30 used to seem like some crazy, abstract age when I was younger. Not totally real but always there. That age almost seemed more imaginary than anything else. Old, but out of reach. Like most young people, I was a straight up idiot. If you’ve already hit this weirdly magical number, you know why 30 is awesome.
As an elementary school kid I was simultaneously open about my interests while I also tried to sink into the background. I loved Pokemon and Harry Potter, which everyone knew. But I was also ridiculously self-conscious. So I wore my old, baggy hand-me-down clothes, read my books alone at recess, and hoped no one would look at me.
Then middle and high school hit. Other than my deep passion for anything and everything Lord of the Rings, I kept on hiding my favorite interests. Would people judge me? Think I was weird? I felt panic almost every time that I walked the halls. Which is crazy, because not only was I not at all popular, I was relatively unknown. My handful of friends were all theater nerds, so there was zero chance of them thinking I was some kind of weirdo.
But now, I don’t give a shit. And that’s because 30 is awesome.
Bring on the bikinis and shorts
Guys, do you even know how comfortable bikinis are? Like, do you know? Holy crap, why did no one tell me before. Although I admit I started wearing a bikini in my late 20s, I feel even better in one now that I’m 30. Come on kids, let’s go to the pool. Mama not only feels comfortable and ready to play, but she looks good while doing it. In the words of the hilarious and gorgeous Mindy Kaling, “WEAR A BIKINI IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A BIKINI.”
And the shorts. Oh hello sweet relief from the crazy summer heat. Yellow shorts, booty shorts, ripped shorts, sweatpant shorts, just give them all to me. Something that 30 has taught me? Don’t like my thighs, don’t look.
Get that nerd flag out
Loving the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books and movies is, let’s admit it, fairly mainstream. Ask almost any stranger what their Hogwarts house is and they’ll know (*ahem* Ravenclaw here). It was safe to throw myself out there in Halloween costumes, or at movie premieres and midnight book releases.
Now it’s all out there guys, so get ready. Wanna talk about building houses in The Sims for a couple of hours? Or we can watch anime. Talk about our favorite fanfictions. Watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse until we know every line by heart. Let’s exchange weird information about the languages we’re studying and why we still love Pokemon all these years later. Have you watched the trailer for season 4 of My Hero Academia, because we need to talk details.
No matter what you’re nerdy about, let your flag fly high.
Do what you love, not what you think you should do
Want to be a bit more active for your health? Ignore those Instagram influencers and people trying to sell you $100 workout plans. You’re 30 and life is too short to treat exercise like a punishment. Find movement that brings you joy and go with that.
And if you’re emptying out your closet of all your fun 20s clothes, stop right there. Wear your fun clothes whenever the hell you feel like it. And if those clothes don’t fit? Go on out and buy new clothes that do. Wear clothes that make you feel good and happy, whether that means opting for more conservative clothes or sticking with your favorite strappy top.
While you’re at it, stop reading those novels that reviewers are raving about that you just have to read. Unless you really want to, of course. But it’s time to go explore those genres you’ve been ignoring forever. Take a walk down the romance aisle. See what’s in the science fiction or fantasy section. You’ll probably even find something really cool on the non-fiction shelves. And go ahead, check out those YA books while you’re at it.
One more thing, let’s collectively agree to say goodbye to fad diets in our 30s. I’m done giving up food groups. And forget counting calories. We’re 30 and I’m totally over ignoring hunger cues in a desperate attempt to change my body. It’s OK that I don’t fit into my clothes from 5 years ago when I ate at an extreme calorie deficit and exercised between 2-3 hours a day. I bought new clothes, and I have more space in my life for things I really love.
I thought turning 30 would be a weird, difficult milestone in my life. Turns out that those fears were entirely misplaced because being 30 is awesome! It’s the opportunity some of us need to shed of decades of worry and anxiety and to just live free. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be busy re-reading the entire Harry Potter series while wearing my comfiest sweatpants shorts.