Saturday, December 03, 2011

What I've Learned in My 30 Years

In 2 days I will be 30 years old.
I've lived through 4 decades; 80s, 90s, aughts and the...what are we calling the right nows?
It's not a very long time, but it's old enough to have learned some things, seen some shit, etc.

The other day the Daily News ran a story about a fellow trentagenarian, Kirsten Dunst. I will give you the slapdash rundown (and the link if you want all the details.)
The title says "I thought I'd have ‘a lot more figured out’ with my life by the time I turn 30 " - and what she means is, "I thought I'd have a baby by now!"

Sigh.

Being a single female at 30, and being sad about not having a man and a baby, is exactly what people think we're all like.
Thanks for keeping that stereo-type going, Kirsten! Oh, and I am so sorry to hear you have skin that turns red when you touch it. Seriously, condolences.

So, in response, I'd like to share all the things that I have figured out to show that a 30 year old single woman can actually feel somewhat fulfilled - even without a baby.

Here is what I've figured out:

  • Treat people like you'd like to be treated. This will make you a horrible sales person, but a wonderful friend.
  • No one is perfect, so stop trying to strive for it. Try to always do your best, and when you fall short, learn from it.
  • Learning is important: Pay attention in school, always read all the directions, and remember these skills when someone is teaching you in the work place.
  • Remember that everyone makes mistakes, including yourself and your loved ones - heck even your casual acquaintances. While accountability is important, so is giving people slack.
  • While sex is important, sleeping with someone - actually sleeping with someone - and waking up well-rested is pretty special.
  • A good night's sleep can be better than a late night out. There will always be more parties and events. If you're feeling gross and tired, you can stay in.
  • Your health starts at sleeping well and putting good food in your body. No fast food joint has ever had your health in mind when putting together their menus. Try to make your own food as often as possible.
  • You should absolutely stay up to see the sun rise more than once in your life. And at least one of those times it should be a shock to see the sun when it rises.
  • People think you should strive to be happy - but happy is a pretty extreme emotion. I think we should all strive to be content.
  • Humans are not dogs, you can treat old humans new tricks.
  • People can change themselves - you cannot change people - you can influence, impact - but the change, that's all within the person's mind and free will.
  • Unless you have a skill I am unaware of, you cannot read people's minds. Don't ever try to speak for other people or act a certain way because you think they want you to be that way. Just think for yourself.
  • Money is important. You should know how much you have and keep yourself in check before you spend it. Make sure you're always investing in the necessities before spending it on expensive clothing, accessories and booze.
  • Necessities for human survival are: Food, Water, Shelter and seasonally appropriate clothing.
  • Spend money on comfortable shoes, not cute, trendy shoes.
  • People are all humans. CEOs, popular actors, superfulous famous people, geniuses, clowns - are all people. They poop, feel sad, ashamed, and sometimes all three at once - So, never let anyone intimidate you by thinking they're better than you. Treat everyone the same (see bullet #1 re: treating people)
  • Age is a number, but be proud that you made it to whatever age you're at.
  • Don't wait until January 31st to make resolutions
  • We spend way too much of our time thinking of how we can't achieve things. Focus on ways you can achieve your goals and you'll be more successful. Every person I know that is successful is pretty positive regarding their career, love, friends, and overall life. Negativity is only cool in gothic teen circles and bitter comedians - I've been in both. I'd rather hang with the positive people.
  • You figure out math equations, not life. Life is just something you live.
With all this said, do I wish I had a wonderful husband and darling child right now? Well, considering the men I've dated, not really (no offense dudes). I would love to have these things eventually, but I would also love a lucrative writing career and a beautiful house on the Hudson River line.
I've met people who didn't fall in love until they were 50, started a new career at 60, and have seen people raise newborns when they were in their 70s. Life happens at different paces for different people.

So, am I where I wanted to be at 30?
I didn't even think I'd make it to 30. I just kind of figured I'd be in my 20s do something stupid or have something random happen to me - I'm a little morbid that way.
I have a retirement fund that I don't think I'll ever use because I'm pretty sure I'll work forever.
Basically, I don't really think about what I will be at any age.
I think about who I am and what I can do to be better tomorrow and try and start doing it today.

But really, all I do know - is that I don't know nothin'