In which yours truly turns — gulp — 30

January 5, 2011

I never thought I’d be the type to freak out over turning 30, but apparently I am. Which is why I’m making goals for this coming year. Because it helps me focus my energy on something productive.

Because the first half of this post is one big WHINE.

I wish I had two decades of my 20s. Because right now, at this very moment, I’m right where I want to be — thanks largely to my awesome parents. I don’t want to get any older. I don’t want to be the single friend (which wasn’t a problem when I turned 25). I want to have kids, but I don’t want to have to figure out how to balance having a family with my career.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, mostly to avoid becoming one of the millions of people who fail to keep them. Instead, I’m making goals for my 30th (actually 31st, right?) year, and hanging them out for y’all to see.

Here’s what I will accomplish this year:

Land a book deal. I’ve been working Please Send Pants for two years. If all that hard work could turn into a book contract this year… Well, I might just cry like the baby in the photo. Only they’d be happy tears.

Start writing my second book. Yes, I know what it’s going to be, and no, I’m not ready to tell you yet. But it will be nonfiction, it will be fabulous, and I will write it faster than I wrote Book #1.

Get in better shape and stay there. I’m not going to throw out some crazy goal like running a marathon (been there, done that, no way in hell I’m doing it again). Instead, I want to find a routine that includes running, weights and pilates. I want to feel good about myself this year.

Become more financially responsible. I need to keep better track of where I spend my money, so I can save more. It’s not easy to save on a journalist’s salary while living in an expensive city, but I’m determined to do it. I’ll also think creatively about how to make money, because when it comes to saving, increasing your income is often more effective than figuring out how to spend less.

Work toward my next big adventure. I don’t know exactly what this will be yet, but I do have some ideas. This requires saving money, continuing to network and putting other pieces in place that will make it possible to embark on my adventure when I’m ready.

Find the person who will eventually become my husband. My clock’s not ticking yet, but I don’t want to feel rushed when it does. This is the hardest goal of all, because I’m not exactly sure how to go after it, other than putting in more effort than I do now (which shouldn’t be difficult). Please send eligible bachelors my way. Must read and love travel, bonus points for scruffy.

Photo credit: Flickr’s bbaunach

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    28 Replies to “In which yours truly turns — gulp — 30”

    • Lisa McKay says:

      Yeah, I didn’t think I would be thrown by turning thirty either, but I was. If you want some light reading on the subject there’s a piece on my website about this called Where’s The Fun In Normal? ( Thought your goals list, by the way, sounded great. If I see any stray scruffy smart men over here I’ll point them in your direction.

    • Oh, Alexis, I turn 31 tomorrow and I can tell you 30 is the best year ever, once you get over the hump of sadness at leaving your 20s behind.

      Great goals! I hate sharing my book ideas with others, it feels like they’re not ready for that until I have them started or outlined and even then only with a select few.

      And breathe. At the exact moment when you aren’t looking, he’ll be there, holding the door, or tripping at the flower stand. And he’ll be Kind of Scruff.

      Have a great day and happy birthday (whenever it is)!

    • John Soares says:

      Congrats on making it to 30 Alexis!

      Two bits of unsolicited advice:

      1. Travel memoir about backpacking in Africa? Is that Please Send Pants? Try The Mountaineers Books in Seattle. They’ve published two of my books and are well-known in the outdoors/travel/adventure world. (Did I mention this to you before?)

      2. Consider online dating. It didn’t find me my soulmate — I found her in my hometown through friends — but I know several happy couples who met that way.

      Happy Birthday to You…

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Happy birthday, Alexis. I hope you enjoy every minute of it.

    • Andrea James says:

      You’re such an honest blogger!

      This hits it for me: “I wish I had two decades of my 20s.”

      I’ve loved spending my 20s with you — virtually ;).

    • Good goals! Similar to mine (except the husband and baby thing). Having been 30 a while back, I can tell you that in terms of wisdom and experience it gets better. I wish I knew back then what I know now (and I’m many years past 30). And besides, 30 is the new 15. You can still wear cute clothes and get away with it, and you have less foot in mouth episodes.

    • Mindy says:

      Happy birthday! Each year is a new adventure–at least that is what I tell myself when I turn a year older. I will be 34 this year and I am REALLY dreading that. You have an awesome year ahead of you. I can’t wait to read about it when you land the book deal.

    • Roxanne says:

      “Must read and travel” made me laugh – mostly because I have caught myself thinking that way too! May 2011 be wonderful, adventure-filled, and kind to you, Alexis!

