Dirty 30

30th birthdays are known to be huge milestones, but I couldn’t exactly put my finger on WHAT this milestone was because the closer I got to 30, the less of a milestone it looked like. I still have friends who are in the Dirty Thirty Club who are out every night, drinking until the dawn breaks, or running out of town for every excuse of a college reunion type party. So I can’t really say that 30 feels ‘old‘ like it did when I was younger. Everyone is still out and about living their life! So for me, thirty became a time to cherish my loved ones and to learn to age well instead of a year to be afraid of.

My 20's were met with exciting firsts like my first NY apartment (29th and 5th), my first paid ‘corporate internship’ (Neiman Marcus), my first helicopter ride (and engagement!), and of course the first day of the rest of my married life (in Hawaii). With the 20's behind me, I look forward to the 30's and other firsts like first born, first word, and family first. And what better way to start that off than my last day of my 20's in Vegas with my friends, and the first day of my 30th in Maui at the Four Seasons with my husband? I could get used to 30!

And I’ll leave you with that sunscreen speech from ’99. From NY to LA, can you tell I was paying attention?! (Minus the part about not reading beauty magazines. The nerve!). Not planning a move from Cali anytime soon though, I’m starting to really dig my soft side.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live inCalifornia once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.