It's the new 20 or something like that, right?
July 6, 2014 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Any inspirational written materials for a woman about to turn 30?

I'm feeling more or less fine about leaving my 20's, but looking for stuff to read about it because it's on my mind a lot. I'm looking for novels, non-fiction books, blog posts, magazines articles, or short stories, but I'm trying to avoid "Things every woman should have by the time she turns 30" clich├ęd boringness. Chick lit is cool, although I'm quite picky about the style. I'm a big fan of Anna Maxted and her rambling, run-on sentency, hilarious writing style. Other novelists I like: Chimamanda Adichie, Sefi Atta, Thrity Umrigar, Min Jin Lee. I also read liberal newsy sites like The Guardian, Salon, The Nation, and The Atlantic. Anything that you would recommend to read in preparation for this milestone? Thanks!
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I found that Dorothy L. Sayers's Gaudy Night felt particularly relevant to this point in my life, though of course ymmv.

When I turned 30 I wrote a letter to my 20-year-old self telling her about the ups and downs she was in for (mostly ups due to improved self-awareness), which was remarkably cathartic. Happy almost birthday!
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:56 PM on July 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm 34 and am loving my 30s!

If I could give my 20-something self advice for my 30s it would be: CUT THE BULLSHIT!

No, really, JUST DO IT!


This advice is applicable to everything: eating better, going to bed on time and getting up at a normal hour, not getting involved in drama at work, doing good work at work, doing things that only make me more interesting, not dating weirdos who drag around drama or baggage or bad habits with them, and just generally getting to the point without making a big old fuss about it.

You will be surprised at how quickly things that seem "complicated" scatter when you cut the crap. You're pretty much just left with awesome: a job you like, a life that is well and self supported, a kick-ass support network, quality relationships, fulfilling hobbies and cool stories. And surprises which are the best. Thirties are good. You are in for a big treat, I promise. :)

(Oh, and to answer your question, I just wanted to chime in to also say: pick up a copy of the 48 Laws of Power. Not age-specific, but it helps tremendously on cutting the crap.). And journal!
posted by floweredfish at 3:45 PM on July 6, 2014 [8 favorites]

Anything and everything by Caitlin Moran - not 30-specific, but the perfect reading to ease you through the milestone: Generally perceptive, empowering and life-affirming about being a woman of any age. Moran herself is 39; I think most of her books were written during her 30s. She's also very funny.
posted by penguin pie at 5:00 PM on July 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

So this is way self-helpy but I'm finding that my 30's has included a lot of Thoughts about my friendships, i.e. taking stock of the relationships I have, deciding which ones to invest in, which ones to leave behind, and figuring out who I want to be closer to in the future. Friendships Don't Just Happen! has been really useful to me in my post-20's making-sense-of-it-all phase/stage/whateverthisis.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 6:11 PM on July 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm at roughly the same age. I'm currently reading "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed, and it's affecting me profoundly-- something I think I probably lacked sensitivity for throughout most of my twenties. It's a collection of amazing, humanizing essays that are appropriate for any age, and that focus on being kind to yourself, owning your feelings, dealing with the past, and hoping for wonderful things in the future.

If you'd like a sample, check out this essay. Good luck, and when it comes around, have a wonderful birthday. :)
posted by schooley at 7:49 PM on July 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 1:22 PM on July 7, 2014

This article is short & is from a girly magazine but I enjoyed it and it is on topic:
posted by kmr at 2:10 PM on July 8, 2014

« Older Introverted three year old and family get...   |   What makes a physician's role fundamentally... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.