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To the 1994 Babies

Starting basically the minute the Times Square Ball Dropped, social media posts and memes began popping up on my timeline about my birth year—the 1994 babies—turning 30 this year. I’ve been thinking a lot about this obvious milestone birthday, but perhaps not in the dreadful way the internet might want me to. 


Out of curiosity, as I sat down to write this post, I Googled “turning 30.” I was met with articles of “30 things to do before you’re 30” and what the big day symbolizes and what happens to your physical body. There were articles people older than 30 had written about what they wish they’d have known when they turned 30. And there was lots of well meaning advice about how much money I should have saved, how many meals I should be able to cook, and what my skincare routine should look like. 


Ultimately, I think this is fine. Somewhere, I’m sure someone takes great comfort in approaching a milestone birthday and feeling like they have their metaphorical ducks in a row. But what if—and stick with me for a moment—you’re working with geese. 


When I was a little girl, 25 seemed old. I imagined at 25, I would have children and a dog(s) and a white picket fence around my idyllic home. On my 25th birthday, I had food poisoning and, a few days later upon recovering, went to the trampoline park with three of my four New York City apartment-mates. 


I’m not sure then, where I thought I’d be at 30. I suppose I thought maybe I’d look a little older or more elegant… thought that maybe, just maybe, people would stop asking me where I go to school. Maybe I thought I’d feel a little different—older, wiser, etc. Instead, I mostly just feel like me. 


I think we’ve let the culture around the milestone scare us into thinking we aren’t good enough. Or we don’t have our life together. Or that we’re not “where we’re supposed to be at 30.” 


18 didn’t look the same for all of us. Nor did 25. Why should 30 be any different?


There’s no one correct way to turn 30 this year. But there’s lots of incorrect ways. 


It’s incorrect to feel like you’re behind. “But I am!!” Behind who? It’s just you, babes. You’re in your own race. You set the pace.


It’s incorrect to feel like you have nothing going for you. “But I don’t!!” Are you sure about that? Are you really sure about that? Are you sure that something mindbogglingly amazing isn’t waiting, unseen, just around the corner?


It’s incorrect to feel like this is the end of the world. “But it is!!” Is it? Or are you just changing a 2 to a 3?


I get that change is hard and big milestones like this seem to exasperate that. But don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the woulda-shoulda-couldas. The fact is, you’re here, right now. At 29. And in a few days or weeks or months, you’ll have a birthday. 


And birthdays, at the very least, are absolutely something to celebrate. 


So eat the cake. Dance until your feet ache. Tell someone you love them. You’re going to be just fine. 




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