The good thing about turning 30 is that you have plenty of warning– you know it’s coming for a good long time. And let me tell you, if you don’t have babies yet, lots and lots of people spend time and energy reminding you it’s coming, just in case you’ve forgotten. So that’s nice.
Despite the long period of fair warning, I’ve only really thought a lot about turning 30 over the last year. Twenty-nine suddenly made it feel really close and all those baby warnings seemed real and important and I got kind of freaked out.
Ok. I got really freaked out.
But I got to be 29 for 12 whole months. And that’s a lot of time to get over it. Lots of things helped:
Under the Tapestry was a big one. Every time I air a Festivus-style grievance you guys are SO CRAZY supportive and it doesn’t feel so bad. I scream, “Can I get a witness?!” and you scream, “but of course!” and it’s awesome! (I talked to my therapist about it– he pinpointed validation and shared experience as the types of reassurance and support I totally crave. Thank you, therapy!)
Friends, friends, friends! Friends help– big time! And here in Marshfield I have really, really good friends ranging in age from 24 (she was 23 until the end of December… your birthday is throwing off my impressive range, Em!) to over 50 (at which point it would be unkind to share the specifics, but you must know how much I love you, M!) and everything in between. They’re all awesome. All of their lives are different. And I don’t care one iota how close or how far any single one of them is from the age of 30. I imagine the same ought to apply to me. (Side note: if I extend coverage of my friends by age range to the entire country, I can include my friend Emily who is 8. EIGHT. Oh. And she has her own blog now! It’s something else, you should totally check it out! You will be seriously impressed. She’s 8. Good grief. Can you imagine how incredible she’ll be by 30?!)
The Jeff and Kari plan. I love the way I met my friend’s Kari and Jeff. Kari’s sister is married to one of Seth’s best friends (at least so far, but a major falling out is anticipated). I adore Seth’s friend’s wife (regardless of any falling out– we’re staying friends!) and over the years I have gotten to know and adore more and more of their lovely families. Jeff and Kari didn’t start their adventure, or their rapidly growing family, until after the age of 30 and Kari is so crazy positive about it– and encouraging of me! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate that kind of support!
Time and the number 30 itself. Given all the time I’ve had to make peace with 30, I can say without a doubt that I have made it. Plus, the more I thought about it, the nicer the number 30 sounded. It’s a nice round number. Kind of seems like it wants to give me a hug… and I suspect that it will. I’m not generally much of a hugger, but I can certainly appreciate the sentiment and take comfort in the fact that the hug is only metaphorical– no actual touching necessary 😉
Did you watch Sesame Street when you were younger? I did, and I loved it. (I suspect it fueled my extreme love of all things Muppet even today…) One of my favorite little skits ever was when a guy sang “U Really Got a Hold on Me” while a big letter U hugged him over and over again (the link is to the actual skit on You Tube– it’s totally worth the watch). That’s how I’m imagining this big hug from 30– not only have I made peace with it, but I’m to the point where I think it might just be awesome.