It’s True. I’m 30.

This past Saturday was my birthday. The big 3-0! I was so excited about it that I completely forgot to write a blog post on Friday. I don’t know what happened! I’ve never ever totally spaced like that before. It was extra annoying since I missed the opportunity for my annual bday plea–but just FYI, it would have been: Grab your copy of MWF Seeking BFF. Or buy one for your best friend! 

As you can probably tell, I love birthdays. Thirty feels like a big one. Adult.

Glamour magazine recently came out with the book Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By The Times She’s 30. Some of them I feel good about (“A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family”) others I’m still working on (a cordless drill? really?). That such a list even exists gives me a bit of anxiety that I should have it all more together by now.

The most interesting aspects of the list, not surprisingly, are the recommendations of the friends you should have.

By the time 30 rolls around, you should have a good sense of your social network. At least according to Glamour.  Says this book, by the time you turn 30, you should…

– have one friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry

– know how to confront a friend without ruining the friendship

– know where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing

– know who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally

I think, more or less, that I know these things. I have friends that make me laugh, friends that let me cry, and plenty that do both. I’ll admit that the second of these items, the whole confrontation bit, gives me some anxiety. Turning 30 did not magically make me more comfortable with confrontation, though I’m starting to believe in its possibilities more than I have in the past.

There are plenty of other friendship lists, mostly of the “friends every woman should have” variety. Oprah Magazine published one, so did Prevention, Divine Caroline and iVillage.

Tell me, which friends should every woman have by the time she’s 30? And what friendship lessons should a 30-year-old already have learned?


Filed under The Search

26 responses to “It’s True. I’m 30.

  1. A lot of that list of friends I think will be things you’ll know subconsciously, like which friends you can trust etc.
    I reached 20 this year. Being the first of my friends to leave their teenage years I’ve now become the “Old Bastard” of the group, even though it’s only by a few months. Funny how in any friendship group everyone has an exaggerated trait/s to define themselves and others.

  2. Oh and how silly of me…


  3. Happy birthday! That Glamour book originated as a list in the back of the magazine and I loved it then and I love it now! xox

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Looking forward to the 3-0 next year, so I’m interested in what folks will say…still have some time to fill in any blanks!

  5. 30 is hard. You reflect on where you have been and where you are going. You ask yourself if you have achieved enough by now, or do you see yourself failing to accomplish what you feel you should have by this age. Just wait until 40. It’s great because you have the kinks worked out and feel like you are in a great place. All the best and happy bday.

  6. Definitely learning how to channel anger into (re)establishing boundaries for herself, which may mean addressing issues within a friendship that concern her aka ‘confronting’ (a word I avoid as well); and (re)negotiating safety for herself, as per the book ‘Calling in “The One”‘ by Katherine Woodward Thomas. A wonderful book that discusses relationships, the most important being the one you hold with yourself. Congrats on 30! And well, for me, I’m 32 and it took me an extra two years to really tackle some of these great items you have mentioned on your list. Kudos to you!


  7. I think I’ve gotten better at confrontation, but I know that the person I am usually confronting ISN’T. So that person will lie, make up an excuse, or ignore me so that he/she doesn’t have to deal with the issue. Unfortunately real life isn’t like the movies, and sometimes something silly can grow because it never gets dealt with, and people avoid each other out of fear of the issue showing itself again.

  8. Happy Birthday! I’ll be joining the 3-0 club in September.

  9. San

    Happy belated Birthday! 🙂

    Every woman should have a friend from their childhood (although I know that not all women do, which makes me sad), because like you said in your book… it was so easy to make friends back then and if you’re still friends, you have a long and intense history together that can’t be replaced by anything else.

  10. Confronting friends without losing them, now that’s a skill, but I think it’s harder for the person being confronted! It seems to me that whenever I address conflict, with the mindset to seek resolution, or even just acceptance of the situation, what I find are people who would rather run and hide than deal with anything! It’s so silly to me… people have forgotten the art of agreeing to disagree and would rather go around making comments on Facebook about how they didn’t need you anyway…

  11. Congrads on reaching this landmark – it is a time to celebrate the woman you have become. I remember 30 as a really hard time mainly because of expectations of myself and others. You have learned exactly what you have needed – trust yourself and be proudly who you are. Now at 64 I know how young 30 really is. Laugh more, worry less. Dance, sing & create the life that makes you happy.

  12. Michelle

    Happy belated birthday!! Welcome to the club. 30 has been fabulous so far and I just turned 30 in March. It’s never too late to make new friends or create great new memories with your closest girl friends! My friends and I have all created a personal list of 30 things we want to do in our thirties. 🙂 The fun continues after 30…..

