37 In Lifestyle/ Self-care

30 reasons why life in your 30’s rocks!


“The 30’s are the new 20’s”.

“You’re 30’s are when you find yourself!”

Okay then…

People always told me that life in my 30’s would be different, I just didn’t believe them. But lo and behold, as I entered and made my way throughout my 30’s I did find myself, in the form of a confident and somewhat outspoken woman.

So here’s why I believe life in your 30’s rocks!

1. You realise what is truly important in your life

In your 30’s you realise that what was seemingly so important in your teens and twenties is, well, insignificant. This is a huge reality check.

Those things that used to feel like the end of the world; that guy who didn’t return your text, the messy house, having way too much on your to-do list, not having good enough clothes, shoes or handbags, not landing that job you had your heart set on…well, you look back and laugh at how silly you were at making a mountain out of those mole hills!

I’ve found that as my 30’s progressed, things that had freaked me out no longer bothered me or scared me as much.  I had loved, I had laughed, I had lost. I had lived and learned. And I had survived. I also had my future to look forward to.

2. You embrace who you REALLY are

Cliche as it may be, in your 30’s you find comfort in your own skin.

In your 30’s, suddenly being what everyone else wanted you to be doesn’t matter anymore. What becomes more important is who you really are deep down inside and what YOU really want to do. And if you actually wake up in your 30’s (if you hadn’t before), this is who you start presenting to the world. After all, there is no other you, so why keep YOU hidden?

3. You walk your true path

You might not be ON that path right away, but knowing what you DON’T want is a big part of the solution – and in your 30’s you really figure that out! In your 30’s you start to realise what you really want out of life and start to make tracks down your true path – wherever that may be.

Remember this – it’s never too late to change your mind or your direction…and what better time than in your 30’s! Just get off your ass, try everything once (okay, almost everything…), and start crossing things off your bucket list!

Just be yourself

4. You call bullshit

In your 30’s you tend to really hone your bullshit detector.

I tell you, these days I can [mostly] sniff bullshit from a mile away. I’m no longer as naive as I was, but the problem is that this makes it really hard to hide my disdain when I sense it. This is especially bad when working in most corporate offices or attending networking events. I have such a low threshold for egos, fakes and wankers. I also have a face that shows everything… I should have been an actor.

5. You toughen up

Yep, the princess in you toughens up when you hit your 30’s.

You (finally) develop that tougher skin and drop some of your sensitivities. You also find that what people say and think about you doesn’t affect you as much as it once did, leaving you a lot more time and head space to tackle the most important things in life.

6. You find your voice

In your 30’s you learn to speak up for yourself. Voice your opinion. Disagree even…maybe a little too much for some people…gosh I’ve got myself into trouble in my 30’s. But I’ve also accomplished more in the last 6 1/2 years than I did in the earlier 29.

As a young-un I was as shy as a mouse, labeled boring, an introvert, a snob…but in my 30’s I finally discovered and started to use my voice. Okay, now I possibly speak too much on occasion, sometimes my opinions aren’t welcome, and sometimes I need to learn to shut up – but after years of suffering in silence I have so much to say!

7. It’s all about the small things in life

When you’re in your 30’s you start to appreciate the smaller things in life so much more than you did before. A glass of red wine, a nice coffee, a square of chocolate, some nice shoes, a hug from a niece, a smile, or a good old guttural belly laugh. And then there’s a great movie and a night on the couch watching your favourite TV series. They all sound so good – especially all together!

8. True friendships blossom

In your 30’s you accept that friends come and go, that you will make lots of acquaintances through life, but that true friendship will last a lifetime even if you don’t see each other for a year or three.

I love seeing my good friends, because even though we may not have seen each other for a year, every time we meet up its like we saw each other yesterday.

9. You find contentment

The ‘c’ word, it was so freakin’ scary in my 20’s. Often confused with ‘settling’ it was the last thing I wanted. I was petrified about buying a house and being locked into a 40-year mortgage, and the thought of committing to a man, as in getting married. That thought would have me running for the hills. I was a free spirit. I would travel. Explore. Live!

To think that feeling content would be so wonderful.

