This is what 30 looks like.

Take a look at the picture below. It’s of me, of course. Can you guess when it was taken? If you followed me on Twitter roughly six months ago, you’d know.

Yes, this was taken on my 30th birthday. I am a living example of not looking my age.

Yes, this was taken on my 30th birthday. I am a living example of not looking my age.

Look. I’ve struggled all my life with the fact I look years younger than my age. It bothered me immensely in my early 20s. I was kicked out of a bar at 22 because a bouncer didn’t think my ID was real. The waitstaff at an Applebees in Indiana couldn’t believe my age when I told them my age a few years ago. I’m still carded all the time and I’m still a teensy bit nervous they won’t believe my age.

One of the first times I was carded after my 30th birthday, the cashier at the grocery store exclaimed loudly, “Wow, you’re 30?? I would have NEVER guessed!”. I let this bother me so much, because clearly, I must be doing something wrong if people can’t guess my age!

. . . . .

When I was younger, I actually did wonder if I was going about things the wrong way. I’ve never worn a lot of makeup and I spend very little time on my hair every morning. I spent a lot of my early 20s wearing polyester bowling shirts and corderoy bell bottoms. I own both a pi and an Evernote t-shirt. I wonder if my looking younger than I do has to do more with the fact that I don’t dress or act the way a ‘typical’ 30 year old acts. But what is ‘typical’, anyway? I don’t believe it truly exists.

What I look like all dressed up, with hair and makeup. Big difference.

What I look like all dressed up, with hair and makeup. Big difference.

I’ve never believed in acting or looking a certain way because of age. I’ve bucked the trend of ‘college – job – marriage – house – kids’. Many, many people I graduated with from high school have children, or own a house, or are married. I tried the marriage thing once, years and years ago, and it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t too down with the house thing, either; yard and lawn maintenance proved to be too much of a hassle.

Actually, I take that back. I spent a tiny bit of time in my late twenties, after my divorce was finalized, thinking it impossible to find another partner again. I figured, at 27, all the good ones were taken. At 27! I clearly needed more time on my own before I even thought down those lines.

This is what I looked like at 27. Don't all divorcees look like this?

This is what I looked like at 27. Don’t all divorcees look like this?

I see people all around me thinking they need to be at a certain place in live because of how many years they’ve been on this planet. There isn’t a magical number for everyone. Everyone moves at their own place. Just because Person X bought a house at 24 doesn’t mean you’re a loser for not having the money to buy one at 27. Going back to college to get a degree in something you love, in your 30s, doesn’t make you less of a person.

And, being single at 27 isn’t the end of the world. Being single anytime isn’t the end of the world!

I am 30 years old. I don’t own a house, have children, and am not married. I do have a wonderful boyfriend, awesome friends, and a great job. I also have zero credit card debt. I appreciate all that I have and know my life travels at a different pace than those around me, and that’s okay. I have my goals, wants, and needs.

It’s okay to be where you are right now, I promise.

4 thoughts on “This is what 30 looks like.”

  1. Carrie Schubert

    It’s so much this ‘American’ culture that people think they are supposed to have done x, y and z by a certain age. I don’t think you necessarily see that as much in other places. It SHOULD be that if you want to have a house or kids at x age, good for you. If you’d rather travel or get a new car every year or whittle your money away you should feel free to do so. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone else, who cares? 

    1. Good point! I’d say it’s definitely more of an American thing. I’ve noticed a lot more people in other countries live at home with their parents for much longer than Americans do; it’s not bad, just different! It’s just funny sometimes thinking about the pressure to do things the so-called ‘right’ way in this country or else you’re some sort of freak of nature.

  2. starlakitty

    i am SO GLAD that you wrote this b/c this is something i have been struggling with for some time and i have such a hard time of letting go of “pattern.”  i got married when i was 25 and now it’s house & baby are next on my mind. i need to remember that it’s ok that things just happen when it’s the right time. :)  

    1. I was totally thinking of you when I wrote this! I think you are doing an awesome job paying off debt; so many people in this country can’t say they are debt free so it’s impressive you are working toward it!

      It is hard not to compare yourself to others around you. It’s something I do a lot, but it’s also something I’m working on. I think you are awesome and are making something for yourself!

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