And boy, did they deliver.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm Andrea Zimmerman, an editor at this very site you're currently reading. (Have a story idea? Pitch me! firstname.lastname@example.org #shameless). I'm also turning 30 on Monday.
I don't have very strong feelings either way about this fact — I'm not super-stoked to be saying sayonara to my 20s, which were extraordinarily exciting and fun and sometimes hard but mostly fun, and gosh, I don't know, how the hell do you sum up an entire decade in a few words? (You don't.)
But I'm also not rocking back and forth in trepidation at the thought of being "old," mostly because 30 isn't old and because age is what you make of it, right? (I fear that's untrue, but it sounds good anyway, doesn't it?)
Anyway, in lieu of baths of kittens and all the sour gummi worms in the world (both excellent, immediate-gratification gifts), I decided to ask the very intelligent folks I work with to give me something even better: advice. (I have conveniently yet to tell them I'm terrible at taking at advice until this moment, so ... surprise! Thank you for participating!)
Specifically, I asked them for advice about about how to own my 30s. (Interestingly, nobody told me: Girl, you don't need any, YOU ARE KILLING IT AND ALSO I THOUGHT YOU WERE ONLY 26, which is what I was waiting to hear, but I digress.)
Enjoy the gems of life advice and wisdom, and please send me felines in the mail ASAP.
1. Understand your inherent worth.
"Your 20s may have been your proving-ground years. Understanding your inherent worth will enable you to stand tall in every situation and to raise your standards with men, with bosses and even with your mother-in-law. When you truly recognize that you are SOMEBODY, so will everyone else.
You won't squirm and apologize when asking for a raise. You'll no longer accept half-hearted text messages from some boyfriend adjacent. You won't be afraid to tell your somewhat narcissistic friend that she's full of herself and you're done. Understanding your true value and worth will set you free from time-sucking so-called friends, events, loser boyfriends and even jobs.
You'll no longer take action in your life from a place of fear, but from a place of faith in knowing that you are worthy of the raise, the better boyfriend, the respect or whatever it is — you are worthy." — Sonja Warfield
2. Give less f*cks.
"Give less f*cks about what other people think of you. Your 30s are all about owning your identity. — Sarah Fader
3. This is the decade when your life starts to come together — embrace it!
"A lot of people have a little freak-out when they turn 30 when they should really be giddy with excitement. This is the decade where it all starts to come together. The lessons you learned in your 20s help you to settle into your skin more comfortably, your job becomes more of a career, your relationships get fuller, and you start to not only find your place in the world, but own it. Instead of being afraid of getting older, be excited you're now entering the best chapter of your life thus far." — Brenda Della Casa
4. Invest in good under-eye cream.
"Your 30s are so much better than your 20s! No, seriously. You've settled down; you know who you are; you don't make stupid decisions anymore just because you can. You've picked your friends to stay in touch with from college and high school, and you know who isn't worth your time. Just buy some good under-eye cream." — Elizabeth Broadbent
5. Get your freeeeak on.
"My husband turns 30 in a month and he's pushing hard for the fact that your 30s are the perfect time to embrace more threesomes. *wink*" — Anonymous
6. Stop giving a sh*t about Facebook.
"It's a social network, not real life. Don't freak out if someone de-friends you. Be an adult and ask them if everything is OK instead of assuming they hate you now. Oh, and also, if you have friends from years ago that you don't talk to anymore, reach out and say hello. It might be awkward at first, but rekindling friendships will keep away a lot of loneliness people experience in their 30s." — Jennifer Billock
7. Be the version of yourself you fantasize about.
"As someone who is past my 30s, I would love to look back on my younger self and tell her to stop giving in to feeling overwhelmed. Every endeavor presented to me in my 30s — getting married, having kids, career, buying a house, overall busy-ness — they have all at times left me feeling like I can't do one more thing.
But in reality, not only did I do one more — I excelled at doing more than I ever imagined. You can be the version of yourself that you fantasize about IF you don't give into the sense that you can't fit one more thing in. You can. Also, never ever say no to fun. Life is long and there's NEVER enough fun. Do. It. All." — Melanie Gorman
8. Answer the 3 AM phone call.
"Unless it's from an ex or some other garden-variety weirdo, always answer the the 3 AM phone call. It gets harder the older you get, but more worth it. It could be someone who desperately needs your help, it could be a phenomenally funny story, or it could lead to you getting out of bed and making an incredibly, if foggy, memory." — Tom Miller
9. Save your damn money.
"Let's be honest, your 20s were about partying like a responsible college student; therefore, you probably didn't save anything. Retirement, private school tuition, a good nanny, a good marriage counselor, and vintage Chloe bags are all in your future. So put some money away now to ensure you can do the things you need to do later. And yes, you do need the Chloe bag!" — Sonja Warfield
10. Have Pedialyte available — the hangovers only get worse.
"I'm not 30 yet, but from someone reaching her quarter life crisis, remember that nothing is more important than your health, mental and physical. If something you're doing is breaking you down, stop doing it and try something else. Oh, and always have some Pedialyte available — the hangovers are only gonna get worse." — Michelle Spollen
