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
No-Shave November is kind of unfair if you’re a lady (like moi). Try as I might, I just can’t seem to grow a sweet ‘stache in support of men’s health issues. I’m stuck simply donating monies and rocking assorted moustached items — life is tough. My favorite furry facial finds:
- Ring: Girlz Lyfe, $10
- Tee: Wet Seal, $14.50
- Tote Bag: Polyvore, $20
- Sunglasses: eBay, Various
- Bandages: Urban Outfitters, $7
- Necklace: Windsor Fashions, $10.90
- Corkscrew: Fred Flare, $12
- Scarf cowl: etsy, $40
- Set of (6) Mugs: etsy, $66 (plus 15% off with code HOLIDAY15 at checkout!)
And don’t forget to show your support by donating to the cause. Brilliant!
I leave tomorrow for my first-ever trip to Chicago, and I couldn’t be more excited. The weekend’s itinerary is full, but it will be a welcome respite from Floriduh. Things I’m dreaming of until take-off:
Uplifting Prints: I came across this store on etsy and instantly fell in love. From snarky quotes to classic song lyrics, this shop’s options are divine. Plus, who doesn’t love a little cupcake inspiration?
Gigi’s Cupcakes: Speaking of cuppycakes, I was recently caught drooling over the creations at Gigi’s. The menu varies daily, but you can find classics (Scarlett’s Red Velvet) and newcomers (Kentucky Bourbon Pie) alike at a store near you. Sweet!
DWTS Cast: I’ve never seen “Dancing with the Stars,” but this newest cast just made its new No. 1 fan. Kardashian is adorable, Cavallari is a hot mess and Nancy Grace is always a guilty pleasure. Plus, Chaz Bono makes his debut as a post-op transgendered man. You can’t make this stuff up. Bets on how long until Chynna Phillips dances to “Hold On”?
All Things Football (yes, again): My league’s draft is tonight, Bulls Country travels to South Bend this weekend and I couldn’t be happier. I’m 99 percent sure that my excitement to see Touchdown Jesus will lead to me doing something stupid. One can only hope …
Congrats on getting over that hump, all. You did it!
This week has been pretty rough — like a same shit, different toilet kind of week. I am in serious need of a vacay. Lucky for me, I’m headed to San Francisco next week for play (oh, and work). Until I get to The City by the Bay, here’s what’ll keep me happy.
Mila Kunis: I’ve loved Mila since her spoiled Jackie days on “That 70’s Show.” Her roles in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Black Swan” were great, but 2011 has treated her best. She’s agreed to attend a military ball with a Marine, was fantastic in “Friends with Benefits” and she just told off a reporter on behalf of JT — in Russian —удивительный (or, awesome!)
My Scrabble Ring: Arguably the best $5 I’ve ever spent, I absolutely adore the Scrabble ring I purchased from robotsnappingturtle on Etsy. It’s simple, sweet and it showcases my word-nerdiness … many thanks to Rachel for the find!
The Triumphant Return of “Jersey Shore”: Viva Italia! I know we’re still a day away from the premiere, but I can already guarantee that the guidos and guidettes will provide endless entertainment this season. Putting a bunch of Italian-Americans in a foreign country = let the clusterfuck begin.
All Things Football: The lockout is over, and America has been celebrating for a week straight. From a local strip club’s marquee (“Our girls won’t lock out NFL players”) to “The League” having something to film this season to the fantasy draft I just calendared, it’s about time the frenzy began. Let’s. Do. This.
Hope your week is swell, mothatruckas!
Sometimes (a lot of times), my brain is all over the place and — have you guys seen “Bad Teacher” yet? Right, where was I? Ahh, yes … here’s what I currently can’t get enough of, in no particular order, because my life is in constant dis-order.
Pugs: When I was little, our neighbors had a pug named Porter. I was dying to love him and squeeze him and take him home with me. Here we are 20ish years later, and I planned to steal a pug I met this weekend. Hector, you’re mine. I officially need a dog.
This Cake: A fab co-worker and her husband are todes mcgodes the culinary dream team of the year. Their patriotic cake was not only delicious, but it looked freaking fantastic. Compliments to the chefs — and thanks for sharing with the birthday girl!
Zen Motivation: When life gets too cray cray, I have to remind myself to take a step back and breathe. This poster is perfect for doing just that, and the vintage feel (+ price tag, hello!) = perfection. Check out KeepCalmPosters’s shop on etsy to see the various styles.
Old-School Blink 182: One of my favorite bands ever, Blink keeps coming up on my iPod — and I’m not complaining. The lyrics were great, the videos were hysterical, and I think we can all agree that a reunion tour is in order.
Side note: If anyone wants to buy me a pug as a belated birthday gift, I will name him after you. His middle name, granted, but it’s the best I can do when you are so late with a gift.