has been in my head for a week, thanks to co-workers. Jerks.
- Breast Cancer Awareness: October is in full swing, so all you ladies should be checking your ta-tas. Think Pink, girls!
- Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge: I love to bake, and this Freshly Pressed fudge recipe’s classic cake-batter flavor is enough motivation for me to whip up a batch.
Poppin’ bottles tonight to commemorate the big … 1. Only God and CathyMay15 can judge me.