11. Don't feel pressured to fit into a cookie-cutter mold.
"I know it sounds cliché, but it's hard to ignore your family's expectations and society's expectations, especially when you've been conditioned to believe them. Want a baby? Have one. Want a house? Buy one. Want to travel the world. Do it. And do it alone if that's where you find yourself." — Kim Hays
12. Listen to your authentic self.
"If you haven't already, learn to listen to your authentic self. Take time to meditate, pray — whatever it takes to get in touch with your 'knower'. Life is so much more enjoyable when you know who you are!" — Dorothy Camp
13. Talk to yourself like you're someone you love.
"I could be kind, generous, compassionate and loving to others, but when it came to me, I was underneath the bottom of the totem pole. Took me a long, long, long time to get that one." — Deb Swann
14. Say what's on your mind.
"For me, 30 is f*cking easy. Life seems clearer and I feel like I finally know a little bit about a little bit. I'm not so chaotic. Let your instincts guide you. Every time I go against my own because I'm scared or lazy (mostly lazy), sh*t blows up. Say what's on your mind and you'll thrive, sister." — Mary Rose Mielcarek
15. Repair your family feuds.
"In your 30s you really need to get your sh*t together in regards to your family of origin. If you have a longstanding issue with one or both of your parents, work through it, confront it, and deal with it, because in your 40s they will age substantially and the opportunity for confrontation may not be available. Plus, whatever you don't work out with them you'll carry into all your other relationships, including your own parenting." — Sonja Warfield
16. Don't question the confidence you've gained as you grow older — you've earned it!
There's power in knowing who you are and what you want from life. That confidence will be your constant source of strength and will see you through life's greatest joys and challenges, most of which are yet to come. And never, never allow another person to undermine that strength. Own it, and use it to stay true to who you are, always." — June Grace
17. Do NOT panic about getting married.
"When I hit 30, I panicked. I thought it was over for me. I missed red flags, and I got married and divorced. There's no expiration date as to when you could meet the right one, so chill out." — Laura Lifshitz
18. Appreciate your body; you look the best you ever have!
You're probably also more confident than your twenties. That said, don't post on Facebook in your undies and bra, please. Save those photos for someone dying to have them." — Laura Lifshitz
19. Travel before you make a kid.
"Assuming you want to make a kid." — Laura Lifshitz
20. Stop forward-thinking!
"Every age has something wonderful about it, and the key isn't to look backwards or even forwards — it's to enjoy the now. I was always so busy lamenting the age I used to be that I didn't fully appreciate the age I was." — Christine Schoenwald
21. Take the parking brake off.
"Something happened in me when I turned 30 when I sort of realized, 'Holy sh*t! I really AM getting older!" I immediately took the parking brake off my life and dove into all the little things I'd been putting off for one reason or another. I chopped off all my thick, long hair. I got a tattoo. I started wearing an anklet and watching movies, reading books, listening to albums I'd never gotten around to. JUMP IN. Do all the things you've wanted to but thought were too silly, self-serving, or socially unacceptable. It's the best prep you can do to set yourself up for the Dirty Thirties."" — Liz Pardue Schultz
22. Bury the hatchet.
"I got in touch with almost every single person who ever hurt me from my past in a wild attempt to bury every hatchet. Not all of it was great (I don't recommend doing that hatchet-burying thing to the extent I did, for example. People I hadn't seen in 20 years didn't need to know that I'd mentioned them in therapy for a decade), but this sustained feeling of no longer being trapped by fear of failure or embarrassment was worth all the missteps. I've spent the three years since without any regret of my past and far less anxiety about making mistakes in the future." — Liz Pardue Schultz
23. Give other people advice — you're old enough that people trust you now!
"Your 30s are great because you suddenly realize that you have enough accumulated knowledge to start sharing what you know with other people. Nobody wants to hear advice from people in their 20s, because that's too soon to figure everything out. Somewhere along the way, 40 became the peak after which everything else falls apart, so advice from people in their late 30s is really ideal, because they've figured everything out just in the nick of time, which feels exciting! Enjoy your blissful crossover decade of culturally relevant, hard-earned wisdom!" — Jesse Costello
24. Free yourself from that constant inner-monologue that held you hostage in your 20s.
You know the one: "Am I pretty? Am I pretty? AM I PRETTY?!" Once you turn 30, it doesn't matter anymore. You don't give a fuck and you become so much hotter for it. Dating is fun, because you probably have some money now and you know who you are. You'll be super-horny and ready to let go and have amazing sex. And by the time you're in your late 30s, you'll be excited to turn 40 because that's when you get your private meeting with Oprah, who whispers all the secrets of womanhood in your ear, ushering in your true power." - Carolyn Castiglia
25. Love yourself enough to admit when something isn't working for you.
"We work so hard to build our perfect lives that when we reach our goals (marriage, career, etc.) we feel obligated to stick with them, even when they don't make us happy. This is a mistake. Love yourself enough to admit when something isn't working for you. Don't give up easily, but also, don't try to force something to work when it just doesn't. You can choose again. Start again. Try again. Life is too short not to live it honestly." — Cris Gladly