I watched a Friends episode recently (surprise, surprise) and it was called The One Where They All Turn 30. If you haven’t seen the episode, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Rachel is turning 30, and so all of the Friends cast has flashbacks to when they also had turned 30. The general theme is “Why God, why?” and “Can’t I just stay 29?”
The first time I watched this episode was well before I turned 30. And I remember agreeing with them, and even thinking how old they must feel. Essentially, I agreed with them.
And then I turned 30.
And I discovered the secret.
Turning 30 isn’t terrible at all. In fact, it is downright amazing.
I bet you would agree with me when I say that every age I have been, I had the thought, “I can’t imagine being 10 years older than this.” When I was 6, I thought 16-year-olds were incredibly fascinating and mature. When I turned 16 (far be it much less mature than I thought it would feel), I thought 26 sounded like the age I would have everything figured out. And if you’re older than 26, you probably know that wasn’t the case!
We live our lives skeptical of our future years, and judging others if they are at that older age already. We also always think that we are wise and at the perfect age, until you turn a year older. Sure enough, the years keep coming. It’s easy to want to battle against them, and the age 30 seems like an appropriate age to feel like you’re officially “old”.
But the best part is when you turn 30, the secret is… you don’t feel old! You actually start to feel like your life has just begun. Here’s why:
1. You actually have money to spend.
No more Peanut Butter and tortilla wraps and Top Ramen, no more questioning if you can afford a $15 glass of wine, and no more flatmates.
2. Insecurities shift and lessen.
When I was in my 20s, I would say my insecurities were at an all-time high. At least in my teens, I could act out on my insecurities like a hormonal teenager and get away with it (sort of). In my 20s, I had to act like an adult and frankly, try to suppress all of those insecurities that were still in me. When you’re in your 30s, you start to worry less about what others think about you, and more about what you think of you. You are actually aware of those insecurities in yourself, which lessens their power over you.
3. You have more freedom to live your life.
You feel less bound to your parents, and can focus more than your own growth and exploration.
4. You’re taken more seriously.
No, seriously. In your career, you’ll notice those that are older than you will actually start to take you seriously in your 30s. In your 20s, you are (sadly) considered a newbie with no experience. In your 30s, it starts to feel like your early wrinkles are playing to your advantage. Wrinkles, score!
5. You’re actually happy.
A 2012 survey conducted in Britain indicated that 70% of people over age 40 didn’t consider themselves to be happy until age 33.
6. Staying at home doesn’t make you a loser.
It makes you smart. And ready for a beautiful hike or adventure on Sunday mornings (as opposed to a hangover).
7. Your holidays get even better.
You have more money to spend on your vacations, which means more luxury and awesome places. Byebye, backpack.
8. You actually have a cool furniture.
OK, maybe it’s still from Ikea. But it’s totally the step up collection away from dorm room status.
9. You enjoy doing the dishes.
You realize you are actually doing household chores to make you love your space, not because your parents or flatmates asked you to.
10. You stop worrying about the little things.
You notice that time is speeding up, and each year passes more quickly. So, there’s no point wasting time not being happy.