Sunday, April 12, 2009

I am 30...hear me ROAR?

Time and Tide wait for no man, but time stand still for a woman of thirty.
Robert Frost.

This past week, I turned “The BIG 3-0” (quotations added from multiple friends for added emphasis.”
“This is a significant birthday.”
I heard this over and over, and a few days leading up to the big event, I was placing a lot of pressure on how I wanted to memorialize such a crossing,
It begs the question…
From where am I leaving? And to where am I heading?
Looking back on it, the way I and everyone was acting, it was as if I was graduating from brownies, crossing that fake bridge into the land of tampax, where the main commodity involves transactions of Thin Mints and its crack badges.
Why do we put so much pressure on silly NUMBERS? Think about it...the scale, the jeans size, the shoe label, the grams of fiber, the MPG, the third date, the calorie counts. In the end, numbers are only significant when we give them meaning: healthy, slutty, fat, average.
By the time the morning of, a peace settled over me. I rose with anxiety, not knowing what I should do with myself, when I arrived at the conclusion: Whatever the Hell I felt like. I walked to the best coffee shack (4 blocks conveniently) in my sweats and ordered the most sinful cup of coffee in T-Town’s existence. And I sat, and celebrated, and intentionally decided that I would not force anything that day, and honor myself by listening to what I wanted. The bowing to autopilot shoulds had been temporarily shut down for re-servicing.
And since then, I have been trying very hard to a) figure out what I desire and b) find a way to honor it (which doesn’t mean immediate gratification...just recognition).

I hope I am leaving the roaring 20s behind and entering into the depressed 30s…um, wait a second, that’s not quite what I have in mind. I didn’t want to head further into a recession of confidence, but that’s what happened. A few days following my 30 transformation, I tripped back over that bridge, as if the novelty of a new dye job wore off. Today, really wanting a luxurious meal, I opted out of it for something safer…more balanced and healthy and less licentious. I hate my hesitancy. This self-doubt. I ordered a gussied-up oatmeal instead of the steaks and eggs and regretted my cowardness for the full 40 minutes of the meal. Even my date, who was born in the roaring 20s, didn’t behave with such trepidation.
I was definitely treating my desires as if living in the 30s, the 1930s that is, and such smallness would not do.
So! The 30 year old K walked into the nearby gourmet market and bought herself a bottle of pink champagne (task! #37 will be completed this week) and gourmet pumpkin ravioli. While in the market, she ate a French baguette loaf baked with brie.
Now, if this is 30, it feels good…just recognizing that I can either give or steal meaning to my experiences in the moment
What should I leave behind? What should I walk toward?


  1. Only *you* can decide. But if you must insist...leave behind consideration of others' opinions and go towards more "steak & eggs," and pink champagne.

  2. When I started reading your blog, I was struck by the similarities in our situations/outlook in life :) And not that I'm into astrology (well, ok I am!) but I jsut celebrated by 30th birthday this past week as well! :) Happy birthday!

    ~ Sim

  3. Happy birthday to all of us born in the month of April -- especially to those of us born in 1979 and celebrating (or about to celebrate -- ie, me!) our 30th!!!!

    Where am I going? England and Northern Ireland for two weeks... Perhaps the equivalent of your pink champagne? I dunno, but surely if we're taking special trips and drinking bubbly drinks, then we're on the right path... :)

    The strangest thing, for me, about turning 30 -- or really any age, but possibly especially 30 -- is that 30 used to seem soooo old. And now that I'm here, I sure as hell don't feel "old" in any sense (except for my fear of flying, which is more lame than old). It's pretty great, actually.

    I'm lighting a candle on your cyber-cake, Special K. Make a wish!

    -- Lisa

  4. I don't know about y'all but when I was a little kid, I thought that life ended at 18. I thought that anyone over 18 was super old and boring. Then I got to be 18. That was kinda crazy because I didn't feel like my life was boring. I didn't even feel that old.

    Around the same time, I was with a friend discussing someone's 22nd birthday. My friend was a couple years older then me.

    She said something like this:

    "You turn 18 and its a big deal and then you turn 21 and its a big deal. But that is the last cool birthday. Because when you turn 22 you are almost 25 and when you're 25 you're almost 30!"

    We all gasped in horror! She didn't even continue on past 30 because we all knew that 30 was when everyone turns old and boring.

    I still have a year and change to go until but I know that I am going to be delightfully relieved to be 30. I'll be old and boring according to my younger self all over again but when I get there and realize that I feel neither old nor boring, I'll quit worrying about my fading 20s and start living up my "roaring 30s" -- thank you for that phraseology Special K!

  5. Does any one else ever feel that "boring" and "single" is accusatory? As if we because we are single we have to live the lives of SJP in Sex and the City...

  6. Wow... a lot of us are turning 30 this year. Hurray for the 'roaring 30s'! :) My big 3-0 is also coming up. Next month, to be exact. I used to lose sleep over the best way to celebrate it but then, as you said, it's just a number. I loooooove the way you handled it and I'll probably buy some pink champagne myself too. What's important at the end is to be happy and have a great time.

  7. "What should I leave behind? What should I walk toward?"
    Excellent! I'm stuck on these words. I think it's quite healthy to reflect on ourselves (even at mild-stones). I like that even when your mind was interrupted by the standard little negativities that do cross our minds, you continued on, found a better road to thought.

    This may be the best birthday you have had to date, I don't know. Either way I'm going to have to say-HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)


About Me

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PhD in clinical psychology. Single. Pushing 30. Suffering Whiplash from the Roaming 20s...Who am I? What do I want? Where do I belong? Welcome to my self-induced treatment, a testament that we can all be a little crazy in our search for significance.