Friday Fluff, Sweet Machine

Friday fluff: Like a fine wine

It’s my birthday next week. I’ll be turning 29, and though I have a tiny bit of angst at how “late” in the “late 20s” I am now, I must admit I’m seriously looking forward to being in my 30s. I know I’m supposed to fear losing my youthful beauty (*snort*) and all that, but really I just think it will be cool. Lord knows I don’t really feel like a grownup yet, but I certainly have had the responsibilities and stresses of a grownup (and I’ve got the gray hairs to prove it). 29 seems a bit of a silly age if you’re *not* doing a terrified countdown to 30, but I always have rather liked the march-of-time aspect of birthdays. Who wants to be the same age forever? I have found overall that I enjoy being an adult waaaaay more than I enjoyed being a kid, so I like (so far) that the numbers keep ticking upward.

When I turned 25, my grandmother, who was 90 at the time (and lived to be a feisty 92), called me to wish me happy birthday and told me firmly, “25 is the best age.” I was delighted that she said that, because a) I figured she was an expert on ages by then, and b) it felt like a blessing on the whole year. And you know what? I really liked being 25. I don’t know yet if it was the “best” age, but it was a good one for me.

All this is to bring me to some fluff: how old are you? When’s your birthday? (Hey baby, what’s your sign?) Do you have a “favorite” age so far? And do you have any advice for a 29-year-old?

140 thoughts on “Friday fluff: Like a fine wine”

  1. I’m 21 right now, and will be 22 on Sunday. Yay! I’m glad to be getting further and further from teenager-hood, though I’m definitely not a grownup yet. :P

    22 should be good, this is the year I graduate college, and hopefully start a career.

  2. Every age I’m in seems pretty good, compared to being a teenager. I’m 34. 10/26/1973. I am a Scorpio – it’s in my 1st three houses, if that means anything to you. Does it? Can you explain it to me? :-)

    Happy almost birthday!

  3. I’m 24 and a Taurus, so I’ll be 24 for awhile longer. I’ve been functionally a grown up since 19 (getting kicked out of your house and family with 2 days notice will do that), but it still seems trippy that I’m officially in my mid-20’s. Isn’t that supposed to be like old?

    Though I’m married, and no longer my youthful slender self, and own my own home, and planning on kids…

    Damn, this grown up thing is weird.

  4. usually I can’t remember how old I’ve just turned for a few months and have to catch myself saying that I’m 18 or 20 or something like that. I forget! But most of the year I was 22 I kept almost saying I was 23 and then when I did actually turn 23 I remembered all the time. (and still do as I’m 23 now)

    I’m not sure what the next age I’ll automatically remember is, but I’m certain I’ll enjoy it. But for the next few years I’ll probably be forgetting and telling people I’m 23.

  5. I turned 30 just over a month ago. I had a surprisingly hard time with both 29 and 30 as birthdays. I never expected it. I don’t know if I have any advice for age 29 –I think I’m too close to it to tell.

  6. I’m turning 27 in a week – I feel fine about it, for the most part. I’ve got my masters degree, a career, have been able travel throughout Europe, have my own car, apartment, etc. I have a great boyfriend and we’ve been together for 2.5 years. Right now though I feel like I’m just waiting…waiting to get married, waiting to have a baby. I’m having mega-baby fever right now, with what seems like everyone around me pregnant and birthing. But yeah. Sometimes being a grown-up sucks – get up, workout, work, cook dinner, clean, bed (I miss college!), but really, I’m successful, intelligent, attractive and have a pretty darn good life. Go me!

    But how do I stop the “waiting” game (besides knocking my boyfriend upside the head and dragging him off to get married and impregnating me)?

  7. 37. Soon to be 38. My 30’s were a rollercoaster but the older I am, the better I feel. I love the wiser aspect of aging and I find that it is real, however amorphous…one never quite knows what one is learning from day to day and suddenly you realize, “Jeebus! Somewhere along the way, I learned I lived my life based on what my mother thinks.” and then at some point I realized, “I don’t give a crap what my mother thinks!”

  8. I’m 23, too, and I’ll be 24 in November. I used to think that each new year was the best year yet, but I think I actually enjoyed 21 or 22 more than 23. Mainly because then I was in college and had wonderful friends, and now I’m on my own and have no friends. (No local friends, anyway.) Sigh.

    But now I’ll be looking forward to 25.

  9. I’m 26 and am actually looking forward to turning 30! :o) I had my big quarterlife crisis when I turned 20 (I had a sucky job, everybody forgot my birthday and I hadn’t turned thin and glamorous overnight (Fantasy of being thin, anyone? ;o) )). Now I’m a student, feel more comfortable in my body than I’ve ever been and think that my “outer” age is finally in sync with my “inner” age.

    BTW, my birthday is April 2 – I’m an Aries. Best sign there is! Whooo-hooo! ;-)

  10. I will be 42 in October. I liked my 30’s better than my 20’s and my 40’s (so far) better than my 30’s…My Mom swears the best decade for women is their 50’s- I’m looking forward to the next 20 years. I think my favorite age so far had actually nothing to do with my age, but with the amount of fun I was having- I was 37.

  11. I turned 25 two days ago that makes me a Leo, so far it is ok.

    I finally have a job that I and my parents can be proud of. My family is pushing me to find someone to marry (probably will not happen any time soon). And they are still hoping that I decide to have kids (Never going to happen).

  12. I’m 44. My only advice is that some people have trouble with the transition from 20s to 30s (and 30s to 40s), and some don’t. It’s normal either way.

    I have two close friends who are older than I am – one by about 5 years, one by 20 years. They have so much more fun than I do that they have always made me think that the older I get, the more fun there is to be had.

    As far as I know, you never feel like a grown up. I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing at all.

  13. I turned 32 a few weeks ago (another Leo!). I definitely have ages that feel right, in terms of the number, and those that don’t quite settle right. I felt 23 for many years, and 27 stuck around for a few, and 31 seemed ok, but 32 is such a weird number that I’m not really connecting with it.

    But I also just finished grad school a few weeks ago, and moved down to live with my boyfriend after a six-month separation, and next week I start my new job, so I’m feeling pretty good about where I am in life. It just doesn’t feel “32,” for some reason.

    I’m looking forward to 43. That seems like a good age to me, for some reason.

  14. And, for some reason, being 32 apparently means that I use “for some reason” entirely more than is reasonably necessary, for some reason.

  15. I’m 31, 32 in October. It was such a relief to turn 30. I had awful 20’s… ones in which I grew a whole helluva lot, but ones I’d never want to repeat!

  16. I’m 40! And I love it! I LOVED turning 30… my 20’s were awful, as a decade, and turning 30 felt like a rebirth, and it was a great decade… for the most part. I was nervous about turning 40… but it didn’t turn out any differently than any other birthday.

  17. Happy birthday to you! I’m turning 31 next month. I couldn’t say I have a favorite age so far. I’m with Talley – I don’t think my “best age” has had anything to do with just the age, but more to do with how comfortable I am with myself and what I’m doing at the time.

    Basically, things improved dramatically when I was about 25, and have just continued to get better. Twenty-five was the last birthday that felt like a milestone – the rest has just felt like gradually becoming the adult person I want to be.

