Skip to content

The Turning Thirty Quiz.

November 14, 2010

So. First of all, let me apologize profusely for my absence. Apparently the interwebs are not so prevalent in rural France. Or at the flat you rent in Brussels via airbnb (highly recommend this site for finding cool places to stay while traveling). Who woulda guessed. And two, yesterday I left my 20s behind.

I’ve been thinking about this most of the day… as I head back to Paris and end my whirlwind tour of norther France/Brussels.

I feel like I should.

Everyone flips their shit when you turn 30. Simone flipped her shit when she found out it was my 30th, and not just a “regular” birthday.

So. I should have something important to say about it, right?

Ummmmmm… sure.

Well. Here’s the thing. 30 is supposed to be some milestone in your life that you define (e.g. are you happy or sad that you are 30? Have you been successful thus far – now that you are omfg30effingyearsold??) based on questions such as the following:

  1. Do you have a partner?
  2. If the answer to #1 is yes, are you married finally or still waiting on that?
  3. If the answer to #2 is “married,” how many kids do you have/are you pregnant/when are you getting pregnant? Or, if you are male and you can’t get pregnant (bummer), how big is your family/when are you planning to start a family? (….weird the differences there… for another time…)

Ummm… yeah. I think that’s it.

Do you want to know my answers?

1.) No.

2 – 3.) Not applicable (by their context here).

Pretty easy quiz, if you ask me. Unfortunately, in the eyes of society (hello every woman who reads this and thinks that doesn’t pertain to her, yet dreads her 30s):

Sorry, Nikki. Life FAIL.

I mean, seriously. Why does everyone dread their 30s? Sure, ok, I get the whole getting-older stuff. Totally on board with that. But… why do you blanche at the big 3-0?

Be honest. No one can see you. You’re in your pajamas reading blogs on the internets (or maybe you’re in your office – which means you should be working so by definition you are sure no one is watching you).

No one has to know. It’s just you and me, baby. I won’t tell. Pinkie swear.

And yet.

When I was thinking about turning 30, and looking at what that meant to me, I looked at the questions people ask of 30-year-old women. Did my answers make me sad, in some dark, lonely, cold place in my heart?

Yeah, no.

Well. To be honest? They do – in a way. Because it just reminds me of all the fucking douchesicles in the world and that the reasons I don’t have a partner (since you want to know – being all up in my biz-ness) is because (let’s have another list shall we):

  1. My standards at this point are fucking high – and guess fucking what I like them there
  2. The options I come across (and see my friends find – ohh so jealous of them) are, to say the very least, subpar and not interesting
  3. I am not interested in a relationship simply to answer Society’s questions correctly, as a grown-ass female
  4. I am not interested in a relationship because I am lonely or need body warmth/money/companionship/someone to hold my hand/an ego-stroker/friends

But. All that seems just… well, whatevs man. None of that actually defines my life to a particularly great degree. It certainly doesn’t seem relevant to my 30th birthday.

But, ok, so 30 is a decade milestone. It’s a nice place to take a look back, regardless of my issues with Society bein’ all up in my shit – wanting to know things that a) aren’t Society’s business, and b) aren’t of any serious concern.

It’s as good a reason as any to assess one’s life thus far, and the direction in which it is headed.

I have been very successful in my chosen profession. Throwing humble out the window in order to make my point, I am kicking ass in work (*ahem* this “invited lecturer” gave a great talk in Holland).

I fucking love my friends. And I don’t necessarily mean the ones close to me in actual miles. As my current FB posts will attest, those nearest and dearest to my heart have been there for fucking years and will continue to be there for fucking years – despite the physical distance our lives have created. I am beyond beyond beyond blessed to have a wealth of awesome awesome awesome people around me – who cah-learly aren’t going anywhere. Again with the humble: I take some credit for them sticking around.

I also have a wonderful wonderful family that I could not do without (but not in a non-healthy/needy/weird/gross/call-me-every-hour way).