    • I love both your goals and your honesty. And thinking creatively about ways to make money? A high priority in my life right now.

      I’ll see if I know any lovable, bookish, scruffy bachelor-travelers to send your way. 🙂

    • I used to say the same thing over and over about making our 20s longer to my husband. My mind kept rushing with the thought of more time write and get published, traveling, saving money, and eventually “settling down” and having kids. I am almost 29, and I have been thinking about this for a while. It is almost the question of “who do I want to be”? First, I had to ask myself, “Who am I?” That is when I realized that I have done a lot already and that those other things are ones I will just have to look forward to. Do I really want everything to be in my twenties and have a boring 30s? No! I want the adventures to continue and I want to keep growing.

      Your list is truly things to look forward to and I wish you the very best in all of them. When you look back on your 30s, those things will make it look so much better.


      (P.S.Now, if I do happen to flip out a year from now when I turn 30, I give you permission to repost this comment, okay?)

    • I don’t think I had that kind of crisis when I turned 30, but by then I was already married, had two kids, and was going back to school to finally get my bachelor’s degree.

      No matter what choices you make along the way, Alexis, there will be great things in store for you. The important thing is to pay attention, so you don’t miss those opportunities (and the great guy in the back row at a Pilates or yoga class).

    • Hope Clark says:

      Oh, Lexi – Your 30s will be great. That’s when you really come into your own. You’re no longer a “kid” by the world. You’re old enough to have experience. I had the best and worst things happen to me in my 30s, but I see that decade as one in which I grew the most, developed the most confidence.

      30? That’s nothing. BTW, I have a son I want you to meet….*wink*

    • alisha says:

      Great goals for 2011 — and wow, you’re really on your way with the book! I’ll keep an eye out for literate, scruffy travelers. 🙂

      I turned 30 last year and so far, so good! Your thirties are the new twenties, but better. You know who you are, aren’t just scraping by (theoretically at least!) and you have more control over how you live. I think you’ll love it too!

    • Andi says:

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY & NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Those are some big goals, but I always tell people DREAM BIG! XOXOX

    • Anne-Marie says:

      Hi Alexis, this is my first comment here [although not my first time reading] so I won’t be rude and offer you any advice. I do love your goals and best of luck with achieving them.

      As someone who is 18 months off exiting her 30s, my experience is that being in your 30s is truly awesome. For me, it has been much, much better than my 20s. Also, I’m surprised and curious to find that now I’m in my late 30s I receive far more genuine interest from men! I recently fell head-over-heels for a wonderful man, who is very different from what I thought was “my type”.

      [a fellow journalist in New Zealand]

    • What you hear is true: 30s are better than 20s. It doesn’t mean losing a sense of adventure and wonder, but it does mean settling into a more comfortable place with yourself and your life. Wishing you the very best and no doubt the dreams/goals listed will indeed happen!

    • emmasota says:

      I echo what others have said–my thirties have been fabulous! Somehow, juggling career, family, and writing does work out. It looks like you have some great goals for yourself this year. Good luck!

    • 30 years old and look what you have accomplished,Alexis. What a remarkable year you have had and you’ve only just begun. It has been fun following your journey. Happy Birthday and may all your wildest dreams come true!

      Kathy Pooler

      PS I love the title of your book,Please Send Pants

    • You and I have the same birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

      I turned 27 this week. I think it’s convenient to have a birthday right at the start of the new year, because the timeframe ahead is easy to measure (and everything is on deep discount!) My goals for the year are somewhat similar to yours. I am getting started on a writing project, also non-fiction, about China.

      Keep up the good work, fellow Capricorn!

    • Jaclyn says:

      Happy birthday! What a great set of goals! Yes, exiting your 20s is scary (I will be savoring these next two years before I turn 30), but you have so many awesome things to work towards and look forward to over the next year.

    • Ami says:

      I am loving my 30s, though they’re not at all what I had expected them to be. It’s difficult letting life unfold and not holding it to some set of expectations that I conjured up when I was in my late teens/early 20s, but it’s also exciting to discover that life can be so much bigger than I ever imagined it to be. Of course, this is coming from someone who is struggling to stay positive after turning 35 (on the day you published this post). All we can do is keep living the life we’re given to the best of our ability, and, as another commenter mentioned, making it a great adventure no matter what our age. Here’s to really LIVING in our 30s! They’re going to be our best years yet.

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