30 Things About The First Year Of My 30’s

I celebrated my 31st birthday this past Saturday which was a blast — 3 out of my 5 ladyfriends have birthdays within days of each other (no literally the 11th, 15th and 16th) so the other two planned an awesome birthday celebration for the 3 of us and all of our husbands. I had such a great time.

I was feeling rather reflect-y of how this time last year I was FREAKING OUT about turning 30 (idk it felt like a really big deal to me) so I thought it would be fun to talk about all that happened in my first year of being 30 and all the things I’ve learned this year — because it was a pretty extraordinary year!

 

1. Year 30 was the best year I’ve had in a long time!! I love that I irrationally feared it but it honestly was one of the BEST YEARS IN A LONG TIME.

2. I was so scared of turning 30, for some unknown reason, and I feel like it was pretty unfounded. I don’t know what I thought would happen? I’d turn 30 and suddenly realize all my youth and good days were behind me? TOTALLY DIDN’T HAPPEN.

3. I met some of the best people in my life at 30. I think I had kind of given up at making new friends in the last year or so of my 20’s, at least until maybe Will and I moved or had a kid or I got a new job or something, but I went ahead and put myself out there anyways and have made some relationships that mean everything to me these days. These 4 ladies make me feel supported in every way, I have the best time ever with them, I love our open and honest conversations about ALL THE THINGS (real talk: I’ve had some of the most open and hilarious conversations about sex that I’ve ever had with anybody besides my sister) and I love that we have zero drama. Like zerooooo. It’s been almost exactly a year since they came into my life and I feel like these friendships have the kind of intimacy/closeness/feeling of safety that some of the ones I’ve had for years longer have never achieved. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE GOOD FRIENDS. Remember that. And sometimes it means having to put yourself out there.

4. I think I put myself out there more in year 30. I was holding on to a lot of hurts and baggages and was putting myself in a lot of boxes — I started to let some of those go. I took more risks and did things outside of my comfort zone — even if they wouldn’t be considered big risks to other people. They were to me and it made a difference in my life. Those friends I told you about above? Totally only met them because I did something so far outside of my comfort zone and released past friendship hurts that were holding me back.

5. I finally went back to Europe after almost 10 years. Will and I had such a wonderful two week trip in April to London and Madrid. I was starting to think it would never happen because since we’ve been married and I got laid off our financial situation just was always a mess.

6. I still get mistaken for a teenager. For instance, the WEEK before my 31st birthday the plumber had to come out to where I work and as soon as I opened the door he looked at me and said, “You are over 18 right?” (because they can’t be alone with minors) and I was like LOLOLOL 5ever because I’m going to be 31 this weekend. I try really hard not to let it bother me because I KNOW one day I will love looking young but I think what people don’t understand is how hard it is because you don’t get taken seriously at all. I hoped maybe in year 30 I wouldn’t get bothered by this as much…but NOPE. It still pisses me off.

 

7. I became a “dog mom”. We got Finn less than a month before my 30th birthday and dog ownership and all that goes with it has been a HUGE part of the first year of my 30’s. I love Finn and I’m so thankful for all the happiness he’s brought to our life. OOF though…dog ownership as an adult is MUUUUCH different than having a dog growing up. I love it but I clearly did not even understand what it REALLY entailed.

8. I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. It’s definitely been on of the biggest struggles I’ve faced with year 30. I’ve had some pretty MEH feelings about where I’m at career-wise and how I’ve just feel LOST when it comes to what to do next. When I took my nannying job after getting laid off I didn’t expect it to be so long term. I was still looking for the right job and then finally it became a matter of self care because I was really really sliding into a scary pit of depression and feeling so hopeless and rejected and I stopped having the energy to look for jobs anymore. So I took time off…and then I would dive back into the job search here and there…but then I kind of just gave up and felt so miserable about it. I didn’t even know if what I was TRYING to get a job for was even what I wanted to do anymore. So I just stayed put even though I’m not really happy or content with that anymore. So I’m entering 31 feeling just as lost and unsure about what I want to be when I grow up….and that is scary especially when at 30 you are supposed to be Very Grownupย  and Have It All Together because I very much don’t and I feel very behind to my peers which I KNOW I should not care about. This is NOT what I thought I would be doing at 30.