I do what I love. I practice yoga (both on and off my mat). I get the F outside. I am getting back into photography (but my for-serious pics are on film – I can’t give it up! I’m so weird!) and horsebackriding. I love my home. I love to cook I mean eat (because I am a lazy-ass cook who can’t follow a recipe to save her life – shut up I know they’re just directions) – and I surround myself with good food. I commute to work on my bike. I LOVE TO TRAVEL!! I discuss I challenge I engage I disengage I think I speak I evaluate I re-evaluate. I wonder and dream and consider. I explore and try new things and go on adventures and fly by the seat of my pants and JUST FUCKING LIVE.

In short? I am living the life that I want. I am doing the things I want to do. Because someone dictated it to me? Because someone gave it to me? Because I have a rock on my finger and a minivan?

No. Because I created it for myself. And that, my dear friend, makes it all the more sweet and delicious.

SO. My bottom line when it comes to turning 30?

Ummm… oh yeah.


The only thing that gets me on all this? The only part that makes me feel sad?

Is how few other people (yes – women and men) actually fucking understand this.

I wish more people did. I wish more people embraced what was given to them, this day, this week, this month, this fucking life… and made it what they wanted. And realized that meeting the “right person” is a) sometimes something you have no control over (and, btw, something you should have higher standards for), and b) may not be what they actually cared about if they paid any attention to what they could actually DO about their own happiness.

“I WILL NOT LIVE AN UNLIVED LIFE. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart, until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which comes to me as seed goes on to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.”

~ Dawna Markova

… I am the girl who’s in love with the world…

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2010 12:52 pm

    I am so proud of you!! You GET IT!! From where I sit here it looks like you have a handle on who you are and what you want from life. Just adding a partner for partners sake just dosen’t seem to be your thing.

    30 is just a number after all, it’s how we feel about ourselves that matters. Are you young at heart?? Do you crave adventure? Wanderlust still nipping at your heels? Enjoy it, like you said live life to the full… Take big honking bites out of the situations that come your way, let the juices run down your neck.

    The reason that none of your friends seem to get it, I fear is because they are looking for something to complete them. You seem to be complete enough on your own, good for you!!

    • November 21, 2010 1:45 pm

      Yes yes yes! Thanks Bob! I think some of my friends get it too – but I think a LOT of other people don’t!

  2. November 14, 2010 4:33 pm

    This. Exactly.

    It’s good to be partnered, it’s good to be single. These things can occupy the SAME REALITY OMGWTFBBQ!eleventy!!11!!

    I swear, it’s like people physically feel that they are being attacked if someone isn’t living to their mold. It’s as if they believe there is a finite amount of happiness in the world and YOU’RE STEALING ALL OF THEIRS YOU HARPY!

    Also, while loose generalities about what you need to be happy exists (like, you know, food, shelter, security) beyond that, I suspect that anyone pick pick picking at you about how if you just did whatever they were doing you could be SO happy, is probably miserable. Really happy people are too busy being happy to give advice.

    Tell the miserable bastards to keep it to themselves and party on, I say!

    Happy birthday 😀

    • November 21, 2010 1:51 pm

      I completely agree that some people actually get offended when you don’t fit their mold and you’re happy about it… or maybe it’s threatened?

      Party on is right. Thank you!!!!

  3. Gilbert Lowell permalink
    November 17, 2010 9:01 pm

    Happy birthday! And … uh, Close-In-Miles-Subpar-Option-Girl does read your blog on the regz. <<>>

    • November 21, 2010 1:52 pm

      Thanks buddy!

      AND, btw, I don’t have one friend that is Sub-Par Option Girl, nor do I think DC is the only Sub Par Option out there…

      • Gilbert Lowell permalink
        November 22, 2010 8:57 am

        That’s good. In fact, if there are enough of them, perhaps there could be some sort of support group. And btw, my angle brackets up there contained the word ‘hunkering’ before it got treated as html code. I guess I should have written >>>hunkering<<<

  4. November 18, 2010 7:41 am

    Happy (belated) Birthday!
    Well, since you pinkie sweared…30 used to scare me. I turn 30 in June. Now I’m scared of 32. That’s THE age. For some reason, that’s the age that I’ve decided if I’m not married, I’m doing the baby thing on my own. Take that, Society!

