I think I was 23 when I read it for the first time: Glamour’s now-infamous “ 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30 .”
Well, this is excellent , I thought. With seven years to go, I already had things like “one friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry” and knowledge of “the names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.” And I had plenty of time to work toward the rest.
And with my head start, I could focus my energy on my own list of “30 before 30” goals—which included publishing a best-seller and traveling to a good 75% of the world’s countries. Obviously.
A few weeks ago, with my 30th birthday quickly approaching, I read that list again. And I panicked. How do I feel about having kids? I don’t even know how I feel about having houseplants! I’m supposed to have a cordless drill? The only tools I have to my name are a hammer and that metal thing used to put together IKEA furniture!
But of course, having a list of things you must do by 30 is more than a little bit ridiculous. Is life about checking some items off a list? No. It’s about living—in whichever way and on whatever timeline works for you.
So you know what? Today (my own 30th birthday), I’m giving you another list. For anyone who’s ever panicked about turning 30—here are the things you don’t have to have by 30. Really.
“I want to say to you that there is life and dreams and surprises after 30—and 40, and 50, and 60, and 77! Believe me, life is one long surprise.”
Photo courtesy of Temari 09 .
Adrian was The Muse’s very first employee (ask her about the early days!) who built the Muse editorial team from the ground up. Now, she serves as Editor-at-Large, launching new content products and sharing expert career advice with Muse audiences online and off. When she’s not Musing, you’ll find her planning her next dinner party or international vacation. Say hi on Twitter and Instagram.More from this Author