Why I Love Being in My 30s

When I was younger, not even 20, someone told me that your 30s are the best years of your life. At the time, I thought it was kind of a random thing to say. Now, as someone in my late 30s, I think I can officially confirm it as true!

Like most people, I slightly dreaded turning 30 when I was in my late 20s. It seemed kind of scary to me, though looking back I’m not sure why. I guess it was just officially admitting to myself that I wasn’t super young anymore. Or maybe it was the realization that the clock was going to keep ticking, for better or for worse, my whole life. That even though I couldn’t even imagine being 30 just a few years before, that it was really happening. I was “getting old.” Of course, I say that somewhat sarcastically.

Honestly, I think my fears were pretty mild compared to some of my friends. Some people I know get truly panicked over the big 3-0.

After the birthday came and went, my whole perspective changed. I realized that not much had changed. I still had all the same options for what I could wear or do or who I could be that I had when I was 28 … the only limitations were the ones I gave myself.

I have loved my 30s and they have definitely been even better than my 20s! One thing that changed was my confidence. I don’t know what else to credit it to besides just being alive longer, but I am so much more confident than I was in my 20s. I used to have a horrible fear of public speaking, like I actually cried when giving a speech to run for class president in elementary school. And by high school I avoided all public speaking like the plague. I quit choir the first day of my freshman year when I saw you had to sing in front of the class (for, like, two seconds—haha). I remember feeling sick to my stomach anytime I had to read aloud in class.

And that type of fear continued all through my 20s. As my career progressed, I found myself in more and more situations where basic public speaking was expected of me—sometimes I did OK and was so proud, sometimes I bombed so hard I can barely even relive the stories in my mind.

But something really changed in my 30s and after some practice, lowering my expectations a bit and embracing a more lighthearted attitude, I can happily say I no longer had a major fear surrounding public speaking. In fact, the past few times I have done it I actually had fun!

Another big change is my confidence about my appearance. When I was younger, I would use tons of Photoshop and I was never happy enough with how I looked. Looking back, of course, I see that my self esteem was what needed fixing—not my appearance. I can’t change how I felt about myself all those years, but I can moving forward. It feels so good to just be OK with myself. Being older, I also feel mature enough to not compare myself to other women, at least most of the time. Nobody’s perfect! I can see now that comparison does nothing positive.

Since being over 30, I’ve come to realize how lucky I am in so many ways. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I focus more on what I do have. There is so much happiness in that simple mindset shift!

I’m not scared of turning 40! It feels so good to be free of that fear. Fearing a birthday is a really sad fear if you think about it, because that birthday will come whether you are sad or celebrating. I’m going to be celebrating EVERY birthday for the rest of my life! 🙂

I hope someone reading this post can feel good hearing from me, your “older and wiser” friend. I promise you, being in your 30s is amazing! I highly recommend it. Haha xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I can so relate! At the end of my twenties I was already less comparing myself to other people and I was more aware of my own self-worth. This continued to grow as I passed 30. I really enjoy this season of life! Honestly, I don’t understand some people want to go back to their twenties if they could. I would go back to my thirties for sure! I am still just 31 but it is serving me good so far! I really look forward what the rest of these years have to give.

  • Elsie you rock!!Thanks for this super honest post!I can totally relate…and to all 29 year old out there:listen to this power woman!Elsie is so right!!
    Have a great weekend! 🙂 Hugs from Austria!

  • I love this! I heard the exact same advice from my mom and my aunt (About how your 30s are the best times). I wish I could have read it a year or two ago as I was approaching 30. I had all the same anxiety and WHY??? It’s so silly the stigma we put on 30! Thanks again for writing this. 🙂

  • I couldn’t agree more Elsie! but you know what? If you ask me, being in the 40’s is even better 🙂 At least in my case. I’m more ME than any other time of my life, and I’m enjoying it!

    • Ditto about the 40’s being even better.
      The 30’s were “I’m being me from now on, Gonna follow my bliss”, the 40’s are “you don’t like who I am, so what?, Actually living my bliss on a daily basis”.

      So yeah, I bet if I get to my 60’s and 70’s I will be the crazy old aunt/gramma type à la Maude in Harold and Maude 😉

  • I agree, thirties are a lot of fun! My twenties were full of self-doubt, anxiety, financial worry… These things don’t just drop away with your birthday, but the years have helped me deal with them and build up more confidence and a more mature, informed approach so I can relax a little and enjoy life more without as much chaos.

  • That’s the great thing to hear. Feeling amzing. As i’m in my 20s and worried about how’ll be my 30s. But your sharing impact my mind positively.

    Thanks again for sharing this.
    God Bless.