  18. I’m 25 and will turn 26 in November. Let’s hear it for Scorpios! I like where I am in my life right now with my job, roommate, friends, and family.

    I do remember one friend of my mom’s who skipped her 39th birthday and was 40 for two years. She said she didn’t want to spend a year having people bother her about her upcoming 40th, so she went straight from 38 to 40. She said it worked for her.

  19. I turned 30 about six months ago. I agree that 29 is weird. I spent the first half of the year forgetting that I was 29 and thinking I was still 28. I spent the second half of the year preparing myself for 30. So I never really felt 29!

    I will say the thing that has made me feel most like a grownup is going to a lawyer last week to prepare a will. I got married last year and we’re having a baby at the end of this year, so it seemed like something we should do. But it sure was a strange feeling to think I was old and responsible enough to need a will!

  20. I turned 23 on April 30th (Taurus represent!). I gotta say, all of the 20s (at least, the years of the 20s I’ve had thus far) have been really awesome.
    I’m looking forward to 25. Maybe I’ll actually be a grownup by then, ’cause I sure don’t feel like one now.

  21. I’ll be 37 next week too. Like Talley, I liked my 30s better than my 20s, and I look forward to my 40s. The 30s gave me a sense a perspective and distance. It’s all about letting go and not taking things personally.

    My advice to you: learn to tell the difference between actual adults and child-adults, i.e. between those who have responsibilities and try to take them seriously and those who have taken every opportunity to prolong adolescence. Being able to tell the difference quickly saves a lot of time and money.

  22. It’s your birthday next week? MINE TOO! I’ll be turning 22! Happy birthday, Ms. Sweet Machine.

  23. I just turned 31 in June (Gemini). My favorite birthday so far was 30 because it made me feel like a real grownup. Maybe I would have had that feeling earlier if I had kids, but I don’t. Turning 30 also made me feel better about teaching college kids. When I was still in my 20s, I always felt I was a little too close in age to them since half of them are in their 20s too (and a handful even older, though I teach at a place where the vast majority are “traditional” college students who come straight out of high school). But something about being in a different decade of life from my students gave me a confidence boost in the classroom.

    So my advice is to embrace the end of your 20s and start planning early for a kickass 30th birthday party!

  24. My bday is March 31. I’m 27 years old this year.
    I’d say my best years were 21-22 and 26-27. I’m counting on my late twenties and thirties to be the best yet!
    The older I get, the better I feel. I dealt with depression and eating disorders in my adolescence and late teens, but as I’ve aged I’ve mellowed, I think.

  25. Wow, there’s a bunch of Leos in here.

    My birthday is the 18th (two Mondays from now) and I will be 26.

    I have a habit that I have had since about the age of 11 of upping my age in mid-July, like if someone asks my age I say 26 even though my birthday is a week and a half away.

    I’m not very scared of 30 in the abstract, but I will say that I was never scared of going gray until J pulled out two gray hairs from my head on Saturday and I almost had a panic attack. So, once 30 is around the corner who knows what my craziness will reveal.

  26. I’m 36. I have a friend who says “Life begins at 40, because you spend your 30s fixing everything you fucked up in your 20s.”

    I believe her. That’s about when I’ll finally have my credit report fixed, at least.

  27. for me, 29 was the hardest birthday. in my head i had this whole list of things i “should have” accomplished by the time i was 30….and as i was turning 29 i started to realize that it was unlikely i’d get them done in the next year (get Ph.D, write and publish novel, buy house, etc).

    But since then, its been fantastic. I turned 40 on June 6th, and for me, life has gotten consistently better since 30…that may not be true for everyone, but definitely for me!

    so happy almost-birthday. it just gets better from here!

  28. At 51, I guess I am the current leader of the age pack (at least, as far as the comments go at the time I am typing, but who knows what will happen between keyboard and submit button). It still surprises me to be in my fifties, because in my brain I am usually anywhere from 8 to about 29, depending on the day, the activity at hand, and my mood.

    On Thursday nights I teach a martial arts class, and last night in an excess of enthusiasm, as I was demonstrating a nice finish to an attack response, I knocked my much younger, taller, male partner across the room and into the wall. Oopsie! As I apologized and picked him up off the floor, I felt 18 again. This morning my knees were still 51, though.

    Many happy returns, SM, 29 was one of my favorite ages. Maybe that’s why my brain has never felt much older than that, no matter what the calendar and the mirror tell me.

  29. I’m turning 29 soon too, on Sept 4. I’m actually stressing about it, but mainly because I’ve been stressing about a lot of different things lately. I’ve gained a ton of weight in the last three years, haven’t had a serious relationship in 2 years, and I’m contemplating a major career change that will make me feel like I’m starting over at age 29, the age I *thought* by which I’d be totally settled down with the marriage/house/kids deal.

    So really I think the age thing depends on your circumstances. If I were in a good relationship and my career were more stable, then I”d be thrilled to be turning 29.

  30. Having turned 30 this past January (on the 18th) I can say the 30’s rock. Granted, I’m only in this 8 months and have the rest of the decade to go before I can officially say all of the 30’s rock, but hey, 30 does.

    29 was a great year. And I couldn’t wait to turn 30. I welcome getting older.

    I started going gray when I was 18, so I’ve been used to that for a while now. It was just this year, however, that I decided to try highlights. And I friggen love ’em. I don’t cover up my grays. I add to them with lighter pieces of hair. For the win!

    Also, just because I’m 30, it does not mean I am grown up. In fact, I feel younger at 30 than I did at 22.

  31. I just turned 30 on Monday. It was really hard, and that took me by surprise. I’m not usually the type to get emotional about my age, or even take much notice – 29, for instance, was a breeze.

    But ironically, I think a part of the problem is that I keep hearing that the 30s are the best. That you’ve finally gotten your shit together and figured out who you are, you’re confident, you’re secure, you finally are woman and hear you roar, etc. But I woke up Monday morning as confused and insecure as I’ve ever been. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I still don’t know who I really am. And now I feel like that was okay in my 20s, but it’s not okay anymore. You know?

    Part of it is my mother, too. She never figured out who she was or what she wanted, and now she’s 62 and absolute batshit insane. I’m scared because I know she was as lost as I am on her 30th birthday, and I REALLY feel like the clock is ticking to get myself straightened out. It didn’t bear down on me so much until the big 3-0.

    It’s not even like I’m *that* much of a mess. I have a wonderful marriage, a beautiful son, we’re financially secure. But my emotional overeating is worse than ever, I’m utterly lost in terms of a “career,” I’m living in the suburbs (which I loathe), and I’m constantly questioning my parenting ability. I guess maybe I feel ripped off. I was supposed to have all this knowledge and security by the time I hit 30, but instead I keep fucking up MORE.

    Okay, tl;dr. Sorry. I think the good news is that if you like being an adult (and I do too, usually) and you like the general path your life is taking – or feel confident about your ability to change it if you don’t – it really is only going to get better from here.

