30 is the New 20

By Nina Hajian

When a girl turns 21 she automatically feels a sense of empowerment. Not only can she can legally drink, but now she can also go to bars and clubs to really see what her options are. I remember getting drunk with my friends at 21. We would flirt with older guys and chain smoke cigarettes. We were 21!  Thinking about our skin and health wasn’t a priority at that time (or that we were going to look like that forever).

And from time to time our conversations would turn away from who was being a bitch at work or what guy recently broke our hearts to what life was going to be like at 30..  30 seemed so old back then! I used to think that by 30 I would be living in New York City, married or close to it, and hosting TRL. Back then I was gunning for Carson Daly’s job!

Now, I’m at the age of 30… and only one of those things is close to true.

I am no where close to getting married, BUT I do host a morning radio show on NOW 100.5 which is kind of like working at MTV? Ok it’s a stretch, but I’m close to music and I talk for a living (and I love it!).

The most surprising part about being 30 is learning that no matter how much you plan, life will throw you curve balls.

Consider my move to Sacramento. I love living here, but I never planned this or fantasized about it for no other reason then I just didn’t.  Now that I’m here it all makes sense. Do you ever think about why things happen the way they do?  You can trip yourself out if you take too much time contemplating, but I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason.” A less “mature” Nina understood that saying but would still always try to take matters into her own hands. The best lesson I’ve learned going into 30 is that the only thing you can control is how you react to any given situation.

Within the first weeks of my new age, I  faced some disappointment…

When it comes to matters of the heart, self-control is extremely difficult especially when you are an emotionally-driven individual like myself. I’ll admit it, I made a rookie mistake – I trusted someone too soon with my heart before they earned it.

I’ve dated a lot in my day (and over the past year that I’ve lived in Sacramento).  There hasn’t been anyone serious, but I have been having a blast!  And then “out of nowhere,” a guy genuinely gets my attention for the first time in years, so I figured what the hell? I’m all in!

This is where the life experience of a 30-year-old is supposed to kick in.

I should have been more cautious, but it felt right. I didn’t go “crazy girl” on him when he pulled away – I realized instead that I just have to move forward. Yes, I’m sad (and maaaaaybe cried a little bit), but I know I’m not the problem.  I can’t control the choices he makes – only how I react to the less then desirable news that it’s not going to happen.

And I’m not having a pitty party like I used to wondering what’s wrong with me? I’m FABULOUS!  Like most, once upon a time I struggled with self-esteem, but now I can honestly say I like who I am and the skin that I’m in, and it has taken me YEARS to feel that way.

I think this is because as we get older, the pressures of finding someone to spend our lives with gets a bit more intense. My fridge is covered with “Save the Dates” and pictures of my friends’ children. It makes me happy to see the people I love follow their hearts and make babies, but it also freaks me out!

I want it for myself one day, but I don’t feel like I’m in any rush. For the time being, I’m in the “can’t keep a man to save my life” category, which is partially because I’m such a career-driven woman.  I keep busy with work, but I find myself thinking about finding “the one” more and more. Is my biological clock ticking already? Is this a subconscious thing or part of the natural progression of life??

Anyways, I’ve only been 30 for a couple of weeks, but not too much has changed. When people ask me what it’s like I say, “It’s awesome!”  Because we put so much pressure on this birthday, I think a new sense of confidence comes with it. It is the age to take control of your life, decisions and actions.  It doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop having fun – it just means you know (at least better) what you like and what you don’t so you can live life accordingly.

With all this knowledge, it’s like a better version of 20! Knowing who you are or at least having a better understanding of who you are is powerful! Personally, I’ve been chasing a dream that I used to think I would have fully achieved by 30. I may not be all the way there yet, but I’m proud and thankful for all that I’ve accomplished thus far. Now, more then ever, I feel prepared with the tools that I need to make the rest of this dream come true.

For now I will embrace my new age. I will still make out with cute boys and not expect them to call. I will work my booty off, save my money, and focus on doing me.  As a single 30-something, I believe that is the most important thing you can do for yourself.

Bottom line? 30 is the new 20, but better!

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