"Enjoy your 20s," they said.
"Your whole body will change when you hit 30," they warned.
We rolled our eyes.
We didn't listen.
Now, we're suffering the consequences.
For the first three years of my 30s, I lived in denial on a daily basis. Despite the husband, kids, and career, I felt like I was playing house. "Adulting" was a regular part of my vocabulary. I even bought a coffee table book with instructions on how to do it successfully. When I turned 34 this year, I realized there were some things – 10, in fact – that solidified the fact that I am indeed a real-life millennial adult. Maybe you can relate.
You know you're officially in your 30s if...
1. HGTV and Food Network are your go-to channels.
Suddenly, I have the urge to become a top chef and makeover my house. Gardening has even become a real possibility. Who am I?
2. You prefer Twitter over other social media platforms.
I have real conversations with real people who are watching the same TV shows at the same time as me! As an introvert, this is all the social interaction I need.
3. Buying a house doesn't seem like such a bad idea after all, even if it still scares you a little.
I'm not sure why buying a house always felt like some far off, unrealistic dream. (Could systematic oppression be the culprit?) Now that I've started the process, it's really not that deep.
4. You might go to dinner with friends but unless they're reeeally special, you're staying in.
Listen, honey. Pre-coronavirus, I was the girl who knew as soon as I got the invite that I wasn't going to make it. The kids are always a bomb excuse for having to stay in. If I make time to actually get all dressed up to get out and hang, know that you're loved.
5. The ability to indulge in wine and cocktails has magically disappeared.
(Cover your ears, Jesus.) I used to be able to throw 'em back and bounce up the next day like I didn't have a single sip! Not so much in my 30s. Just the mere thought of anything more than two glasses of whatever gives me a headache and makes me want to take a nap.
6. Every day you seem to care just a little bit less about what other people think of you.
Truth be told, I've never been one to care too much about other people's opinions of me – not in the sense where I ever tried to fit in or change who I am. As a 34-year-old, that attitude has elevated to a whole 'nother level... with grace and class, of course.
7. You yell at other people's kids and wish they would go tell their parents.
True story: I saw a little boy at the grocery store giving his mom a fit. She wasn't doing anything about it, so I – in my black mama voice that's been passed down for generations – commenced to tell him, "Uh uh! Hush that up and settle down!"
The look on his face was hilarious. It was part shock, part "Who the hell is this?" and whole lot of I-better-listen-if-I-know-what's-good-for-me.