I never wanted my twenties to end. I remember sitting in the back of a crowded taxi with some of my best friends after a wild night out. Our faces flushed and sweaty from dancing, we piled in, far past the recommended capacity of the cab. The driver didn’t seem to mind that I was riding surfboard-style across the laps of my girlfriends, and we promised to tip him well if he took us to Taco Bell. Nights like this rounded out my twenties. They were some of the wildest years of my life, and I couldn’t imagine anything better than a night of laughter and drinks with my best friends. I was certain I would never outgrow that stage of life—I never wanted to.
Now, as I type this, I’m resting comfortably on my sofa watching Food Network in a pair of baggy sweatpants. I’ll probably turn in around 9 p.m., and I won’t wake up tomorrow morning with a hangover. This, my friends, is life as a thirty-something, and it is freaking awesome!
OK, so, all that stuff I said about my twenties being amazing—still true. But what I know now is, your thirties are really where it’s at. I wouldn’t change a minute of my twenty-something life, but no normal person can live like that forever. In fact, I might die if I tried. Your thirties are amazing because no one expects you to stay out until 2 a.m. In fact, you never have to leave your house on Saturday night, and it’s totally fine. Your friends are probably staying home too! So, put on some stretchy-pants and enjoy the miracle of Netflix, girl. Order takeout, ship the kids to grandma, and you basically just experienced my idea of ecstasy. Ok, maybe not ecstasy, but it’s a damn good time.
As if that’s not enough of a selling point for your thirties, there’s more! Because you’ve spent the last decade learning what you do and don’t like, you have a way better grasp on who you are and what you stand for. I don’t know about you, but I tolerated way more bullshit in my twenties than I do now. I’m certainly not a jerk, but I only give my energy and attention to things and people who deserve it. I don’t have time for fake friends or disingenuous people. If I’m not your cup of tea, it’s cool—I don’t take it personally like I might have when I was younger. We can all coexist without being besties. But, if you are a pot-stirring-drama-llama, don’t think I don’t know about it. If I learned anything from the debauchery of my twenties, it’s how to spot the sharks.
Knowing who you are brings with it an amazing amount of confidence, that I never had in my twenties. A decade ago, I played the part but didn’t really know what I was doing. So, like any smart girl, I faked it. Your twenties should really come with training wheels, because you’re basically learning to be an adult. During that learning process, you’re bound to make some mistakes. (Or was that just me?) But it’s fine, mistakes happen, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll learn a lot from the questionable choices of early adulthood. Some things we just have to learn the hard way, and let me tell you, your twenties will prove to be wildly educational. Thankfully, I was paying attention during those lessons, and I have a decent handle on life now. Ok, not really a decent handle, but I pay my bills on-time and all my kids are still alive, so close enough.
The years between 20 and 30 have shown me how quickly time passes. There are no guarantees, and things can change from one day to the next. It’s all about living your best life, even if it’s a bit messy. Your thirties are where you cut loose, let your hair down, and embrace who you are, unapologetically. Even if who you are is a sassy, sweatpant-wearing, hot-mess—as a non-specific, completely hypothetical example. I may look back from 40 with a completely different perspective, but for now, I’m going to enjoy every minute of being somewhere between not old and not young.