I went out with friends a few months ago wearing a pair of high heel shoes that I've worn several times without a problem, and had to secretly slip them off under the table to give my feet a break. My feet and legs were killing me so much that I tried to stand in one spot all night to avoid walking around, and the next day I obsessed over my inflamed pinkie toes as I swore to JESUS that I'd never wear anything but a practical shoe ever again. I was so upset, and I blamed it all on turning thirty.
I was given a big bag of scrap fabric and as I sorted through each piece, I excitedly put aside what I knew would make cute tablecloths with matching oven mitts and pot holders. I looked forward to spending the following Saturday at my sewing machine and may or may not have hoped that my husband would have plans of his own so I could be free of distractions. In that moment there was no denying that times have changed and I was in fact, turning thirty.
When I came to the realization that weekends without commitments are my favorite kind of weekends, I can no longer shop at Forever 21, and if it doesn't have SPF I'm not buying it - I knew I was turning thirty. When it dawned on me just how much I love waking up without a hangover so I can drink coffee and plan a productive day - I knew I was turning thirty. When I admitted out loud that I'd rather get a tan from working around the yard and that I'd much rather have a drink during the day so I can still get to bed at a decent hour - I knew I was turning thirty. When watching Jeopardy with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap became an anticipated part of my weeknight routine, and when it became crucial that my friends and I compared work schedules in order to find time to hang out - I knew I was turning thirty.
And of course, there was no denying it the day I bought my first pair of waist shaping underwear.
But now I am thirty.
And, I'm cool with it.
I took those ridiculous underwear off that first night I wore them. Rolled them up and stuffed them in my purse, took a deep breath and returned to the party where I could finally relax and enjoy myself. I didn't need those underwear, or anything or anyone to make me feel good about myself. I am no longer the insecure girl who worries if she looks okay in a crowd or if someone already saw her out in that dress. I am no longer the insecure girl who spends her alone time anxiety ridden, wondering what she is missing or if anyone is missing her. I turned thirty with a long list of things I love about myself and things that I am passionate about. Things that make me love to be alone like writing, reading, sewing, cooking, listening to music or simply getting lost in the peace and quiet of our country road. I even love my body. I love to treat myself with bubble-baths and face masks and hair treatments and exercise. I love that I know my strengths and weaknesses and I'm never apologetic for how I feel or what I want, even if it's extra cheese or gravy on the side or crushed Doritos on my salad.
The thing I love most about myself at thirty is that I can list all those things before listing the person I share my life with. I've learned to love myself first, which makes loving someone else and being loved that much better. I love that I'm not the same woman I was years ago, and the woman I have become is a woman I really like.