What are the best things about turning 30?
July 30, 2017 8:32 AM   Subscribe

What are the best things about entering into your 30s?

I'm turning 30 in about 8 months, and I can't manage to come up with any positive things about it, probably because our culture is so youth-obsessed and I don't know many people in their 30s.

I know it's just a number, but it seems to be quite a turning point number where you're not really a kid anymore, and it feels like that kind of sucks. I'm not really worried about my personal fate but more just the idea of what are the benefits of getting older in general. I know there must be some positives to it (my 20s were not really an easy or happy-go-lucky decade).

Since my mind always skews to the negative, I have no trouble anticipating the downsides of what turning 30 means. But what are the positives that I might not have thought of yet?
posted by winterportage to Society & Culture (43 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
My 30s were a period of extreme personal growth. And as a lot of women will tell you, every decade brings an increase in dont-give-a-fuck.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:47 AM on July 30, 2017 [66 favorites]

For me, the biggest thing when I turned thirty was that I stopped caring so much about what other people, particularly men, thought of me. I have way better boundaries in my personal relationships. I do things for myself now that I would never have done in my twenties, like traveling alone, treating myself to good food at the grocery store, and knitting things for myself rather than only ever knitting gifts for other people.

My twenties were objectively terrible, and my thirties have been amazing. Many women I know say the same thing, and I do think a big piece of the puzzle is that we are starting to really, really see how we generally fit into our social structure--what the role of women in society is--and many of us are saying "naw, fuck that," and are living the way we want, other people's judgement be damned.
posted by sockermom at 8:58 AM on July 30, 2017 [30 favorites]

It's different for everyone, depending on their circumstances and what actions they take.

In my 30s I started to become more self-aware and patient with myself and thus nicer to be around. I started spending more time pursuing my interests and less time doing things like going to bars just because that seemed to be the thing a young single person is supposed to do to prove they're not boring. I found a line of work that I liked and that compensated me well enough that I was able to shift from barely squeaking by, financially, to stability. I learned I had ADD and began to learn how to manage it, which made a huge difference in my life. Spent a lot of time in therapy. Had some pivotal relationships - romantic and platonic. I learned a lot about how to work with myself, if that makes sense - with more patience, curiosity and acceptance and less criticism and anger.
posted by bunderful at 9:00 AM on July 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm almost 31, and yeah, the not giving a fuck is powerful. I feel less shame and less obligation, and I spend a lot less time apologizing to/for men. I'm also so much less broke and so much more stable (in terms of housing, careers, relationships, (mental) health) than I was in most of my 20s, which is huge. Like, yeah, I look back on pictures of my skinny 22-year-old self with some nostalgia, but there is no sum of money that would make me do that year over again.

It also helps if you feel good about the way you spent your 20s, I think. I didn't do the wild partying thing, but I did spend a lot of time building my career, going to school, and developing relationships, and those things all keep paying off, even if some of them (having three jobs while getting a master's degree?) sucked at the time.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

For a lot of people I know, the 30s are about settling into things that work better for you versus others. This includes prioritizing and reorganizing how you engage socially to fit more to your preferences.
Also, although I felt like people took me seriously in my 20s, it changed a lot in my 30s.
Physically, one's body doesn't recover quite as quickly so things like drinking, eating junk, travel, having a cold, etc. Take more of a toll but this also means that one may consider engaging in them more seriously.
A lot of my friends got out of bad relationships in their 30s and dating when older seems to be better for many.
posted by k8t at 9:06 AM on July 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

30 (or around there) was the point where I became a lot more positive (or at least neutral) about my looks. I'm what would be commonly considered well below average in the physical attractiveness department but around 30 I stopped looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "Ugh eyes too close together, pointy noise, frizzy hair, no cheekbones, etc. etc." Now I see my face as a whole and think "this is just what my face looks like. I look like me. I look like other members of my family who I love".

