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Well, Erin, I found this today and although neither you nor I would agree with everything completely and we might choose to add a few other things, I thought it was poignant for today, your 30th birthday.  Happy Birthday, my darling niece.  I love you so much. Love,  Aunt Anne

As promised in my previous blog post, I have compiled a selection of 30 reasons and ways, thoughts and truths I shall embrace as a young 30-year-old woman… Note to self: buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life. 30, here she comes!

1. This is who I am. Every day, I feel more in touch and at ease with myself and who I am. “Identity crisis” is a term I will soon forget. (In turn, though, I will probably be faced with another obstacle — dementia, but hopefully not for another few decades.)

2. No more sleepless nights worrying about having nothing to worry about. Amen to that.

3. Real, meaningful friendships leave no time or space for casual nights out on the town to merely kill time. The clock is ticking.

4. Casual dating was never my thang. Now that the biological clock is also ticking, bit by bit, I realize dating for the sake of dating is, well, not in my best interest.

5. “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” Yes, Britney, I hear you. Neither am I. And boy, does that feel liberating!

6. Knight in shining armor? I’m no Cinderella. All I want is Mr. Right. Not Mr. Perfect. Keeping those expectations in check.

7. “He said, she said…” Who cares? Can anybody say good riddance to aimless gossip?

8. The world does not revolve around me. It’s time I come to terms with this scientific fact once and for all.

9. Who says I have to wait for dreams to come true when I can, in fact, make them happen myself? Easier said than done, but not entirely impossible, mind you.

10. A close friend and mentor once told me: “You make your own luck.” Maybe, maybe not. But hey, I’m willing to see for myself.

11. No more tears over girly nonsense and cracked “porcelain” ego.

12. No time for losers and “downers” — I’m ready to surround myself with supporters and champions who believe in me as much as I believe in myself. Always a work in progress.

13. Is 30 the new 20? As long as you didn’t spend your 20-somethings sitting on that lovely bottom of yours, either waiting for life to pass you by or a big opportunity to miraculously fall into your lap.

14. If my life is a box of 30 chocolates, I’m proud to say I’ve eaten them all and am ready for the next box!

15. Perfection does not exist, but I’m happy to settle for the closest alternative.

16. Doer by day, dreamer by night. It’s the balance that makes a true difference.

17. Age gracefully but please don’t give in too easily to biology without giving it your best shot.

18. There’s a pretty good reason why Dorian Gray was miserable deep down, even though on the surface he was young, vibrant and oh-so-gorgeous. Youth and beauty can be subjective. Yes, you heard that right!

19. Your early to mid 30’s is objectively the best time to start a modern-day family. Not your 20’s, when you’re still trying to find out who you are. However, we cannot and should not ignore biology either. She’s a real b**** that will ultimately get her way no matter what.

20. Career and family. Not career vs. family. Yes, yes, yes. You can have it all. Don’t you let them tell you otherwise.

21. Whatever seemed oh-so-important at 20 was apparently nothing but a mere figment of my colorful imagination. In hindsight, I realize I chose to sweat over the most absurd minutiae, and as a result lost my sleep over… um, nothing.

22. Two-faced, fair-weather friends begone. May your masks come off once and for all.

23. Experience derived from lessons and mistakes of the past mixed with the thrill of the unknown that lies before me — that’s just another reason why I’ll happily take 30 over 20 in a heartbeat.

24. Family. Parents. Lifelong friends. Who or what could be more important now more than ever in the grand scheme of things?

25. Mirror, mirror on the wall, I no longer have to be the fairest, the most successful and the skinniest of them all. And guess what? In the words of the latest “Bachelor,” Juan Pablo: “It’s OK.”

26. Embrace the journey, savor the moments and prepare for the next chapter… What could be more exciting? And no less enticing?!

27. I choose to stay young at heart, but am making a conscious decision every morning to become wiser and learn from every faux pas and pitfall, instead of falling into the same trap over and over again.

28. “Mama told me…” Oh, how liberating to admit to myself that yes, my mother knows more than I ever gave her credit for. Same goes for my father, who often quotes the lyrics from “Yentl” by legendary Alan and Marilyn Bergman: “The more I live, the more I learn; the more I learn, the more I realize — the less I know.”

29. It’s fine to make mistakes. And it’s not the end of the world to be wrong every now and then. Chill out. C’est la vie, mais ce n’est pas la guerre.

30. And last but not least: let’s not forget, dear self (and other like-minded thirty-somethings) that life at 30 is just beginning. This is not THE END. Time to start writing a new chapter worth reading!

Happy Birthday, Erin!

Happy Birthday, Erin!