    My favorite, so far, was 24. I’d separated from my scumbag of a first husband and was working An Important Job in A Big City. I felt like I’d started to find my way. I’m seriously hoping that something better than 24 is up in the future, though, because I feel too young to have already had my best year!

  32. I’m 47, birthday January 26th. I’m an aquarius with moon in Gemini and Libra rising, which makes me a triple air sign. Interpret that as you will.

    I just started getting grey hairs here and there but it doesn’t bother me at all.

  33. Happy 29th! ENJOY! Your 30’s will fantastic! My 20’s were fun, but it was my experience that people do not really take 20-somethings very seriously….that bothered me.

    I’ll be 40 next month and I’m looking forward to it….it helps that I still feel like a 19 year old girl, only much wiser… Your life is what you make it no matter what age you are – so make the best of what you’ve got!

  34. Every age I’m in seems pretty good, compared to being a teenager. I’m 34. 10/26/1973.
    Holy crap! We’re practically twins. I’ll be 35 on October 29 this year. Headin’ out of that target demographic! Then again, I’m female, so I was never really in the target demographic at all. I’m looking for forward to 65: Yay Medicare!

  35. I’ll be 30 on 1 November, making me a Scorpio. My eldest daughter was 4 on 30 April, making her a Taurus. And born the day I was 25.5 years old; I like that. My younger daughter will be 2 in one week from today preeeecisely (yes, my family and friends were a little startled by how young I started having children. It wasn’t their pelvis going through the wringer, so they didn’t get a say).

    I’m sure some day I’ll feel like a real grown-up. Not now, like, but sometime.

    Advice? Well, keep trying to work out who you are. Remember that grownups get to run their own lives in a way kids and teenagers truly don’t. If you ever figure out how to feel like a grownup, all the times you want to, bottle it and make a million.

  36. I was 29 for like 3 years. When I was in High School I had set this crazy goal that I’d get married at 27 (JUST LIKE SIMON LEBON!) have kids, blah blah blah…

    So when I turned 27 the reality hit me… and I was (bum bum bum!) 2 years closer to THIRTY! (GASP!) So I pretty much spent 27, 28 & 29 all worried about turning 29 and being close to 30. So I pretty much missed three years there of just being happy at the age I was. I’m now 37, I’ll be 38 in October. And I’m not at all worried about closing in on 40….whatever… I learned my lesson with that already.

  37. Sounds like you have a nice grandmother. My grandmother always said similar things to be, but different enough to be the opposite of nice. More like: “Oh, you’re 25? That’s the best age. Enjoy it, because next year, the best part of your life will be over and it’s all down hill from there.” She would usually follow that with “Don’t ever get old,” or some such thing. Like the alternative to getting old is so damned great.

  38. Woooow!!

    I just got off the phone with my Sister-in-law and very best friend who turned 30 yesterday. I turn 30 on the 17th of next month and we were both remarking how we didn’t feel 30.

    I couldn’t agree more with this statement:

    “Lord knows I don’t really feel like a grownup yet, but I certainly have had the responsibilities and stresses of a grownup “.

    Yeah, I feel the same and I feel and see and have also been told that I have just improved with age, for the most part.

  39. I’m 32, 33 in November, and I can tell you that for me my 30s have been *brilliant*. And not just because I met my other half on the night I turned 30 either.

    I’ve got over the heartache from the year of being 29, I had a fabulous 90th birthdays with 2 friends with birthdays in the same month, work’s improved immensely, I’ve finally passed my driving test, my sister got married and I was a bridesmaid and it was fabulous, I’ve moved in with my lovely bloke and been happily living with him for 18 months, we’ve had some great holidays, and we’ve just put in an offer on a house of our very own and had it accepted.

    More brilliantly though it’s my mum’s birthday *today* – and what a cool day to have a birthday on (08/08/08). So Happy Birthday Mum.

  40. “Life begins at 40, because you spend your 30s fixing everything you fucked up in your 20s.”

    Ha! Love it!

    Happy birthday to SM and everyone else it applies to (including my friend Jan, if she’s reading, ’cause her bday was yesterday and I forgot to acknowledge it). I’m 33, January 15, Capricorn. Loving my 30s so far.

    29 actually freaked me out a lot more than 30, because it really hit me at that point that there were people who were younger than me and a LOT more accomplished. I never really had that “Must do X, Y, and Z before I’m 30” list going, but In my twenties, I was often the youngest person among my group of friends and colleagues, so I always felt like the fact that I was there at all meant I’d accomplished something special. Then I got older and didn’t accomplish anything else in particular, so at 29, it finally hit me that I needed to get my shit together and do something other than coast on being Really Smart for Someone So Young.

    Four years later, I’ve done a lot of what I always wanted to do, which is awesome, but I still fucked up enough in my 20s that I can only hope to finish sorting that out before 40. :)

    Oh, and 29 was probably also the year I finally stopped thinking of myself as 24 — I was stuck at that age in my head for a long time. Now I’m mentally stuck at 30. (I almost claimed that as my real age here, before I thought about it.) Al, who just turned 36, often refers to people “our age,” and my kneejerk response is always, “There IS NO ‘our age’! I’m MUCH younger than you!” But of course, 2 and a half years is nothing, and there is indeed an “our age.” I just haven’t caught up to it yet. Meanwhile, my sister M. says I will forever be 15 in her mind — once I hit that milestone, I got stuck there. Which explains a lot about our relationship.

  41. Happy 29! I’m 33 since May. I hate to say it, but 29 didn’t jump out at me much. 27, I theorized for a long time, is the year of the loser. I always notice drug overdoses, suicides, and arrests for egregious crimes always seem to happen to 27 year olds. So you’re past that! YAY!

  42. I loved my 30s. The only birthday I had trouble with was 35 because I had “plans” for that age and I hadn’t reached them. In fact, the night of my birthday we passed a store that I thought read “AAA I’m Aging” and thought it was a comment on me and that it was a novelty birthday gag gift store. Actually the store was
    AAA Imaging.
    You know, to get them to the front of the phone book.

    AAAAAA! I’m Aging! Snort. I get teased about that all the time because I commented on it and my husband turned around and drove back to see the real name of the store and I was surprised I read it wrong. On my 35th birthday.

    I turn 40 in March. I’m okay with that. I don’t hide my grey hairs. I think they are pretty. I just got my Ph.D. (the thing I thought I’d be done with by 35) and am about to travel to London (another thing I was “supposed” to have done by 35) and all is well.

    Have a great 29!

  43. Happy birthday, FJ! I am turning 29 this weekend! It has given me a swift kick it the pants to start going for what I want, as hard as I can, even if it means facing up to some hard tasks on the way.

  44. Then I got older and didn’t accomplish anything else in particular, so at 29, it finally hit me that I needed to get my shit together and do something other than coast on being Really Smart for Someone So Young.

    Going back to grad school made me face that one big time. Some of my smartypants colleagues are 22 — which I was in my first stint in grad school! — and I’m amazed. But then I remember that I can still be a youngish person for having *two* degrees and I feel a little better. ;-)

    Happy birthday everyone!

  45. Well, maybe that’s why I don’t care so much about turning 30 b/c I didn’t set myself up for any kind of (expected) failures.