Sometimes I still think about how my life would be different if I were attractive or even average but I don't wish for it anymore because everyone has their own problems and insecurities. It's a really nice change. Interestingly, I am a now lot more interested in clothing/jewelry, etc. because I don't have all this baggage about my looks anymore...I like pretty, well-made things and I'm allowed to enjoy them. Not sure if that's a positive or not.
posted by eeek at 9:10 AM on July 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

I just turned thirty last year, so I don't have much experience in this decade yet. But I'll say that already it has been my best year yet. Like everyone said above, I suddenly give way less fucks and it's incredibly liberating. Like, I've found myself frequently wishing that I had the confidence I have now when I was in my 20s...it would have made things so much easier. That don't-give-a-fuckitude, paired with deepening friendships + a recent new career achievement + stable finances, means that I feel like the strongest and best version of myself right now. Sure, some awful things are happening too...parents are starting to go all around and my body aches a little more. But as sad as these things are, learning to deal with grief and an aging body has made me a more thoughtful person, and taught me how to value/prioritize the important things in life--time with your loved ones, patience with elders, overall health and exercise. If this is what it's like the first year of my 30s, then I can wait for the rest.
posted by sprezzy at 9:17 AM on July 30, 2017

I LOVE my 30s. I'm halfway through, and I can't believe I wasted so much time in my 20s (haha). I'm much more confident than I was before. Part of it has to do with where I am in my life, which may differ for you, of course. These are just some general thoughts:
When you're a kid, you don't have as much life experience to guide you through - you make a lot more mistakes. I can still do a lot of the things I did in my 20s, just better! I'm in a much better place financially and career-wise. I have deeper friendships and relationships with family because I've had a longer time to develop them, and that life experience helps a lot. Our culture is youth-obsessed, but once you let go of that and aren't objectified in the same way, it's very freeing. Yes, there might be more responsibilities, but there are also fewer expectations, and you can really do your own thing.
You're not so old that you can't revisit, on occasion, some of the kid stuff you used to do. But, you aren't giving up that stuff, you're just taking on deeper and more interesting things that crowd out the youthful activities you used to do.

Good luck! I'm excited for you, OP!!
posted by bluefly at 9:24 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

So far there is a lot less drama in my 30s (I am 33). I think I created enough drama in my personal life in my 20s to feel kind of done with that. Not to say that I never get worked up over anything, but I am more self aware and better at moving on from situations.

I am definitely more confident as well, though that is still a work in progress.

I am also becoming more accepting of imperfection, in myself and in life. I guess that is making me more easy going, or maybe contributing to the the lessening of the drama. I am actually trying to find a balance between my newish tendency/ability to say, "whelp, that's just how things are," and striving for change on some fronts.

Time is also speeding up. Make sure to enjoy your 30s! Overall, yes better than the 20s for sure ...
posted by knownfossils at 9:32 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

"You're not a kid anymore and it feels like that kind of sucks"
Not being a kid anymore is actually glorious- no rules except the ones you want, no worries about fitting in, no drama or temper tantrums, and... you get to be playful and creative in deeper and more expansive ways. You will love not being young anymore!
Every stage of life has the good and bad and the opportunities for self realization that we either grab hold of or refuse to embrace. Pursue the opportunities of this time of life my friend because you will wake up one morning and be forty.
posted by SyraCarol at 9:56 AM on July 30, 2017 [11 favorites]

I know it's really trite to say "it's just a number" but it really is. You're not going to feel a lot different at thirty than you do now. People's expectations and treatment of you won't change overnight.

Yes, things will change--but they'll change gradually, the same as they did during your twenties. They aren't dumped on you all at once. Many of the changes will be positive. You'll have time to get used to the negative ones (like being less physically resilient).