These days I love nothing better than to settle down on the couch on a Friday or Saturday night with a glass of wine and a good movie, to then be in bed no later than 11pm. How times – and people – change!

10. There’s a certain beauty to reflection

Your 30’s are the perfect time to reflect on what you have learned throughout your life journey so far. You also become aware of your weaknesses and know how to put them aside to focus on your strengths.

You have tackled the struggles and the passage of the younger years and you are still young enough to enjoy life. Most importantly you have survived. Give yourself some credit as it hasn’t been a walk in the park.

Use all you have learned to make you a better you, to do some good in the world, to make a difference, and most importantly pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve come!

It’s time to stand tall and be proud of you.

Chasing your dreams isn't easy - but it's worth it


11. You realise it’s not too late to make a change

In your 30’s (and even before) a lot of people will tell you that you are running out of time for a lot of things. Relationships, marriage, babies, more babies… And if it’s not that it will be that you’re wasting your time barking up the wrong tree, after the wrong man, job, dream…

There will always be a critic. A naysayer. A gossip.

Don’t listen to them.

What they don’t want you to know. What they are terrified of you finding out, is this;

It’s NEVER to late.

And that they are probably too scared to chase their dreams.

The truth is that it’s never too late to make a change, to do something new, to break out and just do something crazy! You only live once so why not?

Your 30’s are the perfect time to make some well-needed changes in your life – especially those you’ve put off. That new job, the course you wanted to study, ending that relationship, travel. Just do it! After all, a change can really be as good as a holiday!

12. You finally realise what your parents meant back in the day

I actually never saw this one coming BUT I’ve had so many moments in my 30’s where I’ve been hit by the ‘oh…that’s what my parents meant‘ sledgehammer.

All of those times they told me to wipe that filthy look from my face. Yep. I now know what they meant. Short shorts. I no longer understand why girls wear them. Chicks who wear hardly anything going clubbing. I can’t imagine how I used to do that in winter? I’ve even caught myself saying the good old ‘youth of today’ catch-phrase [facepalm]. Oh, and my other half makes Dad jokes which are met with eye rolls as a response… you gotta laugh (otherwise you’ll possibly cry!).

13. The other ‘C’ word is not longer as scary as it once was


I never saw myself as the type of person who would ever get married and settle down but there you have it. I also never dreamed of the white dress and the picket fence, but at the age of 38 I finally did AND I loved it. I loved wedding planning, I loved our wedding, and I love being married. I also love having our own home (no picket fence). I even have 2 step children… I’m a step mum! Admittedly, I’m still trying to adjust to the name-change thing but hey. That will come…

14. You’ve loved, lost and survived

Life in your 30’s isn’t complete without either love or loss, but they are what make us who we are. They make us stronger, wiser, more fragile yet more appreciative of what we have, including our own life and the lives of others.

Love and life don’t last forever so treasure every precious moment. If you haven’t been doing it, there’s no better time than in your 30’s.

15. Shit gets serious – and that’s okay!

If you weren’t taken seriously in your 20’s (you were too young, not world wise, too naive, too inexperienced), then by the time you get to your 30’s people should be starting to take you seriously, especially about things like that promotion you’ve been chasing.

I looked really young in my 20’s – a blessing in my 30’s – so I found it hard to get people to take me seriously as a Project Manager in a male dominated environment. This made me really doubt myself, and so I felt like a fraud more times than not.

In my 30’s I still look younger than I am, but I’m being taken more seriously and people are actually starting to listen to me. Perhaps that’s the confidence and self-belief talking?

16. Getting rid of your excess baggage

Baggage. We all collect it.

Heartbreak, shitty jobs, broken promises, abandoned dreams.

Some of us have a ton of it, but by the time you hit your 30’s you really should start throwing out that excess baggage. I highly recommend it – you’ll feel so much lighter for it!

17. Hindsight becomes a beautiful thing

I never saw myself as the type of person to attend a high school reunion but I grew some balls and went to my 20th high school reunion and really enjoyed it after almost freaking out and not going. I’m glad I went. It helped me to realise that high school hadn’t been that bad after all.

In your late 30’s you start to look back on your teenage years with fondness. Distance helps make things much less cringeworthy and even bearable!

18. You aren’t as old as you feel… sometimes

I’m 39, and for most of my 30’s I’ve felt like I was still 20 something. I also look like I’m in my late 20’s (bonus!). It’s when the aches and pains set in that you are reminded you are getting older and need to really look after yourself. You really should…

19. You start to look after yourself or know you should

We all know smoking is bad, drinking booze in moderation is good, eating fast food is not healthy, that moderate exercise is healthy, and that stress can kill us. It’s our personal decision whether we listen to our bodies, our minds, and the doctor’s. It comes down to choice. You either look after yourself or you don’t. Enough said.

20. You learn to say no

That’s powerful shit. And life changing.

As a chronic people-pleaser, it took me until my 30’s to start saying no to people. It took me a lot longer to start saying no without stressing about it for days beforehand and ending up an anxious mess. It took me even longer to be able to say no to their faces…

Learning to say no is one of the best things you can ever do.

21. You know you’re not perfect and that’s okay

Because no one’s perfect, that’s why! By now you know that. You know you aren’t, you know your parents aren’t, you know your friends and partners aren’t, and you know you’re bosses certainly aren’t. We are all beautifully imperfect.

22. Learning your own life hacks

By now you know what works for you and what doesn’t.

The key is not to follow the masses and to choose the life hacks that work for you, even if they aren’t ‘en-trend’. And if they are en-trend, don’t just do them because everyone else is. You know you’re not a lemming. You know what to do.

If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old. You will just keep growing.

23. You walk to the beat of your own drum

Spend life in your 30’s walking to the beat of your own drum. After all, you’re an individual.

You love what you love. You hate what you hate. You’re a mum, a sister, a daughter, a partner, a friend, a colleague… You’re also a dreamer, a closet nerd, a gamer, writer, an old-school rocker, a crafter, a wino, a cougar, a lover, a traveller, a cross between everything. Whatever, whoever you are. You march to the beat of your own drum, finally.

24. You have so many memories to look back on and many more to make

Personally, I love looking back at my old photos, even the daggy ones – and there are plenty. And by photos, I mean old-school print outs on photo paper and stuff. They look so retro and remind me of the days when you had to wait until you got your photos back from the developer before seeing the 5 photos out of 64 that you looked good in.

I love looking back on my memories with no regrets. Sure I fucked up plenty. I had depression. Some shitty stuff happened. But there are no regrets aside from one. Spending more time with my Nan in the last few years. That’s a biggy.

25. Getting happier as you get older

The realisation that you don’t have to grow old and grumpy, that you actually have a choice. AMAZING!

I’m learning that you fall on one side or the other – you either believe old people become grumpy or that as you age you can actually be happy.

I challenge you to be the later as according to a lot of people the former is how we all end up.

Fuck growing old and bitter.

26. You stop chasing happiness

You also stop talking about it and start living it. Or rather, you should. Read thisMake happiness a habit in your 30’s.

I tell you, the moment I stopped chasing happiness, that was the day everything changed. It was the day I simply allowed myself to BE happy.

27. You own your story

Never deny your struggles as they are an important part of your story. Own it.

There’s no better time to do this than in your 30’s, because you would have been through some shit. I tell you, I could easily hate on my depressionanxiety and other shitty stuff but these days I choose not too. I own my story because everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today and helps me to give back to others.

28. You’re still growing

And you will continue to do so.

Embrace all that life has to give, and as you continue to do so you will continue to live an amazing life, even with its ups and downs. Think of it as a roller coaster 🙂

29. Learning to embrace those laughter lines

Now this is a hard one for most people, but I urge you to work on it. You need to realise that those fine lines developing on your face mean that you have lived, laughed and loved – they are the roads of your life. Why get rid of them with something derived from botulism? Why waste thousands on miracle treatments and creams that don’t work? Why erase the evidence of your life lived?

30. You’re alive.


Embrace those laughter lines, baby!

White hairs on the other hand…that one I’m still struggling with! I finally embraced my natural red hair colour in my 30’s – and now it’s turning white! ARGH!

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  • Marie
    April 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Love your list Janine! Especially #8 and I think #14 is my lifelong goal.