    Hmm, just go with the flow and don’t make plans for any ages and when your birthday comes, get good and drunk (or “whatever” if you know what I mean, puff, puff, pass and all that) and dance with some fine Latin men and all will be good.

    That’s what I’m gonna try to do if I get money. Heck, if I have to celebrate in Janurary after tax money so be it!!

  46. Happy birthday, FJ

    It’s SM! FJ’s birthday was in March. :) And happy birthday to you, Rejoyce. (And a special shout out to Charlotte as well, though my blanket “Happy birthday if you’re having one basically any time this year” still applies, ’cause I can’t keep up with this thread.)

  47. Happy early birthday, Sweet Machine!

    I’ll be 32 at the end of September, and like most everyone, am grateful to be leaving my “official” youth behind. (Which is not to say that I don’t look nearly exactly the same as I did at 22… and still dress the same…)

    29 was a terrible year for me, though not because of anything to do with the number itself – just a series of unfortunate things.

    I was *so* happy to turn 30, if only to be able to say (to my mother, for example), “I’m 30 years old! Leave me alone!” with some degree of credibility :)

    The older I get, the more comfortable I become with how little I know, about myself, the world and everything, as my grandma would say. I surprised myself this summer – after a lifetime of swearing I would never have children, I’m three months pregnant , and while I’m a bit stunned, am slowly getting happier about it and looking forward to parenting.

    Wishing you an excellent 29 and beyond!

  48. When I turned 29 (this past March), I was struck by a wave of regret for all the things I *should* have done by that age … becoming a teacher and/or a mother were the big ones. In March I was still in a job FAR beneath my abilities, recovering from my second miscarriage in a year. It was a hard birthday. Now I am much happier having quit my job because I am going back to full time school in Sept to become a teacher – finally! I’m so excited and can’t wait to become a real high school teacher! (This, of course, paves the way for other dreams to be realised like moving away from the city and buying some acreage, having a large veggie garden, building a cob house, and becoming more self sufficient.)

    It’s funny how we focus on the things we don’t have or haven’t done instead of all the great and wonderful things in our lives. I would say, as my birthday advice, focus on all the great things in your life and save the regret for later (or never).

  49. I just turned 30 in June. I’m still getting used to saying that I’m 30 (it takes about 5 months for my new age to kick in automatically after a birthday), but it feels really good.

    I spent 29 basically counting down until 30, like it was some kind of looming, symbolic, Big Deal, but in reality turning 30 was easy. (Of course, I am regularly told that I look quite a bit younger than I am, so that doesn’t hurt.)

    My life is great; I feel stable, secure and confident in ways that I couldn’t imagine when I was in my early 20s. I’m happy. What’s not to love about 30, then?

    Happy birthday, SM!

  50. Happy Birthday!! If the well wishing starts now, does that mean you get a week+ worth of celebrating? Those are the best kinds of birthdays. I have a theory that prime number years (19, 23, 29, etc) are the best years, so I am confident that 29 will be a blast.

    25 (03/03 – Pisces) has been good to me so far, it feels like I am finally starting to get some of my shit together. I think your grandma might be on to something. :)

  51. Kathy, I like that theory… I will be holding out to see if there’s something there in 3 years when I turn 29 :)

  52. Happy Birthday! :)

    Oh man, I remember 29. Honestly? I dreaded turning 30. There seemed to be some ominous note in changing the “2” in my age to a “3”. I remember thinking that time doesn’t just march on, it fucking RACES.

    Now that I’m 32 (my birthday is December 30, I’m a Capricorn)… eh, it’s not such a big deal. I think it was more the thought of my 30s that bothered me, not so much the reality. Of course, the fact that I was WELL into my self-loathing in my late 20’s and now I’m into the self-love thing might have something to do with that, too, though.

  53. I just turned 32 last month. I like being 32. Although i had a strange experience the other day; a friend of mine said in her LJ that she was one year away from turning 30, and i had a total brain fart where i thought, “wait, i thought i was older than her…?” I don’t know what age i thought i was in that moment, but it was surreal.

    I was glad to turn 30. My 20s were interesting but it felt like people in my age bracket didn’t get taken seriously. Like, you had to be in your 30s before you could have a valid opinion, or some bull like that.

  54. I will be 32 on October 10th. Seriously, 30 was the best birthday. I spent the week celebrating in Disney World (wich is way better when you’re an adult without kids along) and was the only proud birthday girl over the age of about 6 having dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming.

    Getting older is awesome. You only have to grow up as much as you want to and you have the money to do all the fun stuff you couldn’t do as a poor college student. You gain wisdom with experience, and you can take more chances (I’m giving up my job and the home I’ve known my whole life to move four states away with my boyfriend and I can’t wait!).

    Enjoy your birthday and enjoy your age! Many happy returns!

  55. Happy early birthday Sweet Machine!

    I’m 27 and and an almost perfect Aquarius; seriously, read a description of the sign, and that’s me. And Bekbek, I’m sooo going with your theory about the suckage of 27.

    I think 22 has been my favorite year so far…graduating from college, getting married (though not the best idea in retrospect–see the Menz thread–it was fun at the time), being a grownup before the novelty wore off…

  56. Happy birthday!

    I’m 36, will be 37 in October. It took me a long time to admit to my age, mainly because I always looked so much younger than my chronological age, until recently when stress and health kicked my ass. Turning 30 was hard for me, and my 30s have sucked. But the 30s don’t usually suck for people, I know I’m an exception. I’m totally optimistic about my 40s.

  57. Oh, yeah, and…

    My mother swears every time she enters a new decade that it’s the ‘best’ one. She’s in her 70’s now, and she says “I like being old!”

    I’ve liked different things about being different ages, even my horrific teens had their memorable moments. I’m still not sure how I feel about being 47. I guess I’ll know in 20 years, when I can look back on it.

  58. I’m 27 and an Aquarius (Jan. 23). I looked forward to being 27 for a long time, partially because I was *sure* my husband and I were going to have a baby at this age (we didn’t, and won’t for the forseeable future. I’m okay with that). I’ve been a functional adult for quite some time but this year I’ve done a lot of emotional growing-up. I’m coming away from that early-20s “fuck you, I’ll do what I want!” mindset and starting to see that, y’know what? Other people have thoughts and feelings too! And my life is *better* when I adjust for that! WHO KNEW??

    27 has been really good so far. I’m looking forward to 29, but beyond that, there be dragons. ;)

  59. I’m 43 and my birthday is in February, which makes me an Aquarius.

    By far the best years were my 30’s: I was married to my best friend (my late husband David), I finished my master’s degree and I found a job that I liked.

    The bad part of my 30’s was being diagnosed with cervical cancer but I’m now almost 6 years free and clear so that is something to cheer about! :)

  60. I’ll be 29 on the 10th of October. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. This is a big transition year for me so I don’t know if it will matter or make it better/worse.

  61. I am 62.

    I once saw a T-shirt that said, “You’re always the same age inside,” and I can say that is true. My mind behaves in the same way it always has, no matter how old I get.

    Nevertheless, it takes a little effort to accept the physical changes that come with aging!