I think the biggest benefit of getting older is experience and the perspective it brings. It's hard to be more specific, because it really permeates everything. You'll be more competent and more sure of yourself. You'll have a better sense of what things are worth. And so on.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 10:08 AM on July 30, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've become far more organized and responsible. I was a horrible procrastinator and avoider in my twenties. Around the time I turned 30, I noticed I started getting much better and quicker at confronting important-but-unpleasant chores or conversations. This has made life so much smoother. I've also become more of a morning person, where when I was younger it was pretty hard for me to feel productive and myself before 11 am.
posted by horizons at 10:21 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was just saying yesterday that I like my age -- I feel connected to and can relate to both people older and younger (I am 37 and have friends in their mid-20s to early 50s) and I have enough life experience to feel open to the world and its possibilities. I feel much more confident and comfortable in my life.

I was so happy to leave my 20s behind. I feel like my life keeps getting better.
posted by darksong at 10:24 AM on July 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

The best thing about entering my 30s was the generator bike light set. I haven't had to worry about charging a battery (or walking my bike home because it's dark and my light died) in years. It's the best. Everyone with a bike should get a set for their 30th.

I had thought that turning 30 would magically mean that strangers would finally start treating me like an adult. They didn't magically stop calling me "miss," for instance, which is a pet peeve of mine even though I understand that it's intended as a politeness. But every once in a while I can bust out my actual age and people go "oh" and start taking me a little more seriously. I try not to do it too much, because it's basically using ageism to my advantage.
posted by aniola at 10:30 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

You get to legitimately go "ooof" every time you sit down in a chair.
posted by parm at 10:40 AM on July 30, 2017 [10 favorites]

I'm 32 and I agree with those saying they have stopped caring about drama. My 20s were fine, aside from a couple rocky patches, and I started my 30s, like you, with some trepidation that now I had to be a Responsible Adult.

And yeah, I guess I am sort of responsible in that I pay my rent, save for retirement, etc. But the upside to being an Adult is that I also feel much more confident expressing my opinion without running through exhausting mental calculus about how I might be judged, particularly judged by men, and I am so much happier as a result. This applies in both work and personal spheres. It almost literally was an overnight change when I hit 30, and if each decade brings a proportionate increase in the don't-give-a-damn feeling, I'm going to die a happy woman.
posted by basalganglia at 10:40 AM on July 30, 2017

I was so happy to leave my 20s behind

I think most older people I know would never choose go back to their 20s.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:42 AM on July 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

I turn 30 a month after you do and I am most excited about it because it seems like the "everything starts getting better" decade. I am excited and already experiencing the lessening of pressures and the freedom that comes with being more solidly myself. This past year I've found my habits started becoming real habits and I'm more confident. It is kind of like I've begun adulting with the training wheels off. I didn't realize entering my 20s that adulthood had training wheels whether I wanted them or not. There was a lot to learn about being an adult that I thought I knew and didn't. I know enough now to know there's things I don't know yet. And I like learning things, so that's exciting.

Also paradoxically I'm the most attractive I've ever been in part thanks to those habits and being more confident in myself.
posted by teslacoilswoah at 11:11 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

My 30s have been going really well, but I think on the whole that they actually feel a lot like what I thought my 20s were supposed to feel like, if I'd used the media as some kind of an example. I finally have a stable job. My relationships haven't been perfect but they have generally been a lot closer to what I've hoped for. Everything is feeling a bit more settled. You're not a kid anymore, but lots of people are still doing the marrying and having kids thing throughout their 30s. Lots of people are still figuring out new careers. I feel a lot less pressure to be "grown up" than I was expecting, and in general I feel more like I can make decisions with intention but also with my own best interests in mind.

So if you're the kind of person who didn't hit 21 with a career plan you were happy with and planning a wedding to a guy you adored with plans to have kids when you were 24 and 27 that all went totally without incident--I mean, who is that girl, really? There are a few people like that, but if your life wasn't like that, your 30s are the time when you can still be relatively young but you have better judgment so everything doesn't turn into a total train wreck.

