Sweet merciful crap, I’m turning 30. Tomorrow. How did this happen? What am I doing with my life? This used to be an old age, but it’s not anymore! Or maybe it is, and it means that I’m old! What is going on?!?!?!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I apologize for that mini-freak out. It’s been happening a bit these days. I’m sure once I enter my 30s I’ll be fine. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told by those who have crossed over to the other side. Still, I think I have every right to freak out. The past decade has been great.. To recap: I had my inaugural trip abroad, crossed the Mason-Dixon line for the first time (I know, I know). I fell in love, had my heart broken, graduated from college, moved to New York City, held my first “real” job, cemented some pretty incredible friendships, went skydiving, ran a half-marathon, fell in love (again), had my heart broken (again), got bangs, and continued my education in a variety of ways (Gotham and TWH come to mind, though there’s also the school of hard knocks, which I audited). With such wonderful and lovely moments now being packed away forever into the past, I think I’m allowed time to panic every now and then, right?
So yes, my 20s have been good to me. And as I say goodbye to them and join the adult world of my 30s, I hope to take the experiences and life lessons and apply them to this, the fourth decade of my life (which is a horrible way to categorize your 30s, but also a true statement).
Naturally, I created a list of do’s and don’ts for my (and maybe your) 30s.
DO: Keep a Journal.
If what everyone says is true, my 30s will be more amazing than my 20s. Given that memory is one of the first things to go, you’re going to want to record what you’re doing, because by 39, chances are you’ll be misremembering more now than you did at 29. It also provides excellent material for your biographer.
DON’T: Live Like You’re 23.
Remember when you were 23, and you could take red-eyes from California after a weekend trip to wine country, get to the office around 7am, work a full day, and just go to bed a little early that night to catch up? Yeah, that won’t happen anymore. Now, if you take a red-eye flight, be prepared to also take a whole week off of work to recuperate. Other activities off-limit from that age include Brooklyn Bar crawls ending at sunrise, more than 2 drinks in a night, doing anything without at least 5 hours of sleep, jumping off of high things into shallow things, random piercings, etc.
DO: Crossword Puzzles
Gotta keep that mind sharp, and doing crossword puzzles has been shown to do that. By science. I feel that your 30s are all about preservation and even improvement, and this is one of the ways to do that.
DO: Use Moisturizer
So is this. I have a habit of smiling too much, and have noticed that the wrinkles around the eyes are getting more pronounced. If you’re not already taking care of your face and skin, you better start now. Preserve and Protect!
DON’T: Wear T-shirts With Writing on Them Anymore
It just seems like such a 20s thing to do. Is there really anything that is so important in your life that you can only say it on words plastered on a shirt across your body? The answer is no. Exceptions can be made for sports (but only if you’re playing), pajamas, and events where you get a free shirt that you have to wear.
DO: Keep in Touch with College Friends
By 30, you’ve probably whittled down your contact list from college to the people you really love and care about. Maintain those connections! If these people stuck with you through your 20s, I say they’re keepers. I’m looking at you, 206.
DON’T: Sleep on the Floor and DO: Utilize the Airport Lounges
Being in your 30s means being an adult (to a degree). It means concentrating more on your workout routine, your pension, your teeth all the things you should have started in your 20s. But it also means that you make an effort to act a little more like an adult in certain situations. Do you remember your parents ever sleeping on the floor when you were growing up? No! Because they were in their 30s. You sleep in a bed, or at the very least on a couch. Floors are for sleepovers and crashing after a night of being 23. And as we’ve seen, we don’t do that anymore. Pony up for a bed if you’re traveling. And speaking of traveling, if you have the points, hit up the sky lounge. Sip cocktails and look more mature than you probably are. It’s one of the perks of being in your 30s!
DO: Continue to Expand Your Horizons
The 30s provide a chance to do more. Most likely you have more money, and maybe more defined goals and dreams. For instance, I plan to get my pilot’s license sometime in this decade. Why? Because I can.
DON’T: Jump on a Trampoline
I can honestly think of nothing I would like to do less. Oof. OOF. How painful. How unnecessary. Never again.
DO: Create a Hashtag for Turning 30
#Thisis30. See it in action over on @bazilli.
This is all written by a 29-for-one-more-day woman. Clearly there are points I haven’t hit, that you, as my world-weary 30+ readers can contribute (I just assume most of the Wheelhouse Review readers are already in their 30s, since Thought Catalog has cornered the market on 20-somethings). Leave your words of advice and birthday wishes in the comments!