Why I’m loving my 30s more than my 20s

by Meghan Yost

The time has come for me to add another year to my life…

However, even though I’m now almost fully entrenched in my mid-thirties (operative word ‘almost’), I have to say I don’t mind getting a bit older.

Sure, I have a few extra wrinkles on my face and some more candles on my cake (which, this year was homemade vegan chocolate and peanut butter bars made by my mom) … but in the scheme of things, that’s not so bad. In fact, it’s pretty great.

Birthdays are a time to pause and reflect on your past — how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve grown.

And I have to say, for those who are scared to enter this new decade, to me my 30s are actually better than my 20s.

Here are eight reasons why I’m loving being a tricenarian (yes, that is really a word).

1. My foundation is more intact and strong. 

This may be one of the biggest changes of my life. I met my husband when I was 29, just a few months before turning 30. Nine months later we were engaged, and then a year-and-change after that we were married. This was in stark contrast to my 20s, throughout most of which I was single. Looking back, it was fun and liberating, but at the time I always wondered when I was going to meet my match and take that next step in life. And meet my match I did. My husband and I are two peas in a proverbial pod. Now that I have him in my life, I feel at ease. There’s no worrying about the future. He’s my rock. My foundation. And I know that for the rest of our lives, we will be side-by-side (I keep him healthy with veggie-ful smoothies), which is reassuring to say the least.

2. I’m not obsessed with being a size 0.

In my 20s, I went through phases of writing down everything I ate, running five miles a day, watching every morsel I put in to my body, and asking, ‘How many Weight Watchers points are in these non-real-food highly processed chocolate brownies?” The result? I was never model skinny like some of my close girlfriends at the time … and now I realize I never will be. And that’s perfectly okay. I don’t have an hourglass figure, and probably never will. But I’m comfortable in my skin. I know how to dress my body, and if that scale doesn’t read a magic number, then oh. freaking. well. I’ve learned that what’s more important is nourishing my body with healthy food and movement (the movement part I’m currently working on improving). And you know what’s the funniest part? Letting go of my obsession over food and exercise actually helped me shed a few pounds. So now, rather than seeing my weight fluctuate between bouts of body compulsion and bouts of non restraint, it stays pretty constant.

3. I have thicker skin. 

In my 20s and when I was even younger, if I felt someone didn’t like me for whatever reason, I would fret about it. I hated the feeling. Maybe it was someone who didn’t like that I tried hard in school, or someone who didn’t like the way I worried about things. Those probably aren’t the best examples, but you get the idea. Now, I let things slide off my shoulders. You don’t like me? Cool. Maybe one day you’ll see I’m an okay person. Or maybe we’ll never see eye to eye.

4. My style is much more refined.

In my 20s, I was a sucker for Forever 21. I went there constantly, bought cheap, trendy clothes that the following week were out of style. I wasted my money and my time, and was left will little to show for it (hello donation pile) … But eventually, I learned my lesson: It’s much better to buy classic, well-made pieces that will stand the test of time. It’s also okay to not wear the short skirts and dresses that other girls your age are wearing. While nowadays I could stand to vary things up a bit at times (My mom calls me Steve Jobs because I pretty much wore the same outfit almost every weekend this summer), I know at any point when I look in my closet, I’ll find something to wear that I feel good in.

My go-to “Steve Jobs” summer outfit.

5. My career is on track.

Since graduating college, I’ve always worked in the field of news, broadcast journalism or video production, but I did jump around to several different jobs before I turned 30. While I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing — I got to do some pretty amazing stuff, meet interesting people, and travel to incredible places — I do believe it delayed me from achieving my dream job: To be a television reporter. I finally did make that leap at 31, but it felt like it was a very long road to get there. Part of that is because I sold myself short by telling myself I wasn’t good enough to do it. But the other part was that I didn’t stay in a place long enough to be given an opportunity like that. I’ve been at my current company for coming up on five years, which to me is kind of hard to believe. Yet, looking back, it’s amazing to see all that I’ve achieved in that time period … and that’s because I stayed the course (with the support of colleagues and my husband). I started out putting reports together behind the camera (shooting, writing and editing). Now, I’m still behind the camera getting the shots, and making cuts in the edit bay, but I’m also the person presenting those reports on television. Hopefully wherever my career takes me, whether it’s in this field or a completely different one, I’ve laid a strong foundation to build upon.

6. I’m not afraid to toot my own horn. 

This really pertains to work life, but I’ve learned that sometimes to you have to be your own advocate to get recognition or advance your career. Obviously, this is a fine line to walk. You don’t want to be obnoxious or come across as bragging, but I’m not afraid to say, “Hey, check out this piece I put together that I’m really proud of.” Bottom line: I know my value, and I know what I bring to the table.

7. My hair is much healthier.

I changed my hair in my 20s like I changed my clothes: Dying it blonde, red, dark brown, medium brown, black, chopping it off all the way to my shoulders, etc. etc. I think that was a reflection of me feeling a little unsettled in life … Wondering which direction I was supposed to head and where I would end up. But now I’m happy to report my hair is in much better shape. I keep the color and cut pretty consistent (albeit I do have some grays starting to peek through) and that’s just the way I like it.

8. I don’t feel bad about going to bed early. 

It’s not unusual for me to head up to bed by 8:30pm and I’m not afraid to admit that. Most of the time, I would much rather spend the night in and feel refreshed in the morning, than stay out late and feel like I could use some extra ZZZs. While I never hesitated to stay in when I was in my 20s, there were definitely times when I thought I’d be missing out if I wasn’t out on the town with friends. Now, cuddling up under a blanket with my hubs and watching Netflix is where it’s at.

Ladies and gents, what do YOU love about being in your 30s or 40s or whatever decade you’re in? Leave me a comment below!



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