on turning 30

I turn 30 in November. I’m not upset about it, so don’t expect a woe-is-me post.

(Though, this blog contains an unfortunate number of those, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

I really don’t feel that grown up. Perhaps because I’m not making as much money as I thought I would be at this point in my life, or I’m not in the position of power that I’d like, or that we don’t have kids and a mortgage. Perhaps it’s because I had to grow up so fast, that I ignored my teens and went gung-ho into the twenties trying to prove myself professionally.

Crap, this IS starting out like a woe-is-me post. Okay, let me see if I can turn this boo-hoo ship around, folks.

I started subconsciously building this list around the beginning of the year. Call it a coping mechanism for the aging, but it’s got me thinking about the myriad of things that I’ve either started implementing, learned, or should probably have down pat before the Fall. This creeping sense of confidence is growing. I finally know what I want and what I don’t. And it seems to have morphed into the following.

I’M TOO OLD…

…FOR CHEAP SHOES. I used to buy really cute but really cheap shoes. Now my feet want to murder me and my closet is pissed. No more! Of course I’m not going to drop hundreds of dollars just for the sake of it. I’m too practical for that. But when I run into that awesome pair that I’ve just gotta have, and they’re $100, I’m paying that damn hundy and there will be no wincing about it. If I can rock them at work but kill a night out with them, too – bonus! That just makes me extra smart.

…FOR CHEAP BOOZE. I’ve been lucky to not have entered the hangover stage until only a couple of years ago. I usually just toss my cookies before bedtime and somehow I’d always wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – something my husband is deliciously jealous over. And even hangovers now don’t really hurt. I just feel sluggish. Regardless, I’ve learned that I don’t like two-buck Chuck, and cheap tequila makes my insides want to be outside. (Although wine can be a little different. I’ve stumbled upon many an under $20 bottle of wine that I enjoyed a great deal.) But when it comes to whiskey, vodka and tequila, don’t even think about going cheap on me.

…TO NOT STAND UP FOR MYSELF (PROFESSIONALLY). I used to be a mouse when it came to getting what I wanted, particularly at work. I’d never ask for raises, or better working conditions. Perhaps it’s because I’ve mostly been in the public sector where I remain very conscious about the source of my paycheck, or I’ve been in a small business where I just plain felt bad for the owner, but now, I’m over it. Not to say that the squandering has commenced. But I’ve worked hard to build skills and expertise. And dammit, I’m a really good person to have on your team. So get over the threat of hearing “no” and just ask for that raise or promotion that I keep telling myself I don’t deserve. In fact, I’ve recently done just that, and in less than a year of being in a stepping stone position that is clearly beneath me, things are about to change a great deal. All I had to do was make the appointment for coffee with one of our senior veeps. She instantly knew I had had enough, and the day before our coffee, she had a conversation with another veep and basically stole me from the dept to put me in a new position she created in her own dept. It was as if the whole time she was just waiting for me to grow a pair and ask for what I want. I’m so proud of myself right now!

…TO NOT STAND UP FOR MYSELF (PERSONALLY). When someone takes a pot-shot at me or uses me, I’m too friggin old to worry about hurting their feelings and not calling them out. You’re mean or you’re taking advantage of me, and I’m gonna let you know it’s not cool. In a calm manner of course, but it needs to be done nonetheless. Why? Because YOU’RE  to old to be like that. You know better and you should be ashamed of yourself. Hmph.

…TO BLAME MY PARENTS FOR MY SHORTCOMINGS. I read this somewhere a while ago, and it’s stuck with me since. I do still blame my mom for not instilling a sense of self-worth, confidence, and the need to be active EVERY DAY. And I blame my dad for never being there for me, and never setting me up with a good enough foundation to match that of my friends who are now lightyears ahead of me in several ways. But by the time you turn 30, you’ve had the opportunity to change your lifestyle. I need to do it and stop complaining.

…TO KEEP FAKE FRIENDS AROUND. I may have implemented this a few years ago. I got tired of having a big group of friends that were fun to hang with, but when you got them alone, the gossip train would leave the station. It made me think, if they’re talking this much nonsense about our friend, what are they saying about me? And if you tell me you love me one more time and we should hang out, but you bail on me to do something with other people because you think it’s more exciting, you’re not my true friend. Uh-buh-bye.

…TO KEEP PUSHING REAL FRIENDS AWAY. It’s so easy to “get busy” and not want to hang out. Mostly being busy is an excuse. I’ve been broke for so long, I just don’t want to go to happy hour and spend the money. And I really do work hard and enjoy having an hour or so to myself at the end of the day. I don’t want to hang out all day. Can’t you just come over for lunch and then go the hell home? Haha! And sometimes, I have so many pent up issues that I’m worried about dumping it all on them. So I push them away. But every time I reconnect with a true friend, and we pick up right where we left off, it makes my heart ache to know how many wonderful conversations and good advice I passed up because I was being cheap and lazy. YOLO, people. You have to take the experiences when you can, as they’re what will get you through in your oldness.

