I just read an awesome article on the HuffPoWomen website. Written by Eudie Pak, the article is called ‘The 30-Something Female Experience: What Is It Really?’
Being a 30-something female myself, I read on, hoping to gain insight into what the next almost-decade will hold for me.
Eudie doesn’t present any direct answers, which I think would be arrogant anyhow. Instead what she does is share some answers she got from women she knows in their 30s and 40s. I liked many of these answers, although they didn’t necessarily perfectly encapsulate my experience so far. I especially liked what “rocker chick former co-worker, Margo, 47,” has to say: “she looks back at the 30s as a practice in the art of refinement — or what she proudly calls, becoming ‘top-shelf bitches.'”
It’s brilliant, that phrase. Becoming top-shelf bitches. That’s what we’re all doing, maturing into the top-shelf high-quality women we’ve always wanted to be and knew we were. At least, that’s what I’m doing.
But like I said, the article didn’t describe my thoughts exactly, so I felt the need to share my own experiences so far of becoming 30-something and moving on up towards that very appealing top shelf.
So what is my 30s female experience?
So far, my 30s have been a series of endings and beginnings. I’ve wrapped up a lot of bullshit from my 20s and started a great new chapter (sorry for the writer-pertinent cliche!) of accomplishments.
In November 2012, 13 days before my 31st birthday, I convocated, receiving my damn degree, a piece of paper that cost me somewhere around $50,000 in tuition and living costs.
I was skeptical for a while, but the $50,000 piece of paper looks freaking awesome. Oh, and I got a medal with my degree, one of two medals awarded, because I worked my ass off in school and got the highest grades in the faculty. It ain’t money, but it’s great company for the degree hanging on the wall of my home office.
Which leads me to another accomplishment–my home office. I’m self-employed, which means the only boss I have is me.
This is something I only dreamed about in my 20s as I agonized through years of hating bosses and coworkers. I don’t have to worry about that anymore unless I want to because I control my work life.
I have a great deal of freedom now. Sometimes I have so much freedom it makes me feel a little lost and a lot uncomfortable, but I will take that any day over a shitty boss. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few really great bosses and lots of great coworkers (you know who you are!), but jumping into being an entrepreneur is the best gift I’ve ever given myself.
Then there are my personal and physical accomplishments. I have finally found a partner to share my life with, someone who pushes me (way!) beyond my comfort zones and helps me be better than I ever thought I could be.
He has helped me find a great deal of self-confidence and his support is making it possible for me to set and achieve some very satisfying goals. Physically, I’ve passed that point in my 20s where I can just be fit without thinking about it. I let myself go a little and now I’m making a change to become the woman I know I am, inside and out.
I guess you could say so far my 30-something self is a bit of a mixture. I’ve taken the best bits of who I was in my 20s, polished up and modernized some other bits from even younger ages, taken habits and ideas from others and thrown them all into the mix. I will continue to identify and refine bits of me that I want to change, adding them into the whole that I am slowly creating and stirring up so that I can become that top-shelf bitch (which I interpret as top-quality woman) by the time I hit my 40s.
But hey, who knows. I could just be blowing smoke out of my ass. I’m only a few years in, after all.
There is potential for a lot of different experiences but I really feel excited to be a 30-something. I now look from inside out and know what kind of life I want to build from the ground up. Better than simply having that knowledge, I’m doing it, too. Self-employed, moving towards the self-sufficient, DIY lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of. I know my desires and dreams and now, in my 30s, I can finally put them into action. 30-something is all about me and I don’t feel a single shred of guilt about that because it means that I continue to come into my own and make myself more and more the person I want to be.
For many women this is a time where they birth new life but for me it will be a time to rebirth a renewed life.
I’ve never been afraid of getting older. I think I’ve always been old, even since I was a child, but I finally feel like my maturity finally matches where I’m at in life and I can really settle into the world I want to shape around me.
If you aren’t 30 yet, don’t be afraid. The 30s really are a bitchin’ time for you. And if you’ve passed your 30s, don’t be sad because they’ve contributed to make you the amazing person you are today. They aren’t gone, your 30s. They’re right there with you, as is that same centred, balanced confidence that I’ve begun to feel and really believe for the first time in my life.
I’m 31 and counting. Here’s to aiming for the top shelf!
*please note that all of these images were found in Google images and none of them are mine. I know that makes me a terrible person, but they’re cool so I couldn’t help it.