So one of my friends is turning 30 this week and she's feeling apprehensive.
I've tried telling her she's a spring chicken, and that birthdays are just dates and numbers really, aren't they? But she's got it in her head that it's all downhill from here.
And it's true, that for some women, turning 30 can be a milestone that many would prefer to skip over entirely.
What a waste!
Instead of mourning the alleged end of your youth, stand back and take a good luck at the situation.
A century ago, turning 30 would be akin to a mid-life crisis. Today, 30 is the start of an entirely new chapter in your life, and you are still very much young enough to embrace it all.
Plus, there's no question that you are smarter now than you were at 20. Use your wisdom to take on the next decade of your life. And keep these reminders in the back of your mind. Thirty might be the end of your twenties, but it is far from the end of your life.
Perspective: Now You Have Some
Think back to something that defined your twenties. It might have been getting turned down for your dream job, or it might have been breaking up with your serious-at-the-time boyfriend. Either way, it probably felt like the end of the world. When you are just starting life as a young adult, even relatively minor setbacks can be devastating, and you might not have understood how to deal with them. At 30, you can take setbacks in stride. Getting turned down for a promotion might spark you to apply for a new job elsewhere. You know that not getting a call back from a guy you like isn't the end of world; it's just his loss. Having an extra decade of experience gives you incredible perspective, and it can actually make you a more competent person in all areas of your life.
Insecure? Not Anymore
For many women, their twenties are a time of insecurity. You might not have felt smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough or outgoing enough over the past decade. By your thirties, however, many of the biggest insecurities should be long gone. People at this stage of life no longer make snap judgments about people based on how they look or what they wear, and you don't have to conform in the same way that you might have in the past. You can wear the outfits you love, style your hair the way that suits you and decide to pursue any profession you think is a good fit. At 30, it's time to speak up and let the world know that you are a confident, sexy woman.
You Have Friends Who Are In It For The Long Haul
Throughout the first few decades of life, many people are friends out of convenience. It's easy to be friends with the children in your classroom, and maybe you loved the girls in your university dormitory. Once you have an established life, some of those casual friends might fall away. The ones that stick around, however, are in it for good. The friends you have at 30 will be the ones that stand by your side for an entire lifetime, and knowing that these loved ones have your back is an incredible feeling to have.
You Are Building a Life
At 30, the days are done when you never planned ahead or thought about anything past your next birthday. It's time to think about saving for retirement, buying a home and taking care of your health. One of the "grown-up" decisions you'll need to make is getting health insurance coverage. Comparing private health insurance can give you a policy that fits into your budget, and it is just one way to mark the passing of your carefree twenties.
You Know What You Want — Mostly
Think about what you wanted in a man when you were twenty. Things like hair colour and bicep circumference might have topped the list back then, and there's no reason they still can't now. However, women in their thirties have a deeper understanding of what they want out of partners, relationships and life. You don't have to have things set in stone, but it's nice to have real goals that you can work towards.
Instead of acting like your 30th birthday is a funeral for your youth, throw a party. Celebrate the passing of one era and the entry into a decade full of confidence, security and love.
Have you ever had a birthday that scared you?