Fifteen things you should KNOW by the time you're 30—still six years late

The second half of the iconic Glamour list, snarky comments and all. (See the previous post for the first half...)

By age 30, you should know:
  1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

    I think I have this figured out. The relationship that I'm in is exciting, and comforting, and filled with discovery—and emphatically NOT joined-at-the-hip, giving me enough valuable alone time to remember who I am and what I hold dear.
  2. How you feel about having kids.

    Well, I know I feel ambivalent. This bears a more in-depth post, I think, but I've pretty much come to peace with the idea that whatever family I have in the future may not be mine, genetically. That makes me a little sad, but it isn't the devastating realization it might be to other people. Families take lots of different forms, and they're all rewarding in their own ways. I do know, though, that I'd like a family of some sort—whether that's biological, adopted, blended, whatever, it's something I think is important.
  3. How to quit a job, break up with a man and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

    Working on it. It's strange to talk about blessings when it comes to break-ups, but one of the enduring blessings in my life is that Paul and I are still friends. It hasn't always been easy, but we've managed, and I'm grateful. Confronting friends, now—that's a totally different thing. If there's one thing I'd like to work on, it's my ability to a) feel anger and b) do something constructive about it. Work in progress, work in progress!
  4. When to try harder and when to walk away.

    I'll try and try and try and try and try. Walking away is very difficult for me—but when I do, it tends to be a complete and total break.
  5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.

    Haven't really practiced this one too much, frankly.
  6. The names of: the secretary of state, your great-grandmother and the best tailor in town.
    Hillary Clinton. Anne Morgan. (Wait--I have four great-grandmothers. The other ones are, I think, Rose Ella Wood, Cecilia Bolinski and...oh dear. Something...Schumacher. Huh.) And the best tailor in town is whoever can hem my jeans on seriously short notice.
  7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.

    I do like to, and I'm pretty good at it. The cat helps, admittedly.
  8. How to take control of your own birthday.

    Finally! And the best birthday celebrations are the ones that extend for, like, a week. And involve a bunch of different people at a bunch of different times doing a bunch of different things.
  9. That you can’t change the length of your calves, the width of your hips or the nature of your parents.

    Believe it or not, I like all these things, so I'm not interested in changing them. But along the lines of "accept what you can't change," I know I'm never going to have normal teeth, my chin is always going to look like a knob of balled-up Silly Putty, and my nose is always going to have a bump in it—but I like all those things too.
  10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

    My childhood was good, actually—the usual "I didn't get enough attention" older child woes, certainly, but I'm a happy, functioning adult now because my parents did a good job.
  11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

    Heh. Heh heh. All sorts of inappropriate comments spring to mind.
  12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.

    True enough. Fortunately, I haven't had to learn this lesson from personal experience.
  13. Who you can trust, who you can’t and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

    I trust just about everybody. This may be a weak spot.
  14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

    Yes, I've learned how to do that. Or, rather, I apologize, then catch myself. Getting there...
  15. Why they say life begins at 30.

    Well, this is dumb. Life—that is, the choices I make that shape the way my days are spent—began a long time ago. I have, though, just recently begun to revel in my freedom to make the choices that are best for me.
 That's all, folks. When they say "life begins at 30," what does that mean to you? Ignore the arbitrary number if you like—what does a beginning life look like?


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