9. I felt imposter syndrome big time. Turning 30 made me feel like an imposter adult. I mean….I think about what my parents were like at 30 and I’m like HAHAHHAHAHAHAH I am not even half the adult they were at 30. Am I a real adult? Did they feel like this but just looked like they had it all together? Has being an adult changed or something? So many times something will happen or I will be looking into a Very Adult Matter and I’m like WELP where is the grownup to deal with that? And then I’m like OH HEY THAT’S ME. WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA??

10. I finally got rid of clothes I’ve had since college. It was a problem — I was just hanging on to clothes that I still loved and didn’t fit anymore but I was CONVINCED I would get myself back into a size 2 again….but nah. NOT HAPPENING. And if it should happen then I will just go buy new clothes rather than keep clothes from college. I think I was just trying to hang on to those glory days.

11. I didn’t think 30 would look like what 30 actually looks like. This kind of ties into a couple of the ones above but I had such a vivid picture of what I thought 30 would look like all through the years when I was growing up. But the reality of what I thought 30 would look like for me vs all those idealized hopes and dreams I had for 30 was very jarring. On one hand….I’m okay with what 30 actually looks like but on the other hand I feel like I let my younger self down.

12. One of the things I’ve tried to focus on is enjoying ~this season of my life~ and where I’m at. I’m always one that clings and scrapes my nails into the walls of the past for dear life because it feels safe there. I’m also the one who looks to the future for solace when I don’t like what I see in the present. This year I just have tried to accept the season of life I’m in and ENJOY IT.

13. SO MUCH NOSTALGIA. Honestly between pop culture and fashion, I was in high 90’s nostalgia. But then turning 30 had me mourning my 20’s and missing college and all the freedom and all the greatness of my twenties. I feel like the whole first year of my 30’s I was ODing on nostalgia.

14. This year also marked 10 years since my mom passed away. 10 years was really hard to hit for some reason. I keep getting anxious that one day the years I had without her will surpass the ones I had with her. I wrote this really hard post ABOUT the day we lost her and how I found out and it was really hard to write but I felt free to some degree.

15. We put any plans on buying a house on hold. I feel like a failure of an adult but we just realized we weren’t ready for a few reasons. Maybe I just felt anxious to check that Adult Thing off the checklist but maybe year 31 will bring that…who knows.

16. Something that was a big part of my childhood became a big part of my adulthood — divorce. I just found out at the tail end of year 30 (that last month right before my birthday was LE SUCK while all the other months were so great) that my dad and my stepmom are getting divorced. I grew up with divorced parents at a young age so I was surprised at how hard this is hitting me. My dad and my stepmom have been together for 20+ years and honestly their marriage have been like my #marriagegoals as an adult so it all came as a complete shock and I feel like my whole world kind of just crumbled a little.

17. I thought this would be a really cute idea for a post but OMG 30 THINGS IS SO HARD. No really I’m never doing this again. Why couldn’t I have done this post when I was like 10…it would have been way easier to talk about TEN THINGS. I was just on this birthday high and thought it would be a good idea.

18. I got better at texting people back. I really used to be bad at it but for some reason this past year I really tried to work on it because I think I unintentionally made people feel crappy when I didn’t even though I just am really absent-minded when it comes to communication and I always forget.

19. I had the best year fitness-wise. I had been working out off and on for the past few years but this year I really found myself in a good head space with working out. I’ve had such a weird relationship with working out (I never worked out up until a few years ago because I was always skinny and thought skinny means you don’t need to work out) but this year I really reclaimed it for myself. I’ve been focusing on becoming more flexible and I’ve been doing a combo of the Pilates I did before but added in HIIT and tabata type routines.

20. I’ve become a better friend. I feel like the ladies I’ve met this year have made me a better friend just by being such good friends themselves. They make ME want to be a better and more thoughtful friend than I have ever been.