From the POV of 36, though, start eating better and exercising more now, that's the only thing I ever wish I'd gotten into a better routine for earlier. The lifestyle stuff, career stuff, family stuff, all of that is really flexible, but don't screw around about taking care of your body.
posted by Sequence at 11:34 AM on July 30, 2017 [7 favorites]

Less drama, more money. My 20s were spend in grad school and working in low-paying jobs, struggling with student loans and credit card debt. Now in my late 30s, I'm debt free and making a professional salary. It is so nice to have some financial security and not have to struggle to pay bills and have to worry about affording groceries. There are a lot of things I like about my 30s but the finances are probably the biggest difference from my 20s.
posted by emd3737 at 11:51 AM on July 30, 2017

When I was quite young, maybe just before or after 20, I saw a headline: "thirty is a glamorous age", and it stuck with me, I looked forward to my thirties. And the best thing was they lived completely up to my expectation! My thirties were incredibly glamorous and fun and full of adventure and I even had two children, after I'd thought I'd never have children. If I was ever nostalgic it would be for my thirties. There were tough times, like in every other decade of ones life, but I was better at dealing with them, and the good times were the best ever.
People often say that sex gets better as you get older. From my current 50-something perspective what happens is that your relationships get better. You become a kinder, better person, and so does everyone you interact with because you become better at being with good people (not only sexual relationships — all relationships). Some of my friends back from high school changed considerably for the better as they reached 30, and now many years later I've learnt they felt angry and lonely during our 20's and that was why they were acting out.
Now I can see I make it look like I was spending my time on yachts and in nightclubs, but actually I was building my own business and writing a Phd dissertation and being a mother. It's just that I had a lot of energy and a lot of opportunities opened for me when I turned from "young" to "adult", it was liberating in every sense of the word.
My granddad loved saying "youth is wasted on the young", and now I see what he meant. I wish I had known what I know now when I was 20. But your thirties strike a balance between the ignorance and beauty of youth and the wisdom and grace of age. You don't worry about silly things, like many do in their 20's, and you don't have serious worries, as many do in their 40's when parents age, children have complex needs and career moves up to level difficult.
Go for it, and please enjoy every minute. I regret every moment I didn't enjoy back then, even as they were relatively few.
posted by mumimor at 11:53 AM on July 30, 2017 [13 favorites]

Turning 30 sucked because I couldn't say I was "in my 20s" anymore -- but now I feel like 30s are the new 20s. At our age, we can still let loose and have fun, but we aren't insecure idiots with no money. You have all the freedom and fun of being in your 20s, but you're in a far better position to enjoy it. You're not nearly as self conscious or unsure of what you want. Your dumbest decisions are likely behind you. The 30s are great. Don't feel too down about it.
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:59 AM on July 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes yes yes to the above - about how I have started caring less and less about other people's opinions. My therapist is in her 60s, and she just loves that for the first time, she can see women in their 30s come in and be able to see other options for their lives besides getting married and having children. Not that it didn't happen before, but she is seeing a much larger wave, and in a way, we're a bit of a pioneering group, forging new trails.

I also had a hard time with turning 30. Two women friends of mine, in their 40s, told me their 30s were amazing - it's the time to lose the outer shell and become who you really are meant to be.

And it's also the year I started my annual tradition of buying myself a nice birthday present every year. Something sort of extravagant and grown up that I normally wouldn't buy, and that no one else would buy for me.

So, I guess what I'm trying to articulate in a roundabout way is I really really started to fall in love with myself at 30, and it gets heightened every year. I'm more patient and more forgiving of myself, and more grateful for what I have and have become. I wish the very same for you.
posted by umwhat at 12:19 PM on July 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

My thirties were just the f***in', best! ! I was so much more powerful, having been through a bunch of horrible crap in my twenties. Physically my features and body just came into their own. I felt strong and beautiful and smart and independent for the first time in my life. I broke away from a lot of the things and crutches that had been holding me back because I finally felt like I had the right to do that. I realized that 30 was not old, like I'd always thought it was. 30 is young. 30 is strong and smart and beautiful. I bet you will be surprised how much you enjoy your thirties.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 1:16 PM on July 30, 2017 [10 favorites]

Nthing the new lack of fucks given from women in their 30s. I give sooooo few fucks nowadays and I was a compulsive giver of fucks (literally and figuratively) through my 20s, and it's so relieving.

