I’ve mentioned in previous articles that I wouldn’t trade my 30s for my 20s for all the silk in China, but this year in particular I’m really leaning into my age and enjoying it in a way that is wildly unexpected. Maybe it’s the Martha Stewart effect – I mean, who had on their bingo card that 2023 would be the year Martha Stewart became an 81-year-old Sports Illustrated sex symbol – but I truly have never felt more confident and accepting of myself from the inside out. I always anticipated at this time in my life I would be kicking and screaming my way towards 40, desperately clinging to the excitement and adventure of my 20s. Instead, while I’m certainly not wanting to speed up the process, I am enjoying every second of the very comfortable ride. I may not be aging gracefully, per se, but I’m certainly aging with ease.
I really hate how much aging is demonized for women. Young ladies in their teens and 20s are never told all the wonderful things that accompany maturing year after year. Instead, they’re fed a nonstop barrage of horror stories about what will happen if they don’t hurry up and do all the things they’re “supposed” to do, before it’s “too late,” creating an atmosphere of anxiety and pressure that only completely destroys the opportunity to enjoy these years of being young, pretty and carefree. As soon as they collect a diploma and step off the stage they’re being pressured to find someone to marry and start trying to get pregnant “before it’s too late.” To this day, if a woman is over the age of 35, her pregnancy is categorized as “geriatric.” What a disgusting and antiquated way of describing what should be a very beautiful life milestone.
We’re told we must freeze our eggs by 35, because “what if you change your mind about children and it’s too late?” We’re told we have to find a husband while we’re young and attractive because “once you turn 30 it’s all downhill for your looks.” We’re told menopause is the end of our womanhood, that we will “dry up,” and that it’s a painful, excruciating, unbearable experience that lasts years on end, and waiting on the other side is a bed at the nursing home. Better hope you have kids so you’ll have someone to take care of you!
The truth is, these are all complete lies, perpetuated by the media, the beauty industry, and generations of very insecure women and very stupid men. In reality, your teens and 20s are sort of a nightmare, and you don’t really begin to even figure out who you are until AT LEAST 30. During those years, we crave acceptance and surround ourselves with so many people just out of sheer FOMO, it’s impossible to know who we really are without the outside influences. You don’t have the life experiences that come with age, the things you must suffer alone that mold you into a whole person. This is why so many people end up divorced; they get married at a time in their life when everything is easy breezy and they’re still relatively immature. Then they experience major life events, they don’t mature at the same rate as their partner, they find out they have different trauma responses/parenting styles, and they split – or worse, they “stay together for the kids” and waste 20 years of their life suffering through a complete sham of a marriage.
The timeline is not real ladies! Your younger years should be a beautiful time of self-exploration with little responsibility. These years should be used to travel, set yourself up for success in your 30s and yes, even for making big mistakes. There is nothing sadder to me than a woman tying herself down in her early 20s to children, a husband, and a mortgage, only to go completely off the rails in her 30s and 40s because she realizes she missed out on her “fun” years. While I completely believe every day is a new opportunity to change your life, it does become increasingly difficult as the years go on to make up for lost time; its just a tad easier to recover from major losses and mishaps when you have less to lose.
We now live in an age where technology has completely negated all these false age-related anxieties. One glance at the lists of “world’s most beautiful women” and you’ll see they’re all in their 30s-40s. You can freeze your eggs if you’re worried about wanting children; OR you can keep yourself healthy and still have children naturally into your 40s. There’s also adoption, and also, always bear in mind, you are more than just a baby-making machine and if you end up not conceiving a child you are still perfectly whole and worthy. There’s far more to life than just being barefoot and pregnant. If you’re worried about wrinkles and losing your body, there is nothing that proper diet and regular exercise can’t fix 90% of. For the rest there is Botox, filler, and cosmetic surgery. For the first time in 10 years I have zero toxin or filler in my face and I think I’m more attractive right now than I ever was at 25. (It should be noted, this is not some moral high-horse, I just can’t afford expensive beauty luxuries anymore with the inflated cost of living in Nashville, and if I had any extra money I would sprint directly to the closest clinic and freeze my entire face with bathtub caulk.) And if you’re worried about finding a husband…do not. As a woman who is actively dating men aged 25 to coffin, they are all equally as disappointing and your time is better spent investing in yourself.
Let me tell you what you ACTUALLY should spend your teens and 20s worrying about:
Building healthy habits. Get yourself in the routine of eating whole foods with lots of protein, produce and complex carbs instead of starving yourself all day, drinking all night and ending up facedown in a pile of Taco Bell. Start prioritizing daily activity, even if its just walking. Find a hobby you’re passionate about and do it weekly. If you stay active and eat well, you’re only going to be hotter at 30.
Set yourself up for financial success. Get educated on money matters and start a savings account and 401-K. Stop blowing money on dumb material stuff to impress other people and invest it in something with a return like real estate. Put yourself in a position to be prepared for disaster and not dependent on anyone else.
Travel the world. See as much as you can. Learn a different language. Move to a totally different city. Get out of your hometown! College is fine, but the best education you can get is cultural exposure.
Build your confidence and actively work on loving yourself. I promise no matter if you’re single or married, childless or mothered, at the end of the day you are all you’re going to have to depend on. Treat her best of all, and love her more than anything.
Get ready ladies; it only gets BETTER after 30 if you do it right!