21. I’ve been in such a weird reading funk. I’ve felt less like reading than in past years. It’s fine. I’m just gone with it because I’m enjoying my life so it’s not like it’s a terrible thing. I’ll read when I want.

22. This year has been the worst when it came to blogging. I think it’s been a time/energy factor but also I am feeling all over the place when it comes to the direction of my blog. I don’t know what I want with it anymore. The landscape of blogging has changed so much in the 6 years I’ve been doing this…I’VE changed so much in those 6 years. It’s been weird…like I feel like I’m trying to fit into a pair of pants I love but I’ve grown a smidge so they fit awkwardly now but I keep trying to wear them as they are. I don’t know if that analogy really works but it’s like…I just can’t tell if I’ve outgrown what it currently is and it needs to evolve or what that would even look like.

23. I’ve realized how important it is to surround yourself with the right people. You always HEAR that but this year I realized it on a soul level. It really makes all the difference. I was telling Will the other day that my life circumstances haven’t really changed in a big way but I am happier than I’ve ever been andย  the only thing that has really changed is these ladies coming into my life and putting more energy into those friendships and letting go of the ones that drained me every time. And when you really FIND the right people who support you 10000% it becomes like the most obvious thing in the world to recognize relationships that fall on the opposite end of the spectrum. Surrounding yourself with the right people kind of makes you feel invincible…like you could do or be anything you want.

24. I learned it’s okay to tell people what you need/ask for what you need. I thought a lot about this because of two different situations my friends were going through. One was going through a really hard time and I loved that she was pretty clear about what she needed from her friends in a situation people might get awkward/not what to say. The other was a friend who was having a hard time with another friendship and she was so gracious in trying to explain how her needs weren’t being met in the relationship. I just felt so inspired because I feel like it’s so easy to expect people to know what you want/need in life and then get disappointed when they don’t. It clears up so much miscommunication and potential hurt feelings and, in the first case, I really was glad to know exactly how I could be there for her in the best way possible.

25. I took a personality test (Myers-Briggs) and found out I’m an ENFP. I am fascinated by it and I learned so much about myself and felt like I honestly understood myself better. You can read more about that.

25. I read the majority of the Harry Potter series FOR THE FIRST TIME as a 30 year old. Yep. That happened. You can read about what it was like to read the series for the first time as a 30 year old.

26. I learned it’s okay to say “I’m not enjoying this.”ย  This phrase became a bit of a reoccuring joke after my friend Jessie said this in a situation and we all found it amusing but also in the moment I was like THIS APPLIES TO SO MUCH. It’s okay to stop doing something you’ve always done because you don’t love it anymore. It’s okay to just decide “yeah I don’t feel like doing this anymore” just because you don’t without having to concoct a reason. It’s okay to not enjoy spending time with someone anymore and move yourself along without feeling guilty. It’s okay to say NO. It’s okay to send a drink back that you think tastes like shit and not feel like “oh maybe I should just keep drinking this because I will feel really bad and what if it inconveniences somebody and the waitress might think I’m this or that.” No…just send that cough-syrupy drink back and get something you WILL enjoy. Why force yourself to do something you don’t want to do? LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR THAT. (Now, I’m not saying be a pain in the ass about this. Don’t be THAT GUY who sends back everything because you are too hard to please).

27. Ehhhh you know what…I’m not enjoying this post anymore. 30 is A LOT. Especially for a brain that hasn’t been blogging very often lately.

28.

29.

30. I survived my first year of my 30’s and it was awesome and wonderful and one of my best years yet and all of you who told me it would be okay were right. I gave less shits about things I shouldn’t give shits about. I found amazing and inspiring and fun friends who support me and make me a better person. Will and I have been enjoying being dog parents and this year of marriage has been FANTASTIC — we did so many fun things and worked so well as a team together. I don’t know what I was so freaked out about — 30 is what you make of it.

