Monday, August 17, 2009

Hello, year 31!

This is it--the moment I've been waiting for all of my adult-life. Today is my last day of being a 20-something: Happy 30th birthday to ME tomorrow! Woohoo! As a birthday present (and challenge) to myself, I have vowed to blog my 31st year of life, hence the name, Year 31.

Many women look at turning 30 with disdain or fear, but not me. I have always wanted to be 30-years-old. I have never subscribed to the whole, "it's all down-hill from here" theory about this milestone birthday. When I was a little girl, I couldn't wait to grow up. I remember vividly lying in bed one night and having a very detailed vision of myself as an adult woman. It's that vision, of a confident, strong, sexy, dark-haired beauty that kept me going all those awkward teenage years. It's like God was telling me, "Don't worry about the present, you have so much to look forward to in the future."

And you know what? That prophesy was right. And as a direct result of being a gawky, less-than-attractive adolescent, I have been looking forward to every birthday and enjoying my advancing maturity.

As an ode to tomorrow, I will now list off some of the things I think are so wonderful about turning 30:

1. I've figured my sh*t out. I got the husband thing out of the way pretty early on, immediately following high school (*reminder* write a blog about when I met my husband), but there was still a big "what am I going to DO with my life" dialogue going on in my brain. At this age, I am happy to say that I've got it figured out. I don't have to be famous or rich to make a difference in peoples' lives or my mark in the world. I'm a mom, wife, singer, and writer--and those things make me profoundly happy. Everything else is inconsequential. Though the idea of making money at one of those talents would be very nice indeed, I am not going to let myself be defined by anything other than those core things which I am.

2. I'm finally pretty. I know this sounds silly, and probably vain, but at 30 you can say stuff like this and you realize that it's ok, and actually healthy. My skin has never been clearer and I've never been more comfortable with my weight. After 15+ years of putting on makeup and doing my hair practically every single day, I finally have figured out the method that works the best for me and how to highlight my best features. Again, not to sound arrogant, but I can now say that I am an attractive woman.

3. I don't take any crap anymore. As I've grown older, I've realized that life is too short to take crap from anyone. If I make plans with a friend who flakes on me or causes any sort of un-necessary drama, I just kick them to the curb. It may sound harsh, but really, unless they're a relative then what's the point? I see no need to keep people in my life who I don't actually like or who don't really like me. This "no crap" clause applies to rude strangers too. I am proud to say that I stand up for myself and for what's right when I am faced with a touchy situation. It's very liberating.

4. I'm more confident than ever. Perhaps you had this one figured out after number 2, but I don't just mean that I'm confident with my looks. At this age, I am more confident in every facet of my life: I don't have the insecurities that used to cripple me in my teens and early 20's. I used to constantly worry about what people were thinking about me or if they liked me and, to be honest, I really don't care very much any more. If they don't like me then they are nuts: I'm awesome.

None of these things I've listed are exclusive to me, of course, and some of this wisdom about the beauty of a 30-year-old woman has come about after years of observation. My husband and I have noticed that whenever we are watching a movie and we see an actress who looks more beautiful than we have ever seen her look, she is either 30 or right around it. Coincidence? I think not! Take Nicole Kidman, for example:

Here she is at 22:

And again at 30:

Amazing, isn't it? And, to be honest, lots of women look even better at 40 than at 30, and better at 50 than at 40, and so forth. I have so much to look forward to!

So, in this final hour and a half of my 20's, I do not feel one hint of sadness for the loss of my youth. Rather, I feel a giddiness at the anticipation that the best is yet to come. Tomorrow I will wake up a 30 year old woman: it's about damn time!
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