  62. My best age was definitely 25.
    I was back in school and doing wonderfully.
    I was living overseas doing my internship.
    And my skin and hair looked amazing.

    Despite all the rotten stuff that happened when I was 28, overall, it wasn’t that bad of a year, either.

    29 is shaping up to be ok, too.

  63. Hi and happy birthday! I think only Harriet is older than me so far – I was 48 last Sunday, so also a Leo:)
    I spent my 20’s marvelling at people younger than me having kids – I knew I wasn’t ready for them at all, and I was too busy travelling around and being a hippy. I did have children in my mid-thirties and eventually also acquired full time work and a mortgage when I was practically 40. Now I’ve got all the grown-up “badges,” I still don’t actually feel grown up – maybe I never will – I wonder how I pull it all off, sometimes, but it does seem to work, on the whole. I’m still a long way from being the “oldest generation” in my family – my paretns are 72 and my grandma is 101. I think possibly it is the loss of your parents that makes you finally realize you are a grown-up. I remember I “lost” both my 29th year and my 39th year, because each time I spent the year declaring I was “almost…30 or 40” So enjoy being 29 for a while, SM, and enjoy every age you get to.

  64. I turned 30 in March (Pisces, Taurus rising… which seems fairly accurate…). I always say that getting older sure beats the alternative, so I didn’t experience the stereotypical 30 angst. I actually kind of like saying that I’m 30, and my partner is 3.5 years older than me, so I like that we’re in the same decade now. I enjoy the freedom of being a “grown-up” although not the responsibility, and I really don’t feel like an adult most of the time. And in, a lot of ways, I’m not living the grown-up life — I’m still a college student, I have no job, I’m not a homeowner. It’s weird sometimes to feel like I am not where I “should” be for my age but then again, I guess I am where I should be for me.
    Anyway, Happy Birthday!!

  65. Last comment awaiting moderation, because I misspelled my own name! I’m sure it’ll get there soon.

  66. Happy Birthday!!

    I am 27 and a Libra, my brithday is October 16th.

    For some reason, I always feel about 11 years than I actually am. I think it is because I don’t have very good long-term memory, and middle school is about the first thing that I remember. So, even though I am “technically” an adult, I still find myself going to bars and thinking: I sure wish I was 21 so I could drink.

    My poor memory serves me well though because every day is literally the best day ever, and every year is the best year yet.

  67. Oh, and I forgot: I’m a Virgo, and might very well give birth to another Virgo about the time I turn 31. If it’s much later than my birthday, though, it’ll be a little Libra, since I’m nearly on the cusp.

    Advice: Enjoy the hell out of everything you do, and do what makes you happy. That is all.

  68. I share buttercup’s birthday – Jan 26 (but later, 1965). Aquarius with Moon in Sag and Virgo rising (and a serious student of astrology). So I’m 43. 40s have been much better than most of my 30s, which, along with most of my 20s were long, bleak, difficult years. College was hellaciously good fun, but the day I graduated my fun life skidded to a screeching halt. But even at its most difficult, it was much better being a grown-up than a kid. I was always kind of mature for my age (my stepfather used to say “12 going on 35”), so I feel like I’ve been growing into my true self. So now I’m 43 going on 66.

    From beginning to end, 36 (2001) was the worst year of my life. Emotionally, that is. Then things took a dramatic turn upwards in the Spring of 2002, when I was 37. And things have been on a gradual upward trajectory since then.

  69. Another 33 year old Capricorn here (Jan 7). I love being in my 30s. I feel like I’ve figured out a lot of my strengths and use them for good, mostly. My white hair is coming in nicely and adding a new highlight color to the blond. Love it!

    My one complaint about my 30s is that my body doesn’t recover from injury as fast as it used to. All the times I twisted my ankles and done other physical harm to myself in the past are coming back to bite me in the ass. It’s starting to cut into my ability to dance as much as I like, which is a lot. But, at the same time, I’m trying to treat my body well and learn how to strengthen it to get beyond my old injuries. So I think by the end of my 30s I’ll be stronger and not feeling the effects of my not-so-wild youth so that I can have some wild 40s!

  70. “You might want to be careful about stereotyping there, me.”

    About the latin men, I am truly sorry, didn’t mean to stereotype in any way. I was just saying that I wanted to be in a latin dance club, actually, b/c it’s been so long since I’ve got to dance to any type of music like that or be around men of that nature.

    I did not mean to offend in any way, just paying compliments to them and not to put down any other races. It’s just my preferences coming out and the things I wanted to do on MY birthday.

    Again, very sorry for that!!

    Love the blog!

  71. I’ll be 45 next month (September 27). Wow, Buttercup, a triple air sign? Does it make you giddy?

    I have Sag rising and a Cap moon to go with my Libra sun. And a Virgo signature. (Signature means you add up all your planets by earth-air-water-fire and fixed-cardinal-mutable, and I was earth and mutable dominant, hence Virgo sig.) Void moon and lots of retro planets too. I used to be a fiend for doing people’s charts, it was fun.

    My favorite year is one I haven’t had yet. But I will, I insist on it!

  72. I turned 35 in May. I like to moan and gripe about birthdays and getting older, but so far the age itself hasn’t bothered me a bit. I was younger than all of my peers in school (thanks a lot, skipping kindergarten) so I’ve always wanted to be older. It’s the physical signs, like creaky knees and gray hair and such, that make me feel old. My peers now are also mostly older than I am, so the actual number of my age hasn’t been much of an issue.
    I don’t have a favorite age yet. Every age I’ve been has had good points and bad. I do now finally feel like I own myself, that I know who I am and I love myself and my body and my life, and that feels goooooood. Even on bad days, I feel much more grounded than I did when I was younger.

  73. I had to think for a few seconds to remember my age. I’m 25.

    I’ve felt older lately. Probably because of the new lines on my face. Before now, I never had a problem with growing older, in theory.

    But when the image I have of myself is still of my 20-year old body, I feel a disconnect when I look in the mirror and see those lines, and breasts that aren’t as perky, and bigger thighs….

    It’s not even that I hate any one of those things, but that my brain needs to catch up with my new physical identity so that I don’t feel out of place in my own body.

  74. I turn 25 in December. I am SO EXCITED about turning 25, perhaps because my last two birthdays have kind of sucked, as have the past couple of years, although they’ve certainly been memorable. As my mom likes to say, for a premature infant born to a teenage mom wearing hand-me-down onesies, I’ve done pretty well with my living independently, dual-Masters-having, new-job-starting self. I feel like actually having lived for a quarter of a century now is pretty rad. I can’t wait to celebrate.

  75. I don’t hide my grey hairs. I think they are pretty.
    Aren’t they great? Like nature’s highlights. I doubt it will happen, but I’m hoping to eventually have white hair. I’ll more likely go salt-and-pepper, but a girl can dream!

  76. My birthday is April 11; I’m an Aries. Currently 24, but looking forward to hitting 25, because then I’ll have access to some investments that will greatly reduce my student loan debt.

    I think my favorite year will be the one in which I pay off my 6-figure student loans. Which might not happen till I hit 50, at the rate I’m going.