Soooo that was a long post. Apparently lesson number 29 could have been — I still can’t stop writing ridiculously long posts. SORRY. (But I’m not sorry. I swear in year 31 I will try to learn to stop saying sorry so much).

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. Happy belated birthday!!! I’ll be 26 next week and I’m not feeling an adult at all and people thinks I’m a little prodigy when I say I graduated last year, because they think I’m way younger than 25 (the truth is that it took me forever to graduate and I feel horrible about that)! Sometimes I feel like I still have to start living my life and I’m super late, because I still live with my parents, I have no job and I still study, even if it’s what people is forced to do even over thier 30s in this country. My parents got married at 24 and my mom went to live on her own at 18. I feel so behind!! Concerning the blog and reading, it’s basically how I’m feeling right now too. Just know you aren’t alone fellow bookworm <3<3<3

    Wish you the best for your 31!

  2. Happy birthday! I really love this post. I too was freaked out about turning 30 a couple years ago. It just sounded so definitive, like I need to have my life figured out at this point. My husband is a few years older than me, and he’s the one who made me realize that turning 30 was no big deal, it’s just a number. We’re still saving for that dream house and although I have a job, I don’t necessarily have a career, but I’m happy!

  3. ohhh this makes me so happy! i am turning 30 next year, and while i am not afraid of it, it’s still like HELLO YOU’RE TURNING 30. I wish i could make more friends, you’ve inspired me to do so, but i don’t even know where to start? do you mind if i ask how you put yourself out of your comfort zone, and can i just move to where you are and be friends with you all? i’m a great friend, i promise.
    i am the same with looking at the future and holding on to the past, though i am getting better at it. and also yes to not being where you thought you would be. i am happy with how my life turned out, but there is still something a bit blecch about thinking back at what your younger self thought and being so wrong about it.
    lol @ #17. and the last few. 30 is a lot!
    we bought a house 3 years ago, and it was great. and now we might be selling and moving in with his mom for a few months to save money and you know what? who cares. i’ll be living with her when i turn 30 and my husband is 31 (i always forget that! he’s 31! he’s so old!) and the only people who define if that is ‘right’ or ‘okay’ is us. end of story.
    um i really need to talk to someone about miss fisher’s murder mysteries jamie!!!!! i’m obsessed and i blame you.
    happy birthday dear ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This was cool to read!

  5. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! <3 I definitely know that I'm going to freak out when I approach thirty but this post has made me realise that it'll be fine and really, it's just a number at the end of the day, right? I'm 17 and my 18th birthday is approaching and although I'm still young, it's slightly scary that I'm considered an adult in 4 months! And UGH everyone thinks I'm younger too! My neighbor thought I was 13 and I was like NO.

  6. This mirrors a lot of what I’ve been feeling as a 30yo (which still feels so weird even though I’ll be 31 in January). I think the focusing on friendships and finding people is so important and maybe it’s just hitting that weird milestone that makes you really take a step back and say “Oh wait I need to work on this.” Also yay getting rid of clothes and Team Baby Face 5eva lol Here’s to another great year for you!

  7. Well here’s hoping things turn out well for you & me ^_^

  8. I haven’t finished this yet, but I just want to say so far this is completely awesome and for me perfectly timed. I’ll be 30 in 3 weeks and I am having irrational fears wrack my mind lately. This post is like some much needed therapy to calm my brain. Thank you for being so open with us. I can only hope my first year as a 30-something goes a little something like yours.

  9. Happy birthday! Turns out we’re almost the same age — I turn 31 on the 27th. I’m so glad you had a wonderful year! My year of 30 has been mixed — it started off great but has gotten kinda shitty here towards the end, thanks to our move from Ohio to Hawaii.

