Last year I did a seven day countdown to turning thirty. My life centered around becoming "a woman in her thirties." This was both positive and negative. On one hand, I had a great boyfriend, it was summer, my best friend and I hung out at the pool all the time. On the other hand, I was thirty. I would never be "in my twenties" again. I wasn't expecting my mixed feelings on this. I thought I would be sad, but actually I was quite happy to leave my twenties behind.
Thirty has been an interesting year. I learned a lot about myself and about what I want at this time in my life. A lot changed for me in terms of my writing career (the fact, even, that I can almost legitimately call it a writing 'career') and my philosophy as a teacher. I began to stand up for myself more against people I knew were trying to take advantage of me, some of whom have been able to do so for years because I never stopped them. Finally, I discovered truly that though I love my friends dearly, I am able to stand on my own. I always used to say that, but never believed it. My friends became complements, not crutches.
I started taking care of my body at thirty. All of the warnings for women about health concerns that begin in the thirties sort of hit me in the face with my blood pressure and I suddenly realized that running wasn't really as hard as I thought it was. Smoking wasn't as fun as it used to be. It became very important for me to become healthy.
So all in all, turning thirty-one isn't that big of a deal, except that I'm closing out a year of learning...some very hard lessons but all very good ones.