  77. I turned 23 in April, (woot Aries!) and this year has been pretty good thus far. I’ve actually always looked forward to 30, but then again, I’ve always looked forward to birthdays in general so who’s to say.

    I have three favorite ages/years so far: 10, 17 and 21.

  78. I am 42, birthday Oct. 22, a Libra on the cusp. I realized fairly recently that at least for me, the 20s were difficult. I started my career and eventually married the man I pined for for many years, but the process of developing political and personal convictions and the loneliness of striking out on my own weighed heavily on me. I guess I was just worried all the time – about money, my career path, what my friends were doing, and most of all about what others think. I am SO over that now. I still aim to please, but with age has come self-assurance, and it is just so much more comfortable for me. Aging has been a good experience for me – there is nothing to fear!

  79. I’m 36, and I’ve only had a problem with one age, 27. I was in grad school, no job, and single. 27 is the age my mom was when she got married, and the age my dad was when I was born, so apparently 27 was what my subconscious associated with the markers of “adulthood” and I didn’t have them.

    Everything else has been gravy. My mom has always told me what someone upthread said — getting older beats the alternative. Plus, the women in my family usually live into at least their late 80’s and tend to looker younger than they are, so I just never felt a lot of pressure.

    And if all goes well, next year I’ll be going back to school (law school) at 37! Scary but exciting. I may finally be brave enough to really reach for the things I want, so maybe the 40’s will be my best!

    As a teenager, I used to say I didn’t know how to be 15, but I knew what I’d be like at 40. We’ll see if I can (or even want to) live up to that.

  80. Happy birthday — everybody!

    I’ll be 42 on September 22, the cusp of Virgo and Libra. I know I’m a Virgo, because I babysat the kids of an astrologer when I when in high school and she did a chart for me. My rising sign is Scorpio, a combination that allegedly makes me ruthless, secretive and fussy … lovely.

    Twenty was probably the worst year: my dad died unexpectedly right before I graduated from college. It was a tough year for us all.

    The “thirties” was a decade of change. I moved three or four times (early on), went to grad school, changed jobs, got married, lost both of my grandmothers, became an aunt 7 times … I’m getting tired thinking about it.

    I’m enjoying my 40s. Life is much more settled and peaceful and I’ve got more time and money to do things that I like. I think I’m also more confident in some of the more unconventional choices I’ve made, and so it’s easier for me to just do what I want with less concern about what others think. I feel very grounded now, and in a weird sort of way, the fact that I am grounded makes me take more chances.

    I’m lucky that prettty much every year has been better than the year before. That’s my hope for you all: that every year (or at least almost every year) is an improvement on the last, and that the good years help you through the bad ones.

  81. I’m a 43 year old Pisces. (And a Wood Snake, if anyone’s keeping track of the Chinese zodiac!) I’m finding that, as goofy as it sounds, almost every year I live is the best one… though I suppose 40 was a very good year for me since it was the year I got married and committed to a relationship I enjoy so much.

    32 was a toughy for me… I kept expecting to be in a different place than I was. And for years I was haunted by much of the same “syndrome” it appears Kate was… the idea that others had greater expectations of me than I felt I’d quite lived up to. While I still feel that way, I think I finally came into my own in my 30s… that I started to feel more free to be who I really am, and not try to live up to everyone’s expectations, instead.

    Now I just listen to my mother. She’ll be 69 soon, and her favorite thing to say is, “I’m an old lady so I can do what I want! Who’s going to argue with me?” And you know, she’s right. :)

    (Happy Birthday to all of you celebrating another wonderful year!)

  82. I was born 2/4/68.
    [pause for chanting]

    I’ve had good luck at ages that are prime numbers. 29 went pretty well; so did 31 and 37. I’m looking forward to the rest of my 40s because it’s a prime-rich period.

  83. OMG!! I love gray hair, I want some!

    It is like head tinsel, shiny and metallic robot hairz!

  84. Happy birthday!!!!!

    I turned 39 last Thursday. Turning 30 wasn’t a huge deal, and life DEFINITELY got better in my 30’s! I’m looking down the barrel of 40, and pretty excited.
    Like you, I don’t feel remotely like a grown-up, even with 2 kids (or maybe BECAUSE of the kids, lol!).

  85. I was born 2/4/68.
    [pause for chanting]

    Who do we appreciate? Iiii! Iiii! Yaaaaaaay, iiii!

    (That actually took me a minute to figure out, so I felt the need to make it explicit.)

  86. Pattie: When I was in High School I had set this crazy goal that I’d get married at 27 (JUST LIKE SIMON LEBON!)

    I was going to marry John Taylor, dammit.

    Once I turned 25, every birthday since has gotten harder and harder. I’m 36, I’ll be 37 on January 28 (Aquarius, with the moon setting in pickled beets and rising in unicorns or something), and I’m…horrified. I feel violently unaccomplished, very much a failure on several thousand levels, and am baffled as to how I’m going to cope with the next 30 – 40 years (or however long I wind up living). I’m wrangling very hard with coming to terms with all the things I can’t have.

    However, I’ll most likely be killing some time in the fourth quarter of this year with hunting down some sort of psychiatric professional, so that’ll be…oddly entertaining, I guess.

  87. I’m 22, October 18th, Libra.

    This year is the best year yet for me, and yet weirdly, the year in which I’ve done the worst in the one thing (academics) that used to be what my life was all about. I’ve finally come out “properly” to myself and my family and everyone else I know, and I’ve found FA and am finally learning to love my body exactly as I am, which is translating to slowly learning to love everything about me exactly as I am, and I just feel that I’ve grown so so much since last summer that my grade at uni is really the least useful (and least important) measure of what I’ve learned this year. I feel like I’ve finally grown up.

    I’m also slowly learning what to do about a crush other than pining and driving myself demented because I’m too scared to do anything, which is HUGE for me. Right now I’m waiting to see if the girl I’m interested in is going to make good on her promise to come and see me this period. If not, eh, not so big a deal. Because I tried. *beam*

  88. Happy Birthday, Sweet Machine! :)

    I have to say, I think I’m the youngest here yet. I’m 19 and I’m a Capricorn. And, after reading so many people’s responses, all I can say is that I hope the future is as good as you all claim… youth at 19 is not all it’s cracked up to be.

  89. I’m 30. That was a tough birthday – my aunt died a few days before, I came down with pneumonia the day before, and had to go out of state for the funeral the next weekend.

    My husband turns 30 next Friday – we’re just celebrating his birthday with mine! He’s really bummed about the age thing, but it didn’t really bother me much. Possibly because I had a fever and was coughing up all sorts of nastiness. :-)

  90. I’m 25 now, and I DO rather enjoy it. My mom always told me that she learned in a sociology class that 25 is when people “really grow up,” and you can’t take anything too seriously before that. She’s right, but I also don’t feel like I can take myself seriously yet, and I’m fine with that. I am well aware of all that I don’t know, but I feel comfortable with that, and like I’m getting there. I’ve always wanted to be 30–it seemed to me that’s when things came together. But I told my 37-year-old friend that, and she said, “I always thought that, too…I’m still waiting. Maybe 40 will do it.” So, who knows. I think I feel kinda unpressured, though, because while I have a job and an apartment that I love, I’m not tied to a mortgage and I am by no means a “working professional.” I’m not thinking about grad school, and I have no desire to get married or have kids, ever.