…TO LIE. Lying makes me feel dirty. If I make a mistake, I’ve learned to fess up. If I don’t have anything nice to say to your face, I say nothing at all. Before, if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I’d make something nice up, which is really just a big lie. Sorry, your baby is not pretty. But the new Laila will not tell you she’s beautiful. I’m instead going to go on and on about how I want to eat her little feet and hands. I want to eat all babies’ hands and feet, so it’s not a lie. Also, my mom used to lie a lot. I think it’s a persian thing that’s really considered more exaggerating than anything. But I hate it. You did not die of pain. You were just in a lot of pain on a scale of 1-10. When I was little, I was great at coming up with excuses on the spot. It got them every time! But being older and having heard a lot of lies from others, I realize that it’s just easier to fess up than try to weave a liars web. I can almost always tell when someone is making up some random excuse. You were late because a service vehicle was blocking your car this morning? Funny, I’ve thought about using that same excuse.

…TO NOT TRY FUN (AND ADMITTEDLY, WEIRD) FOODS. I’ve always been a foodie, but not overly adventurous. So I’m trying. Escargot? Yes please a few months back! Guinea pig in South America? Next time I go, bring it on. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I should try it, if nothing else, to check it off my list. Because if I’m missing out on something delicious, I’m gonna be pissed.

…TO ASSUME THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE. Why? Because you never know what people are going through. To each other, your grasses can look annoyingly green. Meanwhile, you’re both dying inside. You know that saying about how if a big group of people threw all of their problems in a pile and had to pick one back up, they would almost always pick their own up again? People go through some crazy shit. And as bad as I think it gets sometimes, I can handle it. I am luckier than I acknowledge.

… TO ASSUME THE WORST IN PEOPLE. Being in a much larger organization at work has introduced me to the vast amounts of gossip and the accelerated rate at which it spreads. No bueno. It nipped me in the heels a couple of times early on. Nothing serious. But enough for me to learn my lesson. And it also taught me that you just never know what that person is all about unless you get to know them personally. I know it looks like he doesn’t do anything all day, but I’m sure he does. I know our boss seems like a complete dimwit, but I’m sure she’s overwhelmed by her bosses. I mean, you just never know what people are going through, so ease up, jeeeeeeeze.

…TO NOT WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY. In high school and early college, I would never put on sunscreen. My ethnic skin would not burn. It would just bake into darker shades of golden brown. Yay me! Except one year the dormant dermatitis reared its ugly head. Since then, a few unprotected hours in the sun, and I break out in a rash that stays with me for months. It requires me to get rid of all my yummy-smelling products for boring-smelling ones, minimize showers, and slather on cream to subdue the itchies. I think it’s my bodies way of punishing me. But whatever it is, I have a face moisturizer with SPF, and I always load up on zinc sunscreen when I go out. Besides, I’m turning 30. I need to keep my skin supple for those lovely laughlines that will be gracing my face in 5…4….3….2…..

…TO BE ANYONE OTHER THAN MYSELF. I can’t pretend that I like your music. Or that I know all about that one show. Or that I don’t want to eat every last bite of this 1/3 lb bacon cheeseburger and polish every last french fry off my plate. Eating like a bird just ain’t my schtick. Besides, who am I trying to impress? I’m married to my bestie and I have all the friends I need. So now, I warn people if I’m dining with people for the first time, I alert them to the fact that if my food is really good, I’ll be eating the whole thing, and I jokingly ask that they not be alarmed. It’s actually been a fun icebreaker. And if there are other people at the table who would otherwise eat like a bird, you can see the anxiousness melt away from their shoulders. You can also see their entire meal disappear into their  belly. I love that. I just freed someone, if only over lunch.

“You’re only turning 30 for heaven’s sake! Quit yer wining, kid!” You exclaim, as you remove the dreaded black and silver streamers left over from the awesome bday party your friends just threw you.

You’re right. I’m only turning 30. And there are a couple of things that I’m too young for, too. So shove it, you  crotchety ol’ bastard. I’m gettin’ to them lol

I’M TOO YOUNG TO…

…BE SET IN MY WAYS. At this point in our lives, we know what we like and what we don’t. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be open to new adventures. Do I like the way I slice my avocados? Yes, yes I do. But sometimes cubing them up works better. So I’m just going to have to apply both methods depending on my desired output. Did I just redo our entire system at work. Yes. Are there tweaks that can be made? Absolutely! There’s ALWAYS room for improvement. No matter who you are, or what you’re doing. Do things. Then redo them. Now repeat.

…NOT KICK THIS SHIT UP A NOTCH. I am not dead. I don’t have regular aches and pains. I’m athletic and healthy. I need to travel, exercise, party, laugh louder, drive faster and look for a little more trouble. Okay maybe this one just applies to me. I didn’t really get too much out of my system when I was younger. Now here I am. We’re talking kids. And I still feel like I need to be one. So bring it, world.

…TO BE SITTING HERE THINKING OF MORE ITEMS FOR THIS LIST. Because it’s Saturday bitches, and as soon as hubby comes home, we’re going to have a Saturday adventure. Why? Because I’m too young to be coming up with I’m too old lists.
But just in case you have some items to add…please feel free to throw them my way : )

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