  13. Janelle

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    I’m 33 and I feel better in my life than I ever have before. I have two fantastic kids (7 & 11), we bought our “final” home last year, I have a job that I enjoy (but I don’t know if it’ll last forever), I’ve been married 13 years so I’m over the dramatics of the first ten years, I have a small but close group of friends, each of them completely different from each other but I love them just the same. And I’m finally in the best shape I’ve ever been.

    The 30’s is a time to be confident, be the woman you always wanted to be. I would never want to go back to my 20’s again after living in my 30’s for three years now!

  14. Happy Belated Birthday! Thanks for this post. It is nice to hear about other women experiences of turning the BIG 3-0. I did four years ago and I threw myself a 70’s party and got a boy-cut which I revealed at the party throwing my Afro wig in the air. I was a little tipsy and very hot. I didn’t realize that I did it until I heard all of the ooos and aaaahs. I had lots of fun.

    I am reading “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By The Times She’s 30” now. I find it to have some interesting stories from some interesting people. I plan on giving a copy to my God-daughter who is graduating high school and going away to college. In the back of the book I plan on writing a note, I hope will inspire her to live life to the fullest. So far what this book as taught me, different people bring different experiences. The most valuable thing to have before 30 is lessons learned that bestow on you wisdom.

  15. I think it’s always a good idea to have a serious friend or two, to call in an emotional crisis (like discovering that your favorite jeans are a little tight), and also some fun friends for the days when you just want to throw caution to the wind, forget all your responsibilities and go to a town far away where no one will recognize you or ask you for a favor. I’ve found recently that it is also a good idea to have an I.T. friend-one who can help you set up a blog and navigate a computer. This friend encourages you to push yourself and to try new things, both personal and professional. I have also found it extremely helpful to have old friends, ones I can look back with, and ask them if I’ve always had that mole on my back or if I need to go to the doctor. Not being a mother myself, it is important to have friends who are mothers, who will remind you to eat your veggies and clean behind your ears. As many hobbies and interests you have, you need that many friends. You need friends who will be your partners in crime, and you also need friends who will help you stay on the straight and narrow.

  16. Also, at 36, I’ve decided to celebrate the joy of growing older and wiser in my blog. Happy birthday, and enjoy the new knowledge of yourself and your family and friends, and the world you live in. The 30s ROCK!

  17. Happy Birthday! I have a lot to cross off the list in the next couple of years. I think by 30, you should know what level of “wrong” is acceptable in a friendship and what will end it. Also I hope by 30 everyone’s still in touch with one highschool friend. I am 28 and closer than ever to a gf i went to hs with- she’s seen me at my worst, and been there through the last 16 years. Nothing is off limits with her.

  18. Happy Birthday, fellow Taurus! My birthday is tomorrow, and I will be 37. Which is super bizarre, but there it is. I want to tell you that my life started getting good at thirty, so I don’t know why it’s so freaky to people. I really started getting comfortable as an adult, and I understood the way the world worked a little better. Yet, I was young enough to be all excited and driven, still…now, after having a(nother) baby at 35, I’m pretty much just tired and grouchy. But I still feel like a young girl, inside, and I think that’s the way everyone is. Enjoy your life!
    PS- I have two amazing best friends, one I’ve known since I was fifteen, the other since I was 24. They get on my nerves, but they are like family to me-if I need them, they are always right there.Everyone should have one or two friends they can call and tell anything to without hesitation.

  19. Happy Birthday. I barely remember 30! My life started at 40 at which time I finally felt all grown up. That maturation process included a whole new set of friends. There are only a precious few from before that whom I have contact with on rare occasions.
    Sometimes we have to reinvent ourselves for the better. So don’t hang on too tightly if and when friends start changing or dropping like flies. Just enjoy what you had and still have, then be prepared for new and better friends!

  20. Happy birthday! I say every woman needs a friend who teaches you to let go of past grudges and let go. This woman should also have another friend who keeps track of said grudges and holds her enemies accountable. It makes for a great mix!

  21. Happy 30th! It’s the new 20 Xx

  22. Happy Belated Birthday! So much to celebrate!

  23. tm

    Wait until you get your cordless drill, you will love it. I remember when I first got mine. I spent $150, which seemed like a huge amount to pay for a tool. But I loved it. All those niggly little fix-jobs around the house were so easy to deal with now.

  24. Bethany

    just finished reading your book. i grew up a missionary kid in another country so i feel like i’ve been on this quest for a bff (near by) since i graduated in 1995!
    i have just one question for you…. did you have a big party for your 30th & invite all your new friends??! (i hope so).
    and one more thing…. i would totally hang out with you if you lived near me 🙂

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