Thoughts on Turning 30

It's hard to believe that I started this blog shortly before my 26th birthday. It seems like a lifetime ago. I seem like a completely different person. Reading posts and viewing pictures shows growth that is never actually tangible until it's all out there to view from start to finish. I like it.

I've been asked by nearly everyone I know how I feel about reaching 30, about leaving my twenties and becoming something that, I want to say, is more grownup. I never have an answer. Or I usually just say, "hmm, I don't really know." I understand the connotation: it's more a question of "how are you dealing with getting old(er)?"

I guess I should respond with something like frightened. Or maybe sad. But, honestly, I'm going with thankful. Yes, I'm thankful to have reached 30, to have spent thirty years with my parents love, to have had the opportunity to witness all the world has to offer and to have occasionally gone out there and taken part, to have met a partner who complements me, to have become an aunt to four amazing kiddos, and to have finally found something I can do that generates income while also feeding my soul.

There are, of course, things I wish I had done in the years leading up to this milestone. I should have saved  more, I should have spent less, I should have taken more opportunities, been out in the world instead of stuck in my little corner (hello, 22-year-old Beth), handled difficult situations better, and on and on. However, going back in time isn't a reality, so there's not much I can do except strive to do all these things moving forward. I won't say these are regrets. I've moved past the age where I let my regrets overwhelm me because there's no benefit in ruminating on something I know I could have handled better. My early twenties were terrible. I did well in college but got caught up in things and people I should have avoided from the start. I barely made it through that time, both physically and emotionally, and I can only say that I'd never choose to relive those years.

So generally, when people ask me how I feel, I honestly want to say that I'm happy about the inevitable prospect. I like thirty-year-old Beth. She's mature, isn't so self-conscience, is ready to jump into a big project and fight to get it off the ground, she's done worrying about everything, and she understands herself more than ever. And while I've made hugh improvements as a person, I still feel that my life should be led with more purpose. Less immediate gratification. More work. Less expecting things to happen. More simply. Less consumer-driven. I could go on and on. I need to work for health and happiness and living in the present, for me, right now. Those are my goals for 30 and beyond. I had dreams prior to this point of creating a great big list of 30 items before 30 and marking them off one by one. I love those lists, but just never sat myself down and did it. So instead of a list, I'm going to be more purposeful and use this written proclamation as a reminder that I need to work to get what I want and to prioritize goals that will matter when I look back 30 years from now... you know, when everyone's asking me about how I feel about turning 60.


  1. ... and believe it or not, 60 comes around quicker than you think too! Writing from my newly-50-year-old-self. I like the way you express yourself and have enjoyed your wonderful photos on Instagram for a while now. Nice Birthday photo, by the way :)

    My twenties were a lost generation to me, I was just busy doing my thing, involved in a going-nowhere relationship. I married just a month before I turned 30 and that's when I finally moved out of my parents' house. I had my daughter the next year at 31 and it's all gone super quickly since then. I can't believe I'm at 50 now, because well - I feel like I'm 30 (or younger even). Life is but a dream.

    So, I hope you continue to embrace life to the full and that you enjoy a beautiful day. Happy Birthday!
    Linda in Illinois

  2. Happy Birthday, Beth!

    It's always interesting to look back and see how we have changed. I think as we get older, we figure out what things are really important to us and what we need to do to take care of ourselves and each other.

  3. Hey, it is my birthday today as well. I'm considerably older, at 46. Gotta admit that the age doesn't matter so much. I'm in better shape and health and have a much more solid life at 46 than I did at 30. I did enjoy my 30's though. I hope your day has been and continues to be wonderful and that you plan on celebrating all through the weekend.

  4. We started our blogs almost at the same time :) It's crazy to think how much has happened to both of us since then.
    I really enjoyed reading this post, especially the parts about your new goals. Living simply and being less consumer-driven is something that strikes a chord with me at the moment.
    Wishing you lots of happiness in your 30th year!

  5. Happy birthday! You have a great attitude about life :)

  6. Happy Birthday, Beth!! From what you've written it sounds to me like you have the right attitude about getting older :) I love how your priorities are about leading a more purposeful life that is geared towards embracing work, believing in yourself, and pushing aside the materialism that seems to consume us all. Enjoy your thirties!!!

  7. Happy birthday:) Love this pice on turning 30. A far more mature reaction than I had

  8. Happy birthday, Beth! Welcome to the 30s. It's better on this side, you'll see :) I found turning 29 more scary than 30. That last year of an era - it was weird to finally have it come to an end. I just know your 30s are going to be good to you, especially with your attitude :) And don't "they" say our 30s are the new 20s? Haha! Hope you had a lovely weekend celebrating with loved ones.

  9. Happy birthday Beth. Well said, especially for such a youngin'! ;)

  10. So it's only a month after you posted this, give or take a few days, but I'm a wee bit behind in my Feedly account. Regardless, I wanted to pop by to say Happy Birthday (belatedly), and to tell you how much I love this post. Seriously. Love it.

    It has been so fun to watch your blog change and grow as you moved and started your photo business--which is crazy impressive. Best of luck to you in a new decade!


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