    High standards are good. Since my last ex, I’ve become crazy picky when it comes to guys.

    • November 21, 2010 5:47 pm

      When you turn 32, if you want a baby – have one. Done and done. If you don’t want a baby (YET) for whatever reason (again – be honest, the reason can be you want a partner for baby or that maybe you actually don’t want a baby) don’t have one.

      I can give lots of reasons not to have a baby. For a general-good-of-the-world standpoint. Which are all easy for me to say as I don’t want a baby. Adoption, anyone?

      High standards are great. And sounds like they are working out for you! 😉

  5. November 25, 2010 1:19 am

    The fact that you wrote that second list makes me feel certain that 30 will continue to be a LIFE WIN for you. Happy birthday, Nikki!

    • November 25, 2010 12:11 pm

      Hey thanks! I hope so… so far so good, I suppose! Yay life wins!

  6. February 5, 2011 12:27 pm

    (yes – I’m commenting on a wayyy old post.. but i just discovered your blog!)

    I too turn thirty this year.. and I’m single now and I’m sure I’ll be sans man when I blow out the candles in October.

    Your reasons:
    ” My standards at this point are fucking high – and guess fucking what I like them there
    The options I come across (and see my friends find – ohh so jealous of them) are, to say the very least, subpar and not interesting”

    These are absofuckinglutely the same thoughts i have running through my mind. So many people (including my mom) say i’m too “picky” or that i need to “give him another chance,” but I know to me that means i’m just settling. If i start caring less about the things that matter most to me – if I eliminate what I want because the guys I meet don’t have them – then why the hell would i even want those people? Also, I can’t agree more to your statement about the men your friends find. I don’t know one person in a relationship I would be happy to be in. Yeah – my expectations are high, I often live in a romantic state of being – but I wouldn’t trade this single (and lately wayyyy tooo sexless life) for the miserable relationships some of my friends are in. That just doesn’t seem like fun.

    Thanks for sharing and showing me.. I’m not the only person who feels this way!

    • February 6, 2011 9:00 am

      Absolutely you’re not the only woman thinking she’s “too picky”. There are several other women blogging who feel this way too! Check out another take at The Single Filez:

      I think the bottom line is building a life that you love, learning to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. Be alone without being lonely. All these things you have control over. If you’re me, they also equate a life that I adore, but that is selfishly built around ME and no one else. I’m all for a relationship, but I’m aware that it would require me to make room in my happy lil world for another person – AND to risk my contentment with everything from normal fighting (all couples do it) to outright heartbreak. While I am a-ok with both (even the risk of heartbreak – despite how much that terrifies me), I am not willing to risk it for something I am “meh” about it.

      It just doesn’t seem worth it. VIP clubs have dress codes and social status requirements for admittance, my world has it’s own requirements. I’m not willing to lower them.

      However. I am still willing to date, get to know people, hang out… and the one thing I am missing? Reliable sex on the regular. SO my standards for a physical relationship are a bit lower – because that’s not really admittance into my world. Just my bed.

      Regardless. I feel like we put so much pressure on things that we can’t control, or that really don’t have anything to do with our own happiness (e.g. we can be happy and not have a partner). We need to let that go and deal with what we can control.

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed!

  7. Rogo permalink
    May 22, 2011 3:29 pm

    Stumbled across this post and it made me happy. I feel similarly and want to shake women who mope about being single. Unfortunately, very quickly after declaring that I would be perfectly happy to be single forever, that I’d rather be on my own than settle, and that my support system that was already in place was more than enough. . . I met someone. It’s not unfortunate that I met someone, because he’s a dream and I couldn’t be luckier, but it IS unfortunate that is has caused me to lose all credibility when I try to tell other women that they can be perfectly happy being single.

    But I still believe it–meeting someone who suits you is just a happy bonus to an already stellar life. Power to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: