It’s a fact. I’m turning 30 this Friday. It’s not really freaking me out, I mean I’m not testing out a ridiculous amount of new wrinkle beauty products or anything… I actually think my 30s are going to be light years better than my 20s.
I’ve never made one of those 30 before 30 lists. I’m not really sure why, I think those lists can be fun and a good way to challenge yourself to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe I’ll do a 40 Before 40 (OMG did I just say 40!?!).
I’ve mentioned in previous birthday posts that I get really reflective around birthdays — who doesn’t? Or maybe I’m just crazy (totally possible). But 30 is usually a big one for most people. For 30th birthdays people like to go all out on some sort of celebration (I’m planning on heading to somewhere warm here in a few weeks as me and the Mr. also have our 8th Wedding anniversary in May, and it will be post half-marathon so I can freely drink without a hangover cutting into my running training).
In my early-mid 20s, I always had in my head that one of my goals before I was 30 was to own/run my own successful business and be on the cover of Inc., Entrepreneur or Fast Company (my thought was that it would be the 30 Under 30 feature). I knew being on the cover of a biz mag was a bit of an out there goal, but I always felt like if you didn’t dream out there you’d never even get close to out there. While I haven’t been on the cover of any magazine before 30 (you kinda need to invent something amazing like Spanx, or be in the tech field for that) I did have a rather large feature in The Washington Post, so I feel like dreaming out there helped get me there.
Looking back at birthday posts from the past it’s funny to see my train of thought through my mid-late 20s. About five years ago (when I was 25) I wrote this post Is 30-Something the New 20-Something? And yes, I think it is. I mention in this post that maybe by 30 I’d have my own business, and here I am at 30, 2 years into it.
Then when I turned 28, I had just moved to DC (okay, for the first year we lived here we lived out in a Virginia suburb — I’m trying to block that from my memory) and I was optimistic about my 28th year. I thought it was going to be so awesome. How could it get worse than what my husband & I had just gone through with him breaking his neck? I thought — the first year of being my own boss, a fresh start — this year will be glorious! Boy was I wrong. Man it was a hard hard year.
Then last year right around when I turned 29 we moved into DC proper and I wrote this post, exposing some funny old photos, telling my Rainbow Brite cake story, revealing some awful early 90s hair, barrettes made of balloons, puff paint jackets, McDonald’s birthday photos. Maybe I kept that birthday post light because I was in a state of transition and optimism? Not sure. 28 had not been the year I’d hoped for or expected, so I was hopeful yet realistic for my 29th year.
I think I can safely say 29 was my “hustle” year. I seriously hustled (as Jenny would say). People are always asking me how I “do it all” and are amazed at all the new projects I’ve put out, and geez how do I do everything? Well, I have no kids, I work for myself, I have a husband that works full-time and is in grad school (so basically he is always busy), and I work constantly. Like all the time. Oh, and I don’t take real vacations (but not because I don’t want to). For the past five years, with the exception of going to home to Kansas City to visit family (which I don’t consider a “vacation”) and taking a long weekend here and there (also not something I consider a “vacation” but exactly what it is — a “long weekend”), every trip I’ve been on has been work-focused.
And I don’t necessarily “do it all” well. Like my inbox. My inbox is not something I’ve been able to conquer. Sometimes I can take weeks to respond to things (don’t take it personally). But I’m working on it. And there will be real vacations in the near future. But that is my sacrifice for building my own business, and that’s ok with me. I’ve also sacrificed lots and lots and lots of shopping — but I’m planning on making up for all of it! (Honey, forget I said that).
Having done all that hustling and sacrificing when I was 29, and doing some major “figuring it out” when I was 28 (post leaving my job at Hallmark Cards) — I think my 30th year will actually be AWESOME. There will still be lots of hustling and hard work going on (as will be for the rest of my life because I love it), but there WILL be real vacations, and real fun, and real shopping.
Ok 30 — I’m ready for you! Hard work, hustling, vacations, shopping and all!
What’s your outlook on 30? Where do/did you think you’d be in life at 30?
Tulip photo via my instagram