Also, you will get a lot more confident at work. In my 20s, I was regularly given feedback (BY DUDES) that I was too quiet and too meek and I needed to speak up and be my own advocate. They were right, but I didn't have the confidence and expertise yet. I didn't do it until I was 30ish. Now I spend all day, every day, very happy to tell large groups of men they are wrong at work.

The last time I slunk out of a party in tears over some dumb guy and walked home in the snow in stilettos, I was 29. I am 35 and I have been done with parties, tears, some dumb guy, snow, and walking home in stilettos for 5 years now and I am so thrilled.

It also took me until about 30 to be okay with not being friends with someone anymore. There is space in the 30-something psyche for "that was a cool person, I am glad he/she was in my life for x-years, but it's not working for us to be close anymore, so bye."

I'm also way more comfortable not liking things. I used to be very, very uncomfortable not liking things that were supposed to be Good and Fun, so I overcompensated by being very loud about how lame and stupid they were (things like dance clubs, binge drinking, certain media, etc). Now I do not care what anyone else likes and I don't feel bad for liking what I like, so I can be quieter. Also no one wants 35-year-old me to go dancing. And if they did, I'd be so gentle and comfortable while saying no thank you.

Your tastes will change. Almost imperceptibly slowly, I went from making fun of Ann Taylor and Loft to buying all my work clothes there. Help.

I can't relate to the 'being in worse physical shape/sitting down is hard' stuff because I was a sedentary skinny-fat blob in my 20s and now I have taken up spinning and yoga and weight training, so I actually feel like I'm in better physical shape now that I'm older, BUT: weird old-people physical things start to happen to you. For example, since 30, I have had several breast lumps, and one required surgery. I also herniated a disc in my lumbar spine! I also have a bunionette!

Actually the best 30s thing for me is I finally feel like a grown-up and I'm so much less dramatic and emotional than I was when I was younger. When I think of my 20s, I cringe about how unhappy I was and I wish I could go back as a hologram and calm my nervous young self down.

The worst part of being in your 30s is that young people are SO young and it's an abomination. A human born in 1995 is now able to apply for a job that requires a college degree, and be hired, and come to work and sit down and talk and mention being born in 1995. That blows my ancient mind.
posted by millipede at 1:28 PM on July 30, 2017 [12 favorites]

Echoing the increase in self-awareness, self-confidence, and proportionate lack of fucks to give as a 34 year old woman. I'm back in school with a lot of 20somethings in my peer group/student cohort right now, and in general the age gap isn't that huge, but my general attitude is a lot different than in my 20s, both professionally and otherwise. I'm just not looking for external validation as much, because I trust my instincts after a decade of 'real' adult life experience. Consequently, I find I relate really differently to more senior people than my 20something peers, even though the younger crowd is still the folks I'm most likely to grab a beer with after work.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:06 PM on July 30, 2017

I'm just finishing up the first year of my thirties, but one thing that makes me happy, is that while I still struggle with the same types of personal issues, traumas, mental health stuff, and personality traits that I always have, I'm at this point much more aware of how my own mind works, and I have much better coping mechanisms for shutting stuff down before it gets bad or spirals out.
posted by ITheCosmos at 2:43 PM on July 30, 2017 [8 favorites]

You fall in love with things you'd never so much as appreciated before, like brutalist architecture.
posted by tapir-whorf at 5:07 PM on July 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

People won't question you as much, and you won't question yourself as much. It's not confidence like damn, I love me; it's confidence like, yes, this is me. Want to go to bed with a book at 9 on Friday? Nobody will expect a woman in her 30s to justify this. Want to start wearing cowboy boots? Nobody will think you're a capricious trendy poseur, they'll just think that's your style. You'll not be trying to impress people because you won't care what they think (especially not mediocre men.)

Sex gets better.