    I TOTALLY know what you mean about not having a career and not knowing what you’d even want that career to be, if you could pick anything. My husband’s in the Air Force and moving every 3 years makes it really hard to have an actual career. I have a journalism degree, but I haven’t had a job in that field since right after college. I finally found something fairly portable that I enjoyed — working at a library (and I miss my library job in Ohio SO MUCH!) — but there aren’t many options for library jobs here in Hawaii, and I also want something part-time so we have the flexibility to travel and accommodate guests. We’ve been in Hawaii since the end of May, and I’m definitely starting to feel that purposelessness that comes with not working for a while. And one of the biggest things that gets me feeling bad about myself is having no career to speak of at 30 when that’s an age so many people are really excelling at theirs. I feel awkward not having a *real job* like every other 30-year-old.

    And making new friends when we move gets increasingly difficult each time — forming new friendships as an adult is TOUGH, especially for an introvert like me, and having to do it all over again every couple years is no fun. I’ll try to take some inspiration from your post and put myself out there more. I’m not too good at getting out of my comfort zone!

    So anyway, here’s hoping things will continue to be great for you and will look up for me, and 31 will be the best year yet for both of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Happy Birthday! I’m glad you are enjoying your 30s. Don’t worry I’m 34 and still get mistaken for a teenager, I’m like how is this possible I have grey hair in my eyebrows. I think we are supposed to enjoy it. Have a fun 31st year!

  11. Happy birthday! I related to so much of this. I turned 31 at the beginning of October, and I loved reading your reflections about being 30. And I’m so glad to know I’m not alone in so many of the things I’ve felt in this last year!

  12. Happy birthday! I’ve had a totally similar experience. I turned 30 this year, and honestly, it is THE BEST!!! I can’t believe I worried about it for years.

    PS I still get mistaken for a teenager too. I’m a Teen Librarian, and sometimes when I tell people that they take it literally and think I’m a teenage librarian!

  13. I love this so much.
    I’m freaking out about my 30 and I am still 25, well just for a few months xD
    I’m so glad you had an amazing year. You’re one of the first person I ‘met’ on the twitterland when I step inside this blogworld and you seem such a genuine person. I wish you the best and hope I will be able to chat a little more with you in the future.
    Happy belate birthday Jamie!

  14. I love this post <3 Next week, I'll have been 30 for half a year (it's been half a year already??) and a lot of these things hit home hard. I, too, was scared about turning 30 and upset that I hadn't done much exciting things with the last few years of my 20s — so I decided to go on some adventures in year 30 (did a 2hr trapeze class, finally tried kayaking & stand-up paddleboarding, went to a paint-and-sip night) and so far year 30 has been one of the best years! The imposter symdrome, the 90s nostalgia, being mistaken for a teenager – all such accurate truths about 30 — and not to mention, I still have yet to read the Harry Potter series (yikes!). Might have to spend the second half of year 30 finally committing to that. I'm going to read your post on that now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. I’ve just turned 25 last week, and I thought I’d feel more like a confident woman, flouncing around in heels, but i’m still so terribly awkward, ha! I actually find the age of 30 exciting, it seems that’s when everyone actually has it together lol!

    India | youtube.com/booksandbighair

  16. Happy belated Birthday! What a lovely post, thanks for sharing. I’m about to turn 30 but I don’t feel 30. I remember being 21 and looking at 28 year olds thinking how grown up they were…..little did I know, we’re all just making up our lives as we go. I always find reflection like your post useful in understanding and appreciating how far we’ve come as well as look forward to our next steps. All the best for the next year ahead! Cheers

  17. Oh wow, Jamie! I think some birthdays hit us harder than others, just because!! And frankly – do you feel a lot different now than you did when you were 17? 23? 27? or any other more ‘adult’ age? I’m 45, and I sometimes have to really think about how old I am – because I don’t feel 45. (As a sidenote, I am ‘older’ than my dad now, and have lived longer without him than with him, and that feels REALLY weird!)
    I think 39 hit me really hard! I actually quit my job then and went back to Uni to become a teacher. Now, I’m still in Uni because the requirements to become a teacher have changed twice since I started my Bachelor’s degree, but one day, I WILL be a teacher ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m pretty sure we’re all just flying by the seat of our pants when it comes to being or becoming an adult – and that as long as we do the best we can, we’ll be OK ๐Ÿ™‚

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