My birthday is today (yay!), so I’ve been unnaturally nostalgic and reflective recently. One of the things that I have been thinking about is how great it feels to be in my thirties. I’m halfway through this decade and I have to say that it is SO MUCH better than my twenties. No question about it. It’s not that I didn’t completely enjoy that time of my life, but I have to say that now I feel more confident of who I am. That’s probably one reason why I am able to write these words and stand by them.
So here is my top five list of why it’s great to be a childfree woman in her thirties, instead of a confused girl in my twenties:
- I Know Who My Real Friends Are
I was telling my friend the other day that I do not have as much of a tolerance these days for people who I don’t like very much. In the past year, I’ve gone through some transformations with my friendship circles and this also involved making some healthy boundaries with people who were not ideal friends in my life. I don’t feel that same sense of neediness that I felt in my twenties and as a result I have been attracting people into my life that are honest, straightforward and (not surprisingly) also childfree like me. I know what I appreciate in a friend and I am seeking out people who can easily fulfill that role.
- I Don’t Care About the Question, “So What Do You Do?”
What does a Comparative Literature major do out of college? You guessed it – not much! When I was in school, a lot of people asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I would almost break out into a sweat. I thought that I had to have all the answers. I wish that I had explored more back then and taken a plunge to do more internships, but alas, I was much too intimidated back then. When I graduated from college, I spent six weeks in England and then returned to a riveting three-week position as a cashier at Mervyn’s. Then came the minimum wage position as a teacher’s assistant for emotionally disturbed teenage girls where I was trained in take downs and called a bitch more than once.
Since then, I worked as a “permanent” temp at a newspaper as a typist and even got my massage license. Now that I am pursuing writing and looking for a fulfilling career path, I know that I don’t have to impress anyone else with who I am and what I did.
- I Care Less About What Other People Think
About 10 years ago, I would be extremely sensitive about what other people thought of me. I think that over time, I’ve learned to not be so attached to other people’s opinions of me. I’ve heard that you also have to develop a thick skin when you are a writer because you are putting yourself out there to the world and inevitably some of those trolls are going to rear their ugly heads. But I’m learning to take things less personally. Plus, it’s been helpful to be in a relationship with someone who also doesn’t care about what people think. His attitude has definitely been rubbing off on me.
- I Can Take Out the Garbage
Seriously, I have to let you guys know that I never did chores around the house when I was a kid growing up. We had be good Asian American students first and foremost, which meant that my mom got stuck with all the housework and we dutifully studied for our exams. All throughout my twenties, I carried this prima dona behavior and notion that someone else should do more of the chores than me. I’m glad that I have my own chores routine now (every Saturday morning) and while taking out the compost is not my favorite thing to do, at least I can make myself do it. I think it’s also a function of being a more responsible adult in general and really dealing with the smelly stuff of life.
- I Learned From My Failed Relationship
I got married at age twenty-four to the man whom I had my first kiss. Even though there were good things about our relationship, we ended up parting ways. Because I met him at nineteen, I hadn’t had much experience in the dating realm and I set out on OK Cupid the way that a voyager from the fifteenth century set out to sea in search of new lands. Now that I am with a partner with whom I share chemistry, I have learned to be more outspoken in my relationships, have more honesty and appreciate the little things. These all go a long way to having a fulfilling partnership.
So, do you like your thirties better, too?