You'll have a better handle on yourself. You won't be such a mystery. Moods won't come out of nowhere and behaviors won't seem beyond your control. You'll recognize your unhealthy patterns and work out how to manage them.

30 is very young. you'll have energy and youthful looks for many years if you're afraid of losing those things. And socially, 30 is younger than it was in previous generations. The pressure to be married and have a house and children is not as great as it was decades ago. I'm 38 and to me you're a youngster. Hang out with 40+ people and feel like a kid forever.

I don't think you asked for advice but if you did I'd say hang on to your good friends, take care of your teeth, and eat vegetables, and you're gonna have a great decade.
posted by kapers at 5:45 PM on July 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

How could I forget the best one: if you have a regular practice, like singing, playing an instrument, writing, yoga, makeup artistry, baking, whatever, expect to make some creative and technical breakthroughs and really find your voice/style.
posted by kapers at 7:41 PM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I mean this totally sincerely, though it sounds like a joke: you never again have to worry about turning 30.

Once it's over it's like this massive weight being lifted from your shoulders, like "oh, is that all, this isn't so bad". It really doesn't seem like nearly as big of a deal once you're there.
posted by windykites at 9:56 PM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm looking at this from the examples of my late 20s / early 30s daughters, so there's that....

1) Social capital -- your 20s were like your "starter years." This is where you learn to be an adult, with money and education and friendships and careers. The 30s is where you can take stock, do a reset, and pursue different adventures without someone saying, "Wait! You're screwing up your retirement! Do you really want to relocate / switch jobs / build a new social circle?" You still have your life ahead of you (as it were) so you can do a 180 on your dreams without running out of energy.
Speaking of energy....

2) Use it or lose it -- time to buy that bike, lace up those jogging shoes, sign up for yoga classes... because the era of "party all night and take a nap at lunch" is disappearing fast. It will be a few decades before your conversations revolve around your latest trip to the doctor... but start some good habits now to avoid the creeping advance of age and its myriad surprises.

3) Friendships of all ages -- the schoolyard segregation is done. Make friends based on shared interests, not grey hairs (you're going blonde -- embrace it!)
posted by TrishaU at 11:24 PM on July 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am 34 and the best thing so far is that now that I like myself I have stopped making fun of other people. Like, today I was at a show and I thought everyone looked beautiful and wonderful and if I had been 22 I would have had a lot to say about people's outfits. Is an immense weight lifted and a true liberation.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 12:09 AM on July 31, 2017 [4 favorites]

Getting $ after a lifetime of never having any. Getting married. Finding work I like. Going to bed earlier. Making fewer bad decisions every year. A better-myelinated brain.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:27 AM on July 31, 2017

Getting more done; caring less about what others think; being amazed at just what I can do (and, if I can't, figure out how to do it).

I was going to say that it didn't magically happen when I turned 30, but, actually, I deliberately went on a solo OS holiday for my birthday, literally to the other side of the world, so I guess it did.

There's still stuff I'm not happy with (not enough exercise, not enough creativity), but I trust myself to be able to get it done - in my 20s, I'd just be freaking out and feeling like a failure.
posted by heyjude at 1:07 AM on July 31, 2017

Nthing all the confidence, self-awareness, and personal growth stuff mentioned above. Don't worry about making it happen or feeling like something's wrong if you're not feeling it now, just learn to appreciate it if you start to see it.

More practically, most people start to see more money in their lives. Not enough to be free from financial stress, but enough to start appreciating and enjoying a few luxuries in life. That sweet guitar you've always wanted or your first *brand new* car off the lot or a trip to Asia where you're not backpacking in hostels or a Swiss watch. Your choice of luxury may vary.

Also practically, many people meet their long term partner in their 30s. Many people start having children in their 30s.

This isn't a checklist of things to achieve or stress out over and the things I appreciated about my 30s may not interest you, but you asked for some things you might look forward to in the coming decade. Your 30s really are when you are in your prime, try not to fear that.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:21 AM on July 31, 2017

All of the above, especially the drastic decrease in fuck-giving. I also enjoy simple things a lot more, like nice weather and fresh fruit and feeding ducks.

