Category: turning thirty


January 16th, 2014 — 9:47pm

As I write this, I’m just days away from the big 4-0. The milestone coincides with another — recently beginning my 100th journal.

I can’t help feeling more than a little reflective at the moment. And thinking about how, for all that has happened over the last decade, some things have remained the same. So I happily discovered in rereading the following journal entry. I now Open The Vault and take you back to my 30th birthday…

* * *

January 21, 2004

Dear Diary,

Well, I am officially 30. Strangely, I do feel different somehow. And, for all the fanfare that led up to today, my actual birthday is a bit quieter than I expected it would be. But that’s okay – it gives me the opportunity to reflect on what the decade I’ve just left behind has taught me.

I’ve learned a lot about letting go during my twenties – whether it was saying goodbye to people I thought would always be in my life, or accepting that, much like people, dreams change. I’ve had the chance to indulge my wanderlust time and again..I think that is why I feel the rightness of being home [in NYC] for good with every fiber of who I am.

Oprah Winfrey is fond of asking people, what do you know for sure? Life may be a sea of constant change, but here are some things I know for sure:

*Friends really are the family we choose for ourselves.

*Faith, hope and the support of those close to you will carry you through your greatest trials – but you yourself must have the strength to persevere and heal.

*Nothing is in vain as long as you learn from it.

*Death may separate you physically from the people you love—but memories live forever, keeping their spirit close to you always.

*Romance, whatever form it takes, is one of the greatest joys, period.

*To be healthy and loved is to be profoundly blessed.

And finally, with apologies for ending on a cliché—

*There really is no place like home…especially when home is the greatest city in the world.

* * *

Ten years later, I still believe all of the above to be true. And I continue to feel profoundly blessed to have the life that I do. It may be different from where I expected to be at this point, but it’s still fantastic.

I can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store for me.

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May 21st, 2011 — 4:17pm

What happens when two people are experiencing the same relationship in a completely different way? Inner emotional turmoil, as I discovered when I dated Englishman Riley seven years ago.

Riley and I had met at a speed dating event. The chemistry between us coincided with a milestone birthday that left me wondering — am I doomed to keep making the same mistakes in my love life? I now Open The Vault and take you back to 2004…

New York, NY
February 26, 2004

Dear Diary,

I feel this bizarre combination of reticence and eagerness when it comes to romance. Like my perspective has shifted since turning 30. Everyone keeps telling me I have plenty of time to find Mr. Right, but what I feel more is that time is getting away from me.

Riley truly is in a class by himself. The fact that we’re moving slowly physically is reflection of what gentleman he is. He’s a man I wouldn’t hesitate to bring home to meet my family. The feeling’s clearly mutual — I’m meeting Radley’s mom this weekend. So much for taking things slowly!

* * *

March 2, 2004

The last few times I’ve been with Riley have been just wonderful. Saturday, he showed up with a pair of earrings for me, a gift marking four weeks of dating. He’s the first guy I’ve been with who’s considered one month a milestone!

But — you knew there had to be one, right? — I still don’t think he’s my soul mate. The spark is definitely there and I enjoy Riley’s company, but something is missing for me. Though a friend of mine says it’s as simple as me not having met Mr. Right, I can’t help wondering if maybe I’m just not as ready to settle down as I would like to think I am.

Last night, Riley said so many sweet things.

“What’s not to adore about you? Do you know how crazy about you I am?”

“Good,” I replied mysteriously, to which he asked if I had anything to reciprocate. “Of course I do,” I said. I do care about him. I’m just not in love with him.

So, how wide of a berth do I give our relationship? I feel that six months is reasonable, but is it right to stay when I doubt my feelings will change? I’ve had enough of being in relationships that I know aren’t going anywhere. I’m 30 now and want to be on even emotional ground with whomever I’m dating.

* * *
Despite my doubts, I plunged ahead with my relationship with Riley — not realizing that in the process would come a very difficult lesson about love.

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November 21st, 2008 — 4:25am

Today, I overheard my colleague and friend Danielle mention that she’s just 29 days away from turning 30. Danielle wants to commemorate the final countdown by doing things you would only do in your twenties.

Thinking about 30: My 29-year-old colleague Danielle and me at a PR industry gala, January 2008

As she mused about what this might entail, I couldn’t help thinking about the popular idea that 30 is the new 20. Given the extended fountain of youth and rise of the thirty-something single woman, are there really any experiences you can only have in your twenties?

Maybe not, but I know there are many I’ve had that were best suited to that decade only. The post-graduate years are invariably a time of exploration and self-discovery, and I engaged in my fair share of both before knocking on 30’s door.

I spent my twenties as a serial monogamist, keeping no job or boyfriend for longer than a year and a half. I happily indulged my wanderlust, leaving New York four times for stints in Maine, Illinois, Delaware and, most memorably, Australia.

By the time I returned to my hometown, just a few months shy of the big 3-0, I was ready to bid farewell to my days of moving around. I embarked on a new career in PR and have worked happily at . for four years — my longest professional relationship ever.

While settling down romantically speaking has proven to be more of a challenge, I know I’m much readier to do so because of all the adventures that I enjoyed in my twenties.

I can’t wait to see how Danielle rings in her milestone birthday — and to help her celebrate a decade that, it turns out, is just as fabulous as the one she’s leaving behind.

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November 20th, 2008 — 11:25pm

Today, I overheard my colleague and friend Danielle mention that she’s just 29 days away from turning 30. Danielle wants to commemorate the final countdown by doing things you would only do in your twenties.

Thinking about 30: My 29-year-old colleague Danielle and me at a PR industry gala, January 2008

As she mused about what this might entail, I couldn’t help thinking about the popular idea that 30 is the new 20. Given the extended fountain of youth and rise of the thirty-something single woman, are there really any experiences you can only have in your twenties?

Maybe not, but I know there are many I’ve had that were best suited to that decade only. The post-graduate years are invariably a time of exploration and self-discovery, and I engaged in my fair share of both before knocking on 30’s door.

I spent my twenties as a serial monogamist, keeping no job or boyfriend for longer than a year and a half. I happily indulged my wanderlust, leaving New York four times for stints in Maine, Illinois, Delaware and, most memorably, Australia.

By the time I returned to my hometown, just a few months shy of the big 3-0, I was ready to bid farewell to my days of moving around. I embarked on a new career in PR and have worked happily at . for four years — my longest professional relationship ever.

While settling down romantically speaking has proven to be more of a challenge, I know I’m much readier to do so because of all the adventures that I enjoyed in my twenties.

I can’t wait to see how Danielle rings in her milestone birthday — and to help her celebrate a decade that, it turns out, is just as fabulous as the one she’s leaving behind.

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