30 things

Turning 30 was a big deal for me. I had accomplished many things, but I was still single and felt far from my dream of having a family. Getting my Ph.D., running marathons, living in another country and learning a foreign language - these were all goals I could tackle and will to happen. Finding love and a person to share your life with is not something you can put on your TO DO list and easily check off. Sure, you can put yourself out there and prioritize your personal life, strive to meet new people, engage friends and family in your efforts, and be open to all avenues of finding love (even online!). But in many ways, it is out of your control and my Type A personality had a really hard time accepting that. I remember well the pressure I felt turning 30.

I think for women, 30 feels like an age when we should have our acts together, know what we want and how to achieve it. In 1997, Glamour magazine published a story titled "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30."  Here's the list:

By 30, you should have ...

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age -- and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account -- all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know ...

1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go -- be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat -- when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30

I'm well past 30 now and, in spite of my worries, I found Mr. Right and have the beautiful family I've always wanted. In many ways, I am happier now than I've ever been as a result. Maybe i'ts time to think about what I want out of the next 10 years (I do have a birthday coming up, though its not the BIG ONE yet!).

What should I have and know by 40...??


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