When you're young, your birthday feels like an achievement. Your “Sweet 16” is wildly celebrated because it’s time to get behind the wheel, and at 21 you feel like an adult because you can now drink legally.
But once you hit 30, adulthood has been real for a little while, and birthdays feel a bit more daunting. It’s easy to be pessimistic about getting older, but it doesn’t have to be dreadful. There are so many benefits to your 30s, and even your 50s!
Let’s start with the fact that when you’ve lived for 30 years, you’ve inevitably begun to find yourself. By this age, you probably have an idea of who you are, what you do and don’t want in a relationship, and you’ve found your core group of friends. And by your 50s, this is all even more solidified.
Being in your 20s sounds great. You’re super young and wrinkle-free, but you’re just learning about yourself. When you leave high school, and then college, you aren’t settled into a career, you’re still learning who your true friends are, and you’re likely still sorting out things in your life. This is the benefit of 30, because you’ve started working toward your long-term goals, and you have a better idea of what life might look like for you. In fact, a New York poll suggests that your 30s are more appealing than your 20s: “A poll of 2,000 people finds four in 10 would not go back to their 20s. Instead, the perfect age to be frozen in time at is 36 years old.”
You Gain Confidence in Yourself
In your 30s and 50s, you’ve adapted to the style that makes you, you. When you’re young, you're more likely to compare yourself to other girls. You may wish you had curlier hair, a bigger butt, or that you were taller or shorter. But later in life, you know yourself better and the things that make you feel beautiful. By this time, you feel a little more comfortable in your own skin and have learned that looks aren’t the most important thing. A study in London, which surveyed 1,000 women over 50, found that “Over half of women over 50 say they are happy with their relationship status and a quarter report being ‘happy’ with their age. Interestingly, one sixth of older respondents even say they are more confident in their looks and attractiveness than at any other time in their life.”
Aging Means Gaining Wisdom
One of the most beneficial things about getting older is the experience you've gained. There is so much knowledge to be found from experience; you have so much wisdom to share with the world. You can be a mentor to someone because you've gone through things that have made you a stronger and better person.
You’re More Self-Aware, and It’s Easier To Say No To Things
As a young person, the peer pressure can feel heavy, but later in life you start to care less about what someone might think if you don’t go along with something. Even in your 20s it’s easy to be a people-pleaser because you want to be liked. But as the years go by, you know who your true friends are and you aren’t worried about the opinions of others. By your 50s, you’ve set the boundaries that help you move through life without all the drama.
Relationships Are More Meaningful
By the time you’re in your 30s or 50s, you have probably had your share of relationships. Maybe you’ve been married, engaged, divorced, or just haven’t met the right one, but all of these relationships are experiences that have shaped and made you more aware of what you do and don’t want in the next relationship.
Or if you have been married for years, you know what things make your marriage struggle and what makes it thrive. There is no more wasting time at this age. Commitment is attractive, and playing hard to get doesn’t work as well as it used to.
Many people by 50 have an established family too. This is another benefit of age, because not only are you building a life with someone you love, but you also have more types of meaningful relationships, like the ones with your children. Having children gives life more purpose and is a bond like no other.
The thought of getting older can feel scary, but embrace it as much as you can because it can also be wonderful if you let it. Life experiences can make you a better and stronger person. Use the experiences to help others, and make the most out of the skills you have. You might be getting older, but you are wiser for it. Don’t forget to embrace the confidence and self-awareness that your age has given you. So on your next birthday, get excited for the benefits that come with getting older!
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