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I know the women in my life meant it in good fun, but I distinctively remember being tortured reminded on every birthday during my twenties of how close to 30 I was getting. “Soon you’ll be 25, and then here comes 30!” they said. “Thirty! That’s old!” said my 5-year-old son. “You’re like grandma’s age at 30.” He’s five and doesn’t really understand “time” or “age,” but his opinion is the norm in terms of discussions about aging.

For a lot of women (particularly women in their early 20s), turning 30 presents itself like the death of our youth. The amount of fuss people make about turning 30 had me certain that at the stroke of midnight on my 30th birthday I would very well disintegrate and turn to dust. But I am starting to see the blessing (and fierceness) in turning 30 already. Aaliyah had it right when she said “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number.”

Here are some of the things I am beginning to like about becoming a grown a** 30-year-old woman.

A Higher Sex Drive

I can’t speak for ALL women, but in my circle, dirty 30 lives up to its name! Our conversations surrounding sex have taken on an “I gots to get mine” tone that didn’t really exist in previous years. Seriously though, can we just be real about the terrible quality of sex we were having in our teenage years? Sex as a teenage girl (I cringe now because I have teenage nieces) and young adult is mostly physical and focused on getting him off as opposed to the mind and body connection we seek from sex as we age. The older we get, the more sex we want to have. I’m not making this stuff up. A recent study done by a team of psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin surveyed 900 women. The study found that women ages 27-45 were having, fantasizing, and craving more sex.

We Begin To Truly Know Ourselves

Our teenage years were spent trying to decipher confusing yet enticing emotions. In our 20s, we struggled to find our place in the world. We’ve tested the waters, been burned a couple hundred times and clocked thousands of hours becoming experts at our likes and dislikes. By the time we reach the age of 30, the chaos and confusion has subsided a bit. The quiet in our lives leads the way to real self-discovery and self-awareness, and we show our true selves more often than not. Whether we’ve got it all together on paper or not, one thing is absolute–most women in their 30s know exactly who they are and/or who they’ll never be again.

We Enjoy The Simple Things In Life

When I was on the club scene it was rare that I noticed a woman who looked beyond 35 bumping and grinding on a Tuesday unless she worked there (or looked damn good for her age). By the time we’ve reached 30, I think most of us are “partied out” and looking for more subtle ways to enjoy ourselves. The club scene can still be a legit place to have fun (every once in a while), but the truth is that its place as the number 1 spot for fun has come and gone. Older women are more likely to attend a networking event, a social meetup, happy hour, or kick back at a lounge or bar than they are to two-step in a dark nightclub. I personally think that an intimate night out with my girls over a couple of drinks sounds more enticing than yawning in the club all night. This doesn’t mean older women are boring, it is just that our priorities have evolved and evolution is always good.

We Have More Meaningful Relationships

The friends I had as a kid I used to think would be the friends I’d keep for life, but that was not how things turned out. I’m not bummed about it though because the small sisterhood that I share with the very few girlfriends that I have left outweigh the large number of frivolous friendships I kept in my early 20s. Once we’ve entered a stage in our lives where the woman we’ve been striving to become all this time is more in view, anything that works against that vision has no room to live, including parasitic friendships.

A Little More Easygoing

In our younger years, we demanded our voices be heard, over all else, in every situation. We were more hot-headed and hasty, frantically trying to control every aspect of our lives. Today, we can be sure that things almost always work themselves out, and there is no need to fuss over it. Women in their 30s are not beyond reproach, but it takes a lot more to get us riled up. Most women know better and, therefore, are required to do better by the time they enter their 30s.

It is possible to experience all of what I have mentioned at any age, and I know I won’t morph into a brand new perfect being overnight as I move forward in my dirty 30s. But I am still very thankful for the immense growth that my 20s have provided me with, and I am confident that with all that I have learned, the years ahead of me will be epic. I survived my 20s with little or no experience in the world and made it out pretty darn OK. I imagine with over two decades of earned wisdom, I am prepared for whatever comes next. In fact, I’m excited about it.

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