    That said, I wasn’t a big fan of age 20 (I was anorexic) or age 23 (I was depressed). 22, though, was good–the world was my oyster.

    P.S. My DOB is December 3, 1982. Sagittarius.

  91. I’m 30 and doing pretty well, although I’m still trying to get a handle on what being an adult means for me. I barely noticed the actual birthday (it was a while ago) but I’m trying to come to terms with things like:

    I’m still alive. There was a lot of my life when I didn’t think that was possible. I haven’t keeled over from poor health, nor have I killed myself, nor do I have any intention of doing so. Tragic Accidents have missed me. Maybe I should actually plan for the future instead of assuming I won’t be around for it.

    I’m not 18, I haven’t been 18 for a long time, and I don’t need to freak out about not looking like I’m 18 anymore. There’s nothing weird about replacing my teenage tshirts with funky lady clothes. There’s nothing unusual about my big pear bottom. If I start looking like my mother, well, it’s about time, and it didn’t happen as early as I feared. :)

    There is no one in my life that I have to pretend for. I don’t have an employer. I’m not hunting for a mate. I’m not trying to maintain a social status. I don’t even have kids to worry about embarassing. I’m still utterly terrified of society and people but for the most part there is very little they can do to me now. I can be an eccentric. In fact, it would be good for my career if I did.

    Learning to stop hiding is not going to be easy for me, but it’s the stage I’m trying to embark on.

  92. I’ll turn 28 in November, but I’m a November Sagittarian, not a Scorpion. :)

    27 has been okay, I guess. Some good things have happened, and so have some bad things.

    25 was a weird year for me because I went back to college to complete my bachelor’s and felt incredibly old compared to the half-dressed 18-year-olds carrying bags emblazoned with their sorority letters!

  93. Am I the only one who hears “Happy Birthday Sweet Machine” to the tune of “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen?” Sorry, Mark Doty.

  94. Just turned 35 myself three weeks ago. It all really sucked until about four years ago for me. It didn’t look like it sucked from the outside…but from the inside, it s.u.c.k.e.d.

    Now that I have experienced it, I often find myself saying, “Things can get better with time,” which is a tedious thing to say. But, sometimes, it feels like the ONLY thing to say when you have to say SOMETHING.

  95. To bellacoker:

    “It is like head tinsel, shiny and metallic robot hairz!”

    OH MY GODS that made me laugh! I love gray hair. When I was in my early 20s, I really wanted to dye my hair gray but couldn’t find a salon that could do it. I still love gray hair but no one seems to believe me when I say that. I LOVE GRAY HAIR! I want head tinsel of my very own! My husband calls them “cat hairs” because we have two white cats (our third cat is a brown tabby).

    I think I am, sadly, not going to get my full head of head tinsel though. My mum just turned 60 and she only has a few gray hairs. Salt and pepper hair is pretty cool too though. I’d be happy with that. Moderate head tinsel. Economic head tinsel. Ya. I’ll stop now. :-)

  96. There are a whole bunch of us Libra/Virgo cusps here, looks like. THAT MEANS WE HAVE THE SAME PERSONALITY FYI. Go 9/23!

    Also, I find myself routinely surprised by every annual number change. Time keeps going! It’s amazing! But I’m also loving every age more than the last one. I pretty much can’t wait for the thirties, either. Or oooo for my 25th college reunion. Those ladies could party, holy crap! I want to do that!

    bellacoker, the head tinsel cracked me up.

  97. I just turned 19 last month, and I’m a Cancer — water, water everywhere :D. I must say that I agree with dollyann – life at this age ain’t exactly the cat’s bananas. I feel completely scatterbrained, like I don’t know which end is up… I’m usually a fairly indecisive person, but lately it’s been even worse. I think it’s because now is supposed to be the time when you sort of lay the foundation for your future, and that seems to utterly paralyze me. I really don’t know what I want to do with my life, or who I want to be, and I have a ridiculously hard time relating to people my own age… I think I’m still trying to get out of that FOBT stage where I’ll just get it all figured out once I’m thin. Breaking that mindset is difficult, so I’m glad that I found FA/HAES at a young age – plenty of time to work it out! It’s getting easier, too :D

    OH! Must say also that I cannot wait to hit late-twenties, early-thirties! It sounds like a much more comfortable age, and I’m looking forward to it!

    *~Happy Birthday Julia and SweetMachine!!!~*

  98. I have an ex, bless his wee cotton socks, that insisted that once a woman turned 30, she was better off dead.

    Yeah, ex.

    Anyway, for my 30th I totally had a wake – I had been living overseas for several years at that point and I had friends from all over the world send in “eulogies” – some recorded and some typed – and had friends in Scotland write up Eulogies for me and there was much alcohol and cake and we had SO MUCH FUN.

    I understand my ex hasn’t had a girlfriend since we broke up.

    I’m 32 now. 32 has been awesome, for this whole month I’ve done it. :)

  99. Haven’t read everyone’s comments but here’s my advice:

    I turned 30 in May. And all this march of time stuff, I kinda like it too. The one thing that trips me up is, I don’t feel like a grownup, and I guess I had this expectation that I would.

    So my advice is: embrace the fact that you don’t feel like a grownup and let go of the expecation that you will. I guess nobody does, it’s just an illusion. Or more accurately, I guess this IS how it feels to be a grownup – it just feels like being yourself, with all the good and bad stuff, all the certain and uncertain stuff.

    Anyway happy birthday!!!

  100. ok STILL havent read all the comments but Deb I noticed your comment about the waiting game.

    I think a lot of people can identify with that….

    Maybe it will help to think about all the great things about right now, like how you have the freedom to do things on a whim that you won’t be able to once you have kids, that kinda stuff… and take advantage of it.

    And for what it’s worth you sound amazingly accomplished! A lot of people older than you haven’t done half the shit you’ve done. :)

  101. For starters, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hooray!

    26 here, and another Taurus. Right on the cusp, since the day is the 21st. ^_^

    26… has not been my favorite. I’m still struggling with a lot of things in my life right now… not the least of which is still trying to rid myself of the silly idea that I should be sad because I never did live up to the “hot young college sexpot hottie hot hottie” image and now my 20’s are fast disappearing to be a “hot young 20-something hottie hot hottie” or whatever. Even though I finally figured out that I don’t know who I’m supposed to be so hot FOR in the first place, and (thanks to Fatosphere) know I should know better, part of me still whispers “but, but… hottie!”

    25 was a lot harder though, so I’m expecting 27 to be better still, and so forth… I bet 30’s gonna rock. 25 was when I graduated college, and I was all “oh gods, I’m a quarter of a century old and I haven’t accomplished anything, I have no idea what I want to do with my life STILL and I don’t have college anymore, my sister did more by the age of 16 than this, my other sister has a good job and got married, bla bla bla I haven’t saved the world yet or even published a book bla.”

    Now it’s more “I need to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life… or at least this next year.”

