Why My 30s Are Better Than My 20s
Whenever I have friends who are approaching their 30th birthday, I quickly say with conviction, “Your 30s are much better than your 20s.” It’s true, for me at least, as I would never go back to my 20s. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun. But I’m enjoying my time even more now that I’m approaching my mid-30s.
Even the queen herself, Oprah Winfrey, said that aging is a blessing. She stated in a Lifeclass video that every year should be teaching us all something valuable. “I know that only by owning — own it — who and what you are can you start to step in the fullness of life.”
All too often, women dread their imminent 30th year on this earth. According to The Huffington Post, women do not look forward to turning 30 due to regrets about not accomplishing dreams or assuming their “glory days” are over. But really, as long as you’re still kicking, your glory days are upon you.
While I’ve never had an issue with aging, after turning 30 I learned a few things about myself that ultimately enhanced my livelihood. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I Embraced All of Me
In middle school, I wanted my mom’s slender, feminine legs. While in high school, I was hesitant to lift weights for sports I took part in due to fear that my already broad shoulders would become masculine. In college, I wanted to gain weight.
I always loved the way I looked, but I often found faults in my image. As I got older, I truly embraced all of myself. I now look in the mirror and appreciate my features.
Psychologist Deborah Serani, PsyD, told Psych Central that the key to self-compassion is to understand that weakness and frailty are part of the human experience. “Coming to accept who you are involves loving yourself because of your flaws, not in spite of them,” she said.
Dr. Seuss may have said it best: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
I Learned Not to Care What People Think
There was a time when I tried to please everyone, whether it was through the type of clothing that I wore or my career choice. Eventually, I gave that up and started living for myself. There were some decisions that I’ve made that have been unconventional, yet they were perfect for me. And to this day, I have no regrets.
I admit that I started to have this mentality during my mid-20s, but at the age of 30, something clicked and I truly gave up on second-guessing myself. I didn’t care what people thought. I started living my life.
In his post for Psychology Today, psychiatrist Fredric Neuman, M.D., mentioned that people will find some reason to disapprove of what you do, regardless of who you are or what you do. “It is important not to measure yourself by the standards of other people,” Neuman wrote.
Besides becoming more financially responsible and truly pursuing my passions, I decided to cut out the foolishness. When I found myself losing focus when it came to what I needed to accomplish, I knew that I had to let a few friends and a few bad habits go, or at least keep certain people at an arm’s length.
One of my favorite books is The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It contains a passage that speaks volumes. “I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.”
With all that being said, don’t dread getting older. Don’t sulk when your birthday comes back around. Don’t feel like you need to hide your age. Instead, embrace it gracefully. Learn your lessons and appreciate the blessings. When you start feeling down about getting older, just remember, someone didn’t have the chance to.