    -Ketan
    (Writer: Monk at 25)

  • I agree with Shurei- the 40’s are even better. You just become more confident and truly stop letting negativity get to you. Look forward to it, Ladies!

  • I’m currently in my mid-/late twenties and the big 30 is quite scary… but I assume the decade following will be quite good 😉

  • I think you will rock any age you are – it is all about attitude. For me aging let me accept the “package” of who I was. It was acceptance of moving forward for me not twisting myself up to become what other people wanted. It is a privilege to age that not everyone gets.

  • So I recently turned 60 (gulp) and I have to second Amelia’s comment. I can think of so many friends who didn’t get the chance to be 60. Every age has pluses and minuses. What I struggle with now is worrying about how others look at me. (Does that make me sound like I’m 20?) Even typing this, I worry that people will put me in the ‘old lady’ box and set me on a high shelf. But I want to say also that I am smarter, more confident, and I understand myself better than ever. I still have friends from high school and there is a depth to those friendships that wasn’t possible years ago. I am really grateful to have the opportunity to experience this. Just wait. It gets better.

  • I am turning 33 this year and I am very happy with my 30s too. I am not afraid of a lot of things that used to haunt me in the past, and definitely more confident. That makes me happy!!

  • Yes! I really needed to read, ‘hear’ this. I am turning 30 next week, and to some level I am excited and to some I am scared. I fear I need to ‘grow-up’ more. But then again, what is ‘growing up’ ? I already adult hard, work, mortage, bills, responsibilities, so I guess I am grown up as I can be. 😐 I just hope I dont lose my fun, positive and child like side .

  • I agree! I celebrate every birthday and am super grateful for every one! Not all of my friends have made it this far, so it’s a privilege, not to be taken for granted! This year marks my big 4-oh 😀

  • I’m turning 30 next month and while I’m not anxious, it is making me compare where I am now with the expectations I used to have about what a 30 year old is. I’m realizing being 30 doesn’t mean you know everything 😂. I just keep reminding myself that life is a gift and it’s not worth it to stress over the things I didn’t accomplish in my 20s. I’m grateful for SO much and I’m looking forward to soaking in all of that late-30s confidence and wisdom! Thanks, Elsie.

  • glad you are enjoying it! i think the 30s were the best… i turn 41 in a month and i thought 40 would be great and it’s been ok, but MAN is it harder to get back into shape when you get out of it, wrinkles and grays are showing up more… i am realizing i am not going to go down without a fight though. 😉

  • I turned 48 a few months ago and while I do miss my 30’s (I consider 34 my “peak” year), I have rather enjoyed my 40’s. If you think you’re confident now, wait until you break 40, my dear. You’ll be even more confident because you really embrace not caring what other people think and you end up doing “just do you, boo” at an even higher level. At this point, I’m just happy to be healthy and living another year. =)

  • I love this post! I am in my early 30s and I couldn’t wait to get in my 30s, they are way better than the 20s. Plus, I love all of the yellow in these pictures, especially your jumpsuit/boilersuit. Where did you get it?

  • When I hit 30, I felt like things were finally falling into place. But I naively had no idea that things weren’t really falling into place quite yet. But once I hit 40, BAM, things really were in place. Life is such an amazing ride. The highs and even the lows. I guess this goes to show we should embrace all stages and what comes with that stage.

  • So well said Elsie!! I too feel so much more confident now then I did in my twenties, and I try not to let little things bother me as much (as you said, no one is perfect!). I just turned 40 last year and couldn’t be happier or more grateful! I have come to realize that EVERY birthday should be celebrated, because it is a privilege to grow older, something so many people don’t get to experience.

  • This is awesome! I’m 25 and have the same fear, I dread turning 30 but love reading inspiring posts like this. It sounds like you’ve gained so much confidence over the years, and that’s what I’m most looking forward to in my 30’s 🙂

    http://mylovelierdays.com

  • I love this and I feel the same way. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s and after having kids that I realized how amazing a precious life is, and each birthday should feel like a privilege. Growing older certainly is a privilege denied to many. Better to enjoy it, value yourself and live to the fullest while you still can!

  • This is so refreshing! I am 36 as well and life is so much better than in my 20s. Being wiser = much less drama on a daily basis! I know things are never perfect as they look on social media, but you are a true source of inspiration Elsie. Thank you so much for sharing that!

  • How true! I can relate 100%. We are the same age and I feel so empowered now. I look back with such disbelief in how I treated myself and how much I was in my own head.

    But now, I cannot wait for the next milestone. My mom came into her own in her 40s, and if she is any example to live by, then 40 is going to be amazing!

    Thanks for sharing yourself with us, Elsie! You are amazing!

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