Thirty seems to be the magical number for a lot of people.
It’s when they say you’re supposed to have a majority of your shit together. Additionally, you should be in a solid career, have a pristine family and be on the road to financial stability. In my early to mid-twenties this was my goal. To be honest, at that time, ten years seemed like more than enough time to get my affairs in line.
Once 30 began to creep up I began to internally “freak the f&%$” out.
Let me give myself some credit here though. I’ve done things I wanted to do. I’ve accomplished a lot in my career and personal ambitions but societal expectations can weigh heavy on you. That’s why its important to fight against them and remind each other.
Now that I have been 30 for almost six months I can have some say-so in this matter.
Dish out my own piece of sistaqueen advice for things that may happen once you reach 30:
- Picky Princess: If you are single people will start to inquire what your standards are and determine if they are too high. Standards should never change based on your age they should change based on what you want. Men are allowed to have standards, actually they are encouraged all throughout their lives to reach for what they think they deserve. Somewhere along the way women are told to re-evaluate what they want in life. Unless you’re being crazy unrealistic don’t do that. You wouldn’t do it for anything else, right?
- Matters of the heart: Your approach to religion or spiritually may change. As we get older the assumption is that we become more solid within ourselves. You won’t be so quick to jump on the bandwagon when your favorite sheikh is coming to town or when there is an Islamic conference happening. Depending on our experiences some of us may even align ourselves more with our spiritual side. As an individual you are changing all the time. So it’s naive to think your relationship with Islam will remain the same all throughout your years.
- Baby Fever: You will view having children differently. In your teens and early twenties the sight of a baby excited you and it still does. It made your ovaries jump with joy to see a baby swaddled up or bouncing on someones knee. Once you reach your 30’s you will approach childbearing with a different attitude. I’m not saying you will not desire children but you’ll modify your expectations. At one point I remember wanting a huge family. As I’ve gotten older and realized what that exactly entails. Getting older brings about a sense of realism.
- Just say “NO!”: You will begin to master the art of saying no to folks. This can apply to many things in your life but I am going to focus specifically on time. As a married woman or as a mother your time will be respected by people. Folks wont ask you for very much because the assumption is that you are busy with your family. If you are single people genuinely think you have no life. You will have to check folks, you will have to say no *sometimes* and at first it will be hard! When you complain about being tired your friends who have kids will laugh in your face. I didn’t know we were competing on some “lets see who sleeps less hours” gameshow.
- “She get it from her momma”: The other day I was arranging pink roses in my flower vases. I had trimmed them all, picked off the extra leaves and placed them throughout my condo. It hit me that I was doing exactly what my mother did every two weeks when I was a child. The sweet scent of flowers was something I grew up with. After the flowers would die she would dry the petals and place them in a bowls as decoration. We all become our parents whether we realize it. Some of us fight so hard against it. It’s inevitable.
You may be jealous of your friends: Yep, I see you scrolling through your Facebook timeline. You can’t believe she got engaged before you. Well, hey sistaqueen it happens.
- Your friends may be jealous of you: This one too. As cliche as it sounds, grass is always greener on the other side. Your married friends will envy the fact that you don’t have to cook every night or that your time truly belongs to you. At the end of the day life is all about perspective.
If you’re a woman in your late twenties to early 30’s I already know I’m preaching to the choir. If you’re a woman who could careless about turning 30 I bow to you because you have successfully bypassed all the expectations that society and people throw on us.
As a woman most of the expectations will get pretty personal. They rotate around two things. These two things will become a platform for public conversation:
- The inner workings of your vagina a.k.a “your uterus”.
- Your current relationship or lack thereof.
People will think its their “right” to advise, discuss and even sometimes embarrass you. Like these will become regular dinner conversations and sometimes they will carry on even if you’re not saying so much as a word. It is forever disrespectful to talk about these topics without consent from the person you’re actually talking about. Yes, y’all I just used the word “consent” because I could name the countless of times I have heard or been involved in conversations that revolve around the body or choices of a grown ass Muslim woman. If its a conversation about you and you prefer not to have it than your consent has not been respected. These conversations can be very humiliating for some folks if they aren’t able to stop people in their tracks.
Your body is not open discussion for people.
Because by the time you reach 30 you’re grown as hell.
So stop moping around and be like a Twinkie!
Staying forever sweet and never expiring.