  102. I’m 32. I will turn 33 on January 29. I was glad to hit 30. I was old in my teenage years. I prefer to hang ut with older people, my friends are my age or older. I’m looking forward to getting older. That means no more damn periods.

    Hopefully by that time I will have found someone to share my boring but oh-so-grateful-for-no-drama life. But no kids! I decided after I turned 30 I want to be child-free. If you know any sterile men age 30 and up who doesn’t mind hanging with a fat chick, let me know!!!

    I’ve had the usual crises with changing jobs and having my grandmother die, but so far, so good. I can’t complain. My family is pretty good. We have our ups and downs, but nobody’s disowned anybody yet.

  103. I felt old when I turned 30. I was single, not settled in a job, not living where I wanted to live. I felt like I wasn’t where I should be.
    I felt much younger when I turned 40. By then I was married with two children, and working at a satisfying job in a city I could see living in the rest of my life. I felt like I was right where I wanted my life to be.
    So my advice to a 30-year old is, if you’re where you want to be, be happy, and if you’re not, be patient.

  104. I’ll be 26 in 11 days. I liked 22 best, but I’m biased. I got my BA and I married Mr. Pudge. It was a good year. I’m pretty certain every year since I started college was the ‘best’ year, because, well, I also liked being an adult waaaaaay better.

    Happy 29th Birthday.

    I don’t think I’ve got any advice. Except, well, live without regrets.

  105. I will turn 29 on Christmas Day this year. Birthdays have never been a “thing” in my world, because, really, I may as well not have one. My parents, my brother, and one of my friends are the only ones who really remember it. Some years, I’ve been known to forget my own birthday until James calls. :) I used to really resent it as a kid, because other people had birthday parties, and I never did.

    But as my mom would say “It is what it is.” I now enjoy the fact that a lot of people celebrate something in the time around my bday, (be it Xmas, Hanukkah, other winter solstice type celebration) and that it’s a joyful and happy time in many cultures. As a grown up, I don’t mind that it’s not about me.

    Just don’t ever get me a birthday cake with Santa on it. Unless you wish to wear it.

  106. I’m another Leo – will be thirty on the 23rd.

    And I haven’t decided yet on how I feel about this. ; )

  107. I just turned 35 on Thursday (yay me!), and I have to say – my 30s have been my favorite decade so far, bar none. I’m not sure I can pick out a favorite year, but I will say that I’ve faced a lot of crazy-ass shit in the past five years, and I’m rather certain I would have collapsed in the face of it in my 20s. Now, though, I can deal. Some days with more success and aplomb than others, but still – dealing is an improvement.

  108. I’m 27 and an Aquarius (Feb 4 – shared with iiii – yay!). Aquarius TOTALLY describes me, btw.

    23 has been my best year so far…my divorce was final, I got my own awesome apartment, met my current boyfriend, graduated college, and got a job. I was mentally stuck at this age for awhile.

    27 is shaping up to be an ok year as well. I’m not sure how I feel about 30 yet!

  109. I’m 25 for another month and five days. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. It seems like it was just my birthday, now it’s almost my birthday again.

  110. I’ll be 24 in a month (9/11/1984- Yes, I know). 23 has been a pretty good year, but I keep accidentally telling people I’m 22. Maybe 24 will “fit” better. This is the year I graduate with a master’s, so I’m hoping by 25 I’ll feel like a real adult. (with real student loan debt and real bills – oh crap, do I have to grow up? )

  111. I’m 25; my birthday is Sept. 12, 1982, so I’ll be 26 soon. I think my worst birthday was my nineteenth (so no one has to do the math, that was in 2001). Of course, that year was pretty miserable, as well, for various other reasons. I’m certain that, since I was 22, every year has been better than the last, so I have high hopes for 30.

    Happy birthday, SM!

  112. Happy birthday, Sweet Machine & Charlotte!

    I’m eighteen (I think that makes me the youngest so far?) and my birthday is February 12, so Aquarius, moon in Virgo, sun in Aquarius — yeah, I’m another astrology fan.

    I really, really hope I grow up to be as awesome as all of you.

  113. 34. sometimes I look back at my university days as my ‘golden days’, but then when I think about it, NOW is the best time. (I had a pretty dreadful adolescence, and am constantly grateful that age is taking me ever further from that ghastly time!)

    Sweet Machine, someone once told me that you should do something you’ve always wanted to do when you hit a big birthday. I dyed my hair blue for my 30th and, if I haven’t done it by then, I’m going to learn to Charleston for my 40th. Bringing a dream to life is a great way to celebrate a landmark birthday.

  114. Happy Birthday!

    I’m 35 (since March) and I’m certainly a lot happier now than I was in my twenties! Didn’t enjoy being a child or teenager, loved university so had a good time being 19-22, then floundered for quite some time, doing some very brave things that made me feel very alone albeit fulfillling dreams (eg emigrating)… but it took me some time to work out a lot of issues in my head and I don’t think I really got there until 31/32, so I got a lot happier then. I just remember mymid- late twenties being pretty miserable (and they also included a bout with chronic fatigue), but my thirties have got progressively better. For some reason I thought 32 would be ‘the’ year to meet Mr Wonderful, but it wasn’t, so I found waking up 33 rather difficult and ended up battling depression for a good six months of that year… but then I started feeling like the world wouldn’t end, and then a few months later met him 2 weeks before I turned 34, so that turned out ok :-) And now I still have the great job I’ve had for nearly six years, the lovely apartment I’ve had for three years, an even lovelier husband who I’ve had for nearly one year (first anniversary in ten days!), and a baby about to arrive in 11 weeks! For so many years I felt unlucky to be me… now I feel very very blessed.

    Life, for me at least, really does get better and better. May it be so for all!

  115. I too, am 35 since March *waving at Deborah M*
    I have to say, I am not happy being 35, and that mostly is because of where I am in my life and what I am doing (and not doing).

    It’s funny–my happiest year was also one of my saddest years. At 18 I truly felt like the world was my oyster, that I had finally finished the horror called highschool, met my first boyfriend and could only go up and up. Unfortunately, my mother, who had been ill for the last year with a rare form of MS took a horrible turn for the worse, and I realized that my mother could not be the mother I had grown up with anymore, and our lives as we knew it were now permanently over.

    Here’s hoping that the remainder of 35 definitely takes an upswing!

  116. I’m 28 – and my brain has definitely not caught up to my body. I find myself getting defensive at critcisms of teenagers, because, hey! I’m not like that! But, you know, I’m also 9 years past being a teenager. :)

    I find myself exploring the “almost 30” thing like a bit of a sore tooth I keep poking at with my tongue – I know I have some society-dictated responses to “getting older”, and, as with my FA path, I’m examining and learning from them, so that they don’t really determine my thinking.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! is really the main thing!

  117. I made it late to the party, but as a fellow Leo, happy bday lionesses. anyway, i’m recently 26. i’ve already lived one life up until 24 which was a horrible year that ruined everything i had worked to build and destroyed my successes. i spent 25 repairing the damage done and hope to spend 26 really moving on from it all. maybe 27 will be the year when i have it together again! i can only hope (and work hard!)

  118. I’m 27 – will be 28 on November 16th – Scorpio as many of you :) I love to celebrate my birