5 Things You Should Know Before You’re Thirty

November 23, 2011 8:48 PM

Amanda York and Jamey OrdolisMy friend and Empirella partner, Amanda York, turned thirty today and she’s quite proud of it. By the time we finished work late last night it was nearly midnight and we decided a birthday slumber party was in order. The topic of conversation was, of course, how Amanda felt about the end of her twenties.

“I feel like a woman,” she said.

“Really? Isn’t that supposed to be when you get your period or have sex for the first time,” I replied.

“No, I feel fierce,” she said. “I was driving here, thinking, ‘I’m thirty, I’ve done so much, I really am a woman’.”

Way to embrace it, Amanda. We both agreed that although it’d be nice to return to our early twenties with our thirty year old brains, neither of us would go back to being twenty mentally. There’s nothing wrong with being twenty… it’s absolutely terrific. But once you’ve come to terms with your thirty year old face, body, schedule, responsibilities, you realize that you wouldn’t trade up the experience, the wisdom or the self possession.

What we can do is pay some of it forward to all you bright-eyed, beautiful younger ladies and tell you five seriously life-improving things that you should know long before you’re thirty.

1. Moisturize: those late university nights spent in overheated libraries or drinking till dawn is already taking a toll on your skin. Go ahead and indulge in beauty products and regimens. Or at least get into the basic routine of moisturizing every time you wash your face or get out of the shower. It’ll keep your skin hydrated and looking younger into your thirties and beyond. If you wait, the damage you’ve done will be harder to undo than bad credit.

2. Use your credit card wisely: your first credit cards will make you feel grown up and capable of doing (and affording) anything. Part of being young is feeling like you have forever to save money or pay back your debts, but that’s a very dangerous illusion. We know far too many people still paying for their college credit card blunders. Learn more about credit and how you can take care of yours asap… and behave!

3. Buy good shoes and bags: if you’re thinking they’re too expensive and you’d rather go to H&M or Aldo, we’ve been there. But we were wrong. Unless your parents teach you the lesson of quality over quantity when it comes to fashion, it takes a while to learn it on your own. But allow us to save you a lot of money (not to mention criticism) right now. Disposable fashion is great but it has its place – a trip to H&M or Joe Fresh can yield t-shirts, tanks and really of-the-moment stuff. When it’s time to make an investment purchase – like shoes you’ll wear frequently or a bag you’ll carry every day – go for quality, even if you have to pay more for it, and be okay with having fewer, but better, items. If you employ the principles of high-low dressing and learn that classic style trumps cheap trends any day, people will notice.

4. Get over him: he’s so not worth it. We know it really feels like he is and you’ve got a special connection and you’ve invested so much time into loving him but if it isn’t working out and it isn’t making you happy, it’s not going to work out and it won’t ever make you happy. And you know what? You won’t give a fuck. There are so many amazing people to be with – as friends or lovers – and once you’re mentally and emotionally removed from the person that you’re currently obsessed with (yes, it is obsession, check the definition: ob·ses·sion noun 1. the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc) you’ll be annoyed – and potentially embarrassed – over how much time and energy you wasted. Onto the next one! we say. Try not giving a fuck right now in relationships (to a degree, of course) and it will set you free to attract the great loves and ditch the ones that just aren’t meant to be.

5. Just ask: unfortunately, this one is the hardest to get the hang of because insecurity is innate in even the most narcissistic people. But asking for what you want is one of the most important things you’ll ever learn to do in life. Amanda and I are very co-dependent in the way we feed eachother’s egos and push eachother to chase every goal. There are a lot of  “you’re better” and “they’ll love it” and “you should go for it” pep talks. We’re borderline delusional, actually. But ignorance of one’s insecurities is bliss, so we’re lucky to be eachother’s cheerleaders. And the big surprise: we’ve gotten very few no’s and some yes’s that have changed our lives. You see, it doesn’t really matter what most people think of you because all you need is the right person to think the right thing about you and, since people aren’t mind readers and most people are too scared to ask for what they want anyway, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition. And the sooner you start, the better your batting average will be.  So, ask for that internship, tweet that famous director, go to that audition, ask that guy out, tell your professor what you really want to get from that class…

And if you need advice, well, you could always ask us. We are thirty, after all.

Happy Birthday Amanda!



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