• Wed, Mar 7 2012

Chasing Thirty: What I Want To Leave Behind In My Twenties

Andrea is on a quest to check off a bucket list of items in her 29th year. You can read more about her adventures at her blog, Thirty-Things.

Hello darling Gloss readers!

I hope that those of you who’ve been following along on Fridays have been enjoying my novel. As you may have noticed, my Chasing Thirty column has lapsed in the past few months. Truth be told, I got blessedly busy with dance, travel and my awesome job. More on why the list was still a big win even though it remains uncompleted later.
Oh how the time flies though and here we are a month away from my big 3-0 and I thought I would celebrate by reviving the Chasing Thirty column for a few weeks.

In case your unfamiliar with my project, I had a list of things I wanted to do before I turned thirty with the idea that while thirty isn’t exactly the great gateway into adulthood and the official end of fun forever, there are some things that are much easier to do while you’re young and fancy free so why not seize the day and do them now? The way that the list shifted my perspective was pretty life-altering, and it’s made me think hard about what I want my life to be like going forward and what I don’t want to drag into the next decade of life with me. Here are four big ones.
Body issues
Did you ever think about what you might accomplish if you spent all the time and energy you’ve spent fretting about your weight working on something else? Maybe it’s never been a big issue for you but I’m fairly certain I could have built a house or learned to play the violin or something. I got back in tip-top shape this past year and have also worked on cutting the massive emotional ties I’ve had to my weight since my teenage years, because no grown-ass woman should spend as much time as I have fretting about something that is ultimately superficial. None of the things I hope to contribute to society are going to be affected by a few pounds. Period.
Lame Dudes
Whenever I have the occasion to listen to people in their early twenties talk about dating, it reminds me how glad I am to be the age I am because sweet Jesus, did I put up with a lot of bullshit dudes for the better part of my twenties. Even though some of them grow up to be perfectly lovely men later on, guys in their twenties can be a really specific breed of awful to date as they are in the midst of trying to find themselves. In my thirties, I look forward to exclusively spending time with grown-up men who show up on time, are comfortable making plans in advance and are able to have a conversation, even a difficult one, without resorting to text messaging or fleeing the scene.
Obsolete Friends
It’s really easy as a young woman to hold onto certain friends too long out of convenience or sentimentality but once you are a busy woman with a lot to do, at some point you need to back away from people who really aren’t bringing much into your life, especially the variety of whom make you feel like crap every time you see them. It’s amazing how guilty one can feel about this, but most people are only meant to be in your life for a season and trying to make every friendship a lifelong one is kind of like marrying the wrong person: just because you had that one great summer together doesn’t mean you should tie your life up with theirs permanently.

Constantly Worrying About the Future
When you’re first out of college, you are constantly being told that your whole future is ahead of you, which can frankly be sort of terrifying. The deep sense of discomfort that this creates motivates you to move beyond the crappy jobs, awful apartments and deadbeat boyfriends but it can feel pretty oppressive at times, especially if you live in a place like New York where you always feel your peers will leave you in the dust if you relax for even a moment. As I look back on my first decade as an adult, I realize that many of the big changes were initiated by things I hadn’t really planned on and that it was more important to be prepared and adaptable than it was to stick with a stringent vision of what I thought my life would look like. At thirty I feel like I’m more comfortable working hard and making ambitious plans but accepting that ultimately, the chips fall where they fall.

What do you want to leave behind?

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