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a girl lives in brooklyn
As I recently turned 32, I’ve been asking what people have done for their 30th birthday. Turning 30, traditionally, has had a negative connotation. There are movie plots based on a pair of friends marrying each other if they’re still, tragically of course, still single at the age of 30. There are jokes that at 30 your life is over. Or women thinking they have to be married/have children before they turn 30. I’m grateful that in the NYC bubble I live in, there is not a negative stigma for single, childless women in their 30’s. But I know it exists.
Realistically, turning 30 is still an interesting event. The age of 30, is the first milestone age that doesn’t come with any privileges. At age 16, I was given the privilege of being able to get my driver’s permit. At age 18, I was given the numerous privileges of being a legal adult. At age 21, I was given the privilege to legally purchase alcohol. Then I turn 30 and… get nothing.
It’s a big deal birthday. People dread it. Or welcome it. There are big 30th birthday bashes. But no legal advantages. And this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of our lives. Instead of having things given to us for, simply, remaining alive. We now have to earn any future privileges. We have everything. We can do anything. There aren’t any other birthdays to look forward to. I can definitely see why some people get bummed out about it.
I was one of those who dreaded turning 30. I’m not even sure why. Leading up to my birthday, I was very nonchalant. But then the week of I became very dramatic about it. I remember the night before, I grew irrationally panicked and thought I could just not go to sleep, then I wouldn’t turn 30. Well, of course I turned 30 anyway. But I did not want a big bash. I didn’t want to celebrate me. I did want to celebrate my friends.
Instead of a big party, I spent the week of my 30th birthday having one-on-one dinners with some of my close friends. I was grateful to have these people in my life and wanted to remind myself of that. At age 30, I was surrounded by some pretty swell people.
It’s very interesting to me to hear how people spent this milestone birthday. Most stories I hear say it was “low-key” and “not a big deal.” Then some people mentioned going on a trip with friends. (Since an advantage of turning 30 is having more money than you did at age 21). I’m curious to hear other 30th birthday stories!
How did you feel about turning 30? Were you dreading it? Or celebrating it? Or neither? Did you party it up? Stay at home in your PJs?
I will say that being in your 30’s is generally better than being in your 20’s, so that is definitely something to celebrate.