30 Moments in Your 30s from 30 Women


Turning 30 is just the beginning!

Today is my milestone birthday. Rather than focusing on what I hope to improve in myself during this new chapter and decade of my life, or reflecting on my life up to this point, because let’s face it, that’s so overdone and cliché (and in the past), I’m showcasing  profound and light-hearted aha moments! from 30 women who have touched me somehow. Please see some of their responses below. Share your thoughts and experiences, too.

 I did start business when I was 31 and I’ve been growing it slowly since then. I contracted with companies to run their massage/fitness interests and I got an immediate contract with the Hyatt Regency at Reston Town Center to staff/run the massage services out of the fitness center…..left them for Lansdowne, where I ran the fitness classes and the spa.  Got to meet Michael Jordan one day while my nail tech worked on his manicure…very cool!!!  What was very empowering was the sense of accomplishment and pride that any success from the business came from MY WORK!!    Helped me a lot as mothers are always called to give their work/efforts away to others for free.   Probably wouldn’t have the Pilates studio today if it wasn’t for that start-up.- Carrie, World Renowned Pilates Instructor

Every age has something new to offer. I always loved when my kids were young. Al [husband] had has open heart surgery the year I turned 30. It was a year of growth for me. A year I realized I needed to be closer to people I could count on and a year I realized that the one you count on the most is yourself. – Aunt Lisa, Nurse & Artist

What first comes to mind is relationships, with both friends and boyfriends. Friends: I don’t really need to hang out with people I don’t like. Life is too short to waste time with “friends” you don’t have much in common with anymore. Surround yourself with people you enjoy. Boyfriend: Good dresser, prestigious job, graduated from a “top” school – I’d even add handsome in there. Doesn’t matter. Is he a good person? Honest? Kind? Trustworthy? That’s what’s important. – Jen, Chief Valuation Officer 

One thing I’ve learned in my 30s is to stop apologizing for who I really am. I think earlier in life, girls learn to make friends and forge bonds with others through similarities. It’s what we share in common that connects us. But later in life, after 30, I had to learn that it was okay to be unique, and really honor those differences. For example, it’s okay to admit that you’re an introvert who prefers some quiet nights in. It’s okay if you prefer wearing thrifted jeans over brand new. And it’s okay to love your job and still be a mother–I didn’t have to feel guilt about that truth around stay-at-home mothers. Now at 39, I think the most authentic, helpful thing is to be true to what makes me feel real and whole and fulfilled, rather than trying to fit in, or please other people or try to live up to some expectation I, or others, had for me. –Lisa, Magazine Editor & Novelist

Right before I walked into my CEO’s office I had an aha moment.  I realized that I was already at peace with whatever decision the company came to, whether allowing me to keep my job or telling me to take a hike.  Ultimately I knew that my fiance and I would be just fine regardless of if I had to find a new job or not because we would finally be in the same place again and that was much more important than where I received a paycheck from.  (They ended up letting me telework so another revelation was that I should always believe in my abilities, be confident, know my worth and have faith that others will see the value I bring as well.) Kammie, Director of Wealth Management

I was a young mother, with a 2 year old. Life was super busy. I had just become a US citizen and was very proud of it. I wanted to make a difference in my kid’s life. But I remember how young and naive I was. There was so much to learn yet.  I was out of college for a few years, where you are so accustomed to having your schedule set and your life pretty much directed by your college curriculum,  to being on your own and making the best of what you can afford.  I had also recently moved from Minneapolis to Virginia, two very different states. People were kinder in MN. The pace of this area was overwhelming at times, and sometimes still is. But in summary, 30s is quite young still, full of possibilities. I guess the pivotal insight was the realization that I was now an American and was learning to adapt to life in the USA. Immerse myself in the culture. For a transplant from a foreign country, that is huge – Adriana, Renowned Pilates Master Trainer

Be kind to yourself. Surrounding yourself with smart, intelligent women who will be your champions and provide you support is invaluable. The friendships you make with women in your 30s are some of the most rewarding you will have. – Jen G., Georgetown graduate student

Once you turn 30, in order to lose those extra few pounds, you actually have to eat right AND exercise! – Karin, Investor Relations Specialist

I always thought I would be taken seriously once I turned 30. It definitely helped! – Elizabeth, Anthropologist

In my thirties I went back to school and got an associates degree. I also moved my family to Charlotte – 8 hours away from all I knew. In my thirties, I felt more empowered to go after what I wanted in life –We bought a house and I got a good job in sales –something I had never done before. My thirties were fun-filled, exciting, full of life and seeing my kids grow. In my thirties, I knew anything was possible as long as you have a goal and go for it! – Aunt Cathy, Manager & Full-time Student in Social Work

Who the hell can remember turning thirty, 30 years ago!!!!!   I can’t remember yesterday. – Carol, Office Manager



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