I've been in my thirties for just over a year now, which I think pretty much qualifies me as "thirtysomething." I suspected when I first hit thirty that things would be different, and for the most part those suspicions came to be true. Here's what I've learned so far that is unique to being a part of this particular decade of life. I'd love to hear your additions in the comments below!
Friendships are more precious.
I'm more careful about who I share my time and secrets with. Time is limited and how it's spent must be in valuable ways. Secrets are jewels that can only be shown to so few for danger of misuse of them lurks in many places. This makes me ever so much more grateful for the friends I have who are close enough to call family, and ever so selective when it comes to letting someone knew into that place. The best part about this is, my closest confidents are such amazing friends and incredible women that I can't even talk about them without getting emotional.
Money is treated with reverence.
I spent the last decade in a heap of debt that came from a combination of "what I needed to do to survive my about-to-graduate and just-graduated years," and living outside of my means. The number of pairs of $200 jeans I had at the age of 23 astounds me. I could possibly own a private jet if it weren't for those jeans. No one should be wearing $200 jeans at 23. You haven't earned it!! But as I've mentioned before, twentysomethings, myself included, want what we want and want it now. Today I find joy in paying my bills. I am thrilled when I pay one early and have more than enough in the bank to do so. I'm still working my way out of the hole, but what lessons I've learned about how I want to spend and save, and what plans I have for continuing to do both well.
Sleep is a truly joyous activity.
Nothing good happens after 2am. Many nights, nothing good happens after 11pm. No, I'm not missing out on a killer party. No, i don't need another drink or five. I need to put on moisturizer, floss my teeth, let go of what didn't get done today and what needs to get done tomorrow, and sleep sweetly for 7-9 hours. Glorious!
Pop culture does not rule the world.
I used to live for MTV, live concerts, awards show season, and who everyone was wearing from the red carpet to brunch in West Hollywood. In fact, I used to throw parties when the VMAs were on and promise my friends that I would never, ever not care about such things. Welp, I surprised myself pretty hard core on this one. Not only do I not throw those parties, I don't even know when the VMAs are on anymore, and when they are and I happen to hear a piece of news from what happened there, I'm generally apathetic or disgusted. Pop culture is for the young twenties set, and I'm happy to leave it in their (albeit irresponsible) hands.
My health is a priority.
Being young and healthy feels like a "duh" when you've never known anything else. There's something about the passing of time and struggling with your own health or witnessing others around you battling health issues that wakes you up to the fragility of wellness. I workout now not because I love it (though some days and some activities I do), I work out because I need to. My body was made to do so. It makes my spirit happier, it makes my body stronger and it is habit that will help my health for years to come. The same goes for eating well. What we put in our bodies will affect us for years. Become educated on what a healthy diet actually is (it's not the latest fad, I assure you), and make good choices. Which leads me to...
Everything I do today affects me tomorrow.
All of these things (my health, my finances, my habits, my work) will shape what my life is like tomorrow. I went to the doctor this week and we talked about how I want to be a mother someday. We chatted a little about vitamins and lifestyle choices and things that will affect my future pregnancy, child, and motherhood. Those things could be a few years off still, but as I continue to build my life, I'm building the family and home that child will come into. This is one of my greatest pieces of advice to twentysomethings - to think further ahead. It's a skill that will serve you better the earlier you pick it up.
I don't fear being "old and boring." What some might see as old and boring actually feels more like "established." And you know what? It's pretty great. Even with the gray hair.
Fellow thirtysomethings, what is different about your life now than a few years ago?