In my thirties I've gone from Calvin to Calvin's dad. You couldn't have convinced me of it ten years ago, but it's so much nicer to be Calvin's dad.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:15 AM on July 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

I followed turning 30 up a couple years later with becoming a father, so it's tough to disentangle the two in my mind. But between that and becoming more centered in my career, I've certainly had the feeling like "oh, there's no magic that happens when you become an adult, you just become one." I'm in an adversarial profession, and it's been enlightening to see that while some with more experience are better at this than I am, others are worse. Everybody's just folks, as the saying goes.

A couple of the points above about understanding yourself better resonate for me too. I have a much better understanding of whether XYZ will make me happy or not. That applies to both activities and relationships.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:48 AM on July 31, 2017

Co-signing so many of the above comments about giving fewer fucks in your 30s. I heard it from people of course, but experiencing it is so different. I'm turning 33 in just under 2 weeks, and just in the past year or so I'm getting out of survival mode and feeling stable enough to look at/plan for the future--not just in the way of the typical life cycle of marriage-kids-career-retirement, but what I want

I'm learning how to really take advantage of the fact that I don't need anyone's permission to make decisions about my life. (This also has to do with being single in my 30s after being in long term relationships for all my 20s.) I've reached a level of self-acceptance I didn't know existed, and I've stopped judging myself for liking unpopular things, or disliking popular things, even relative to my social circle, rather than just the world at large.
posted by itesser at 11:31 AM on July 31, 2017

Your car insurance rates are lower than when you were in your 20s.
posted by sixpack at 12:55 PM on July 31, 2017 [5 favorites]

For me, it was that more of my peers had an interest in something other than getting trashed on the weekend.
posted by cnc at 4:56 PM on July 31, 2017

Agreed with not giving a fuck anymore.

Also, my early 30s were my physical peak. Holy shit could I ride a bike fast.

Your thirties are when you begin to realize how little you know about the world and come to the realization that your whole life is going to be a journey towards wisdom that will end prematurely. You'll notice that people older than you are further along than you, and people younger than you are just getting started. You'll see yourself in twenty-year-olds who think they have it all figured out, and you'll laugh.
posted by klanawa at 11:07 PM on July 31, 2017 [5 favorites]

Agree with so much of what's already been said but I don't think there's any harm in adding to the chorus, if only to show that these positive experiences are really common!

- Gaining a DGAF attitude is So Great. I shake my head at my 20s self and wish I had been more honest, more kind, more open minded, more genuine - which would have been possible if I hadn't been so scared of what other people thought.

- I'm more confident about my style and I'm much more relaxed about letting stupid trends fly on by. It's also very amusing to see trends from the 90s come back.

- My discretionary budget has increased and it's just so damn nice to be able to afford nice things for myself and for others. I remember in my 20s that I always had to print out my account balance at the ATM just to check that I was going to make it to the next paycheck. Instead, I've got my short term needs met and I'm looking at saving towards retirement (which is a different kind of stress, but not nearly as stressful as worrying about how to make rent)

- I enjoy drinking to enjoy it. It's fun to have opinions about wine, whisky, rum, beer, etc. and I don't just drink to get drunk. I mean, I still get pretty drunk sometimes, but those nights are a lot more *fun* these days. In my 20s, those are just a blurry hot mess, not worth the time, money or risk they involved.

- Related to that, I feel like the only way to socialise in my 20s was to drink. Now I do so much more because "just drinking" became very boring. I go to gigs, comedy shows, immersive experiences, travel to different countries, go to food festivals, museum late nights, exhibitions, pop up events, etc. Drinking may still be involved, but it's not the main event. My life feels fuller.

- I also agree that this is a good time to be in your 30s because it is "the new 20s". Many of my contemporaries are single or childless and I feel very socially connected to my peer group. This could have been different a generation ago so I'm thankful for that circumstance.
posted by like_neon at 6:09 AM on August 1, 2017

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