  • MuMuGB
    April 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Very true Janine! But can I just say that you will feel exactly the same when you reach 40? It keeps getting better.

  • Thom Brown
    April 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Ah, the 30s. Here’s the problem – at the mid 60s, it’s hard to remember the 30s, other than specific events. I’m not sure I could distinguish them from the 40s or the late 20s.

  • Sarah
    April 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Fantastic! I turn 30 in 13 months time and this post has made me see that the best could well be yet to come.

    • neanster77
      April 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Well, from many of the people I have talked to, they all think 30 rocks! Actually – no one has said the opposite…interesting.

  • Shelagh King
    April 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Wonderful & Well Done Sweet – Love the Oyster

    • neanster77
      April 28, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Thanks mum!

  • ioana moise
    May 21, 2012 at 2:38 am

    This is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!

  • Lucy Patterson
    May 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Couldn’t have picked 30 better points if I’d tried 🙂

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  • Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA @Cerebrations.biz
    January 9, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Wait till it’s TWICE that….

    • Janine Ripper
      January 9, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Haha I can wait a bit!

  • Mary Burris
    January 9, 2015 at 3:42 am

    Turning 30 was a great time for me. Sometimes I wish I could turn the clock back and relive those great memories.

    • Janine Ripper
      January 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Im glad it was great for you. All I can say is at least you got to experience them. That in itself is a blessing!

  • Marie
    January 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    You’ve packed a lot of wisdom in there Janine! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for 40!

    • Janine Ripper
      January 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      Haha I can wait a bit 🙂

  • Joy
    January 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    To be a certain age and have so much wisdom…..now THAT’s priceless! It’s always great to have these things happen to us at any age, but to be young(er) and possess all this is truly a gift. I’m still learning some of these / honing these skills in my 40s and as you said, it’s never too late!

    • Janine Ripper
      January 24, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks Joy – although I must say I’ve learnt a lot BUT doing them regularly is another thing completely!

  • Tux & Tiara
    April 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I am still having this thought.. if the 3 series age, whether it’s really gonna change the entire ball game of my life. Or it’s just an expansion of my current perspectives on everything haha.

    I’m 29 this year… reading your article made me a little bit scary and mix feelings. But I still hope at the age of 30.. i’m still as happy go lucky as i am today! 😉

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  • Victoria
    April 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I’m yet to turn 30 (not this year though) and your post is very uplifting 🙂 I am a little bit scared of how fast time flies, but I am looking forward to reach my 30’s and 40’s and so on, and hopefully in good health so I can enjoy them 🙂 Great post!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 5, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks Victoria! Your 30’s are great. Lap them up and enjoy every minute of them when you get there. Until then, enjoy your 20’s!!!

  • Katrina
    April 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Numbers 6 & 7 are my faves!

    • Janine Ripper
      April 5, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      I’m with you there! They’ve made such a difference to me 🙂

  • Marie
    April 6, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I love this list! Thankfully, I have been lucky enough to experience a lot of these things at an early age but I always have (and still do now that the year is here) look forward to turning thirty. Definitely looking forward to getting stronger on that whole “saying no” thing. Hopefully there will be a magic lever that flips in October. 😉

  • bee geller
    April 13, 2016 at 4:45 am

    great post!!! I couldnt agree more – my 30’s are the happiest I have ever been! And i never would have thought that in my twenties 🙂 haha . xoxo, Bee – style-island.com

    • Janine Ripper
      April 14, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks!!! Im glad you are enjoying them too 🙂

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  • BoPEspindola
    July 23, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the superb work!

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  • Zoe
    September 17, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Awesome, thanks! I’m 31, starting to build a new career, and feeling old…which I know is ridiculous, but this post helped a lot! I was starting to wonder if it was too late to start something new.

    I’ve experienced half of this list, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the other half!

    • Janine Ripper
      September 18, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      It’s not ridiculous! it just is. I know people in their early twenties who think they are old. And Im 39 hahahaha. It’s never too late. NEVER! And the thing is, you may start something now and change your mind again, but that’s totally okay! Life’s about living and trying things and failing and trying other things and experiencing. At the moment I’m working casually in a cafe and running my own small business in the background whilst freeing me up to write. And reinvent myself again 🙂

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