Birthdays: Turning Thirty
Some thought on the changes a woman goes through when she hits the big three zero.
No woman looks forward to her 30th birthday. It’s a big milestone and the first negative milestone birthday because it marks the end of youth. You can no longer call yourself young after 30. There are things which, if you don’t do before you’re 30, you’re just never going to do. And if you feel like you haven’t achieved very much with your life it can make you feel like a failure.
But take heart. Turning 30 is a good thing. It’s a change but you’ll be surprised at exactly how that change feels.
The biggest single change on turning 30 is in patience. It’s not that you’ll have more or less patience but that who you have patience with will change a lot.
Within about 6 months of turning 30 I found that I had much more patience with children and old people and with anyone who through illness or disability was taking up more of my time. Basically I had far more patience with people who couldn’t help needing more patience.
With everyone else however it was a different story. I found I had less and less patience with people who should know better. I had less time for listening to my friends complain about the horrible relationship messess that they had got themselves into and were refusing to get out of. I became enraged by waiting in ques behind people who couldn’t count to nine and were incapable of packing their bags while their items were being scanned. I lost all tollerance with stupid questions and people who don’t listen.
And that lack of patience becomes meaningful when coupled with your new assertivness. Assertiveness is not the same as bossyness or shouting. It simply means saying what you mean, meaning what you say and standing your ground. It doesn’t sound like much but when coupled with a lack of patience with certain kinds of stupidity and time wasting it’s a powerful weapon.
I found that those people who were trying my patience could be told that they were trying my patience. I found that simply by opening my mouth I could releave the pressure caused by the little voice in the back of my head saying “I don’t have time for this”.
And when you do start opening your mouth and saying what you mean then you’ll find that instead of being taken for a crazed harpy with no empathy you’re suddenly a plain speaking oracle of ordinary wisdom. Well for most people but once you get past 30 you realise that there’s just no helping some people and that, on the whole, you’re better off without them in your life.
Nothing to fear
So don’t fear 30. Embrace it as the age you stop lying to yourself and others and the age when you stop taking it and start dishing it out. It’s the age when you finally know enought about yourself to know what you don’t want in your life. Even if I can’t promise that you’ll know what you do want. Maybe you have to wait till 40 for that. I’ll tell you when I get there.