13 Things It's Okay To Not Feel Confident About In Your 30s (Even Though Everyone Expects You To)

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I don't remember when I heard it, and I don't remember where I was, but at some point in time before I actually hit 30, I vividly remember learning that when you enter that magical decade as a woman, you know how to be confident. It was probably something on Pinterest, but that didn't mean that I wasn't taking said article as the definitive brief on what my 30s held in store for me.

In addition to almost supernatural levels of confidence, I could begin to find myself caring less and less about the opinions of others. Somewhere, just by substituting the 3 for the 2 in front of my age was supposed to unlock this powerhouse of confidence, self-assuredness, and pure "I am woman hear me roar" type of bad-assery.


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I was in for a very rude awakening of feeling insecure. See, when I turned 30, nothing changed. 31? Nothing. 32? El zip. You're getting the idea. I just recently turned 35 and was reflecting yet again on how my 30s were supposed to be this time of empowerment and confidence and fully embracing a self-actualized existence. 

It is true that there are things I care less about now that I'm in my mid-thirties. I do not care if people judge me for going home early on a Friday, or for being more excited about the arrival of my new HEPA air purifier than I am about the latest Drake album dropping.

I've definitely got a hint of "DGAF" about me, but I'm hardly the unsinkable Molly Brown when it comes to confidence, and I don't think I'm alone. To that end, I've compiled a list of things that it's totally okay to find yourself  feeling insecure, awkward, and weird about even though you are well into your 30s. 

1. Your weight 

Guess what? Just because you're in your thirties that doesn't mean that you magically have conquered a lifetime's indoctrination that you aren't thin enough, toned enough, etc.

For many women (including yours truly) your weight is something that will always be on your mind — sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. Don't believe the hype. No one expects you to have all of this magically sorted out just because you're now old enough to blame staying home on a Friday night on your age. 

2. Your looks 

Sometimes when I look in the mirror I see the most beautiful creature to ever walk on this planet. "Oh hello," I'll coo, "who made you such a perfect and rare and delicious creature?" Obviously this is mainly done inside of bathrooms with locks on the doors. 

While some days my vanity might know no bounds, other days I have to actually dramatically dodge every single mirror I encounter because I am a hideous beast. These days are lies, but they happen. Turning 30 doesn't magically replace your need for good lighting. 

3. Meeting new people 

When I was growing up, my dad told me I could only be shy until I was 18, then I had to just pretend I wasn't anymore. I took his advice and I've been pretending ever since. 

I'm now 35 and I can officially say that I still get a case of the farty-guts every time I have to introduce myself to new people. So it was, and so it will ever be, and that is fine! It is also what Gas-Ex is for. 

4. Talking on the phone 

Why anyone even does this anymore is beyond me. Technology has been so good to us! We can communicate in so many other ways, so why some people insist on this arcane method of communication where you can't see the other person and thus are constantly interrupting them, I do not know. 

Surely, it will one day kill me, and the thought of that day is near constant in my mind. 

5. Going on dates 

If you aren't nervous before you go out on a first date I want you to answer me honestly: do you also plug yourself in at night so you can recharge? The joke here is that only a robot wouldn't be nervous on a first date, juuuust in case that wasn't clear. 

6. Getting pregnant 

When you hit your 30s, everybody is going to start talking to you about your womb. Seriously, it's weird. When you hit 35 you're going to start talking to yourself about your womb.

Not sure you want kids? Definitely want kids but don't have a partner? Have other kid-related issues on your mind terrifying you? That's what being in your 30s is all about. You don't need to have your life figured out just yet anymore, and that's why we freeze our eggs.


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7. Getting married 

If I told you that I didn't wake up roughly every other day in a screaming fit induced by the thought I am never going to get married, that would be me lying to you. It's okay to be totally unsure and confidence-free about your unmarried state. Hell, that's why Jane Austen wrote books, basically. 

8. What you're doing with your life 

I have no idea. Do you? I hate you. I'm sorry, I just automatically assumed you were going to like, break down your completely sensible 5-year plan for me and I just couldn't even. 

9. Your dance moves 

Raise your hand if you still do the Elaine. There was a brief period of time where I was so sure that I had mastered the Dougie. (Spoiler alert: I had not mastered the Dougie.)

10. Your sense of style 

I used to care so much about fashion. I still kind of care, but I don't have the time energy or inclination to be trusted to prevent myself from looking homeless at all times.

It is because of this that I joined a subscription-style box service. It is because of said service that I am now very much wearing a skort. 

11. The state of your feet 

I recently went to get a pedicure. I was told that when I was in my 30s I would really inhabit this "IDGAF" attitude, and no longer tremble at the thought that the women tending to my toes were judging me. 

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Let the record show that at my last pedicure I was asked why I had waited until now to get my first pedicure. That person you see bumbling outside of the salon terrified to go in now? Yeah. That's a proud woman in her 30s. 

12. That weird rash 

When you're in high school you have to deal with acne, and keep dealing with acne, and keep dealing with it, and, if you're lucky, eventually get to a happy place with your face-skin.

The minute you get to this happy place you will begin to notice skin tags, questionable moles, and troubling rashes plaguing your body. We're just halfway through the year and I've been to the dermatologist 4 times for 4 separate maladies. 

I guess I should be rocking my skin boldly with true confidence and a righteous sort of swagger, but that's not happening. Instead, I'm embracing my inner beat poet, complete with full-coverage black turtlenecks. 

13. Your job 

At some point in their early twenties lots of my female friends buckled down professionally. They worked hard, they went back to school, they got promotions, they friggin' leaned in. 

I missed that memo. Sure I worked hard as heck, but not with any sort of grandiose ambitions for myself other than that I wanted to keep getting paid for the thing I loved to do. 

I might look like I'm at the top of game but secretly I'm one bad away from crumpling up on the floor of your local Sephora and wailing about which foundation will best cover the dulled complexion of a woman who has just realized that she forgot to plan her life. 


RELATED: 30 Life Lessons You NEED To Know Before You Turn 30


Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the love and dating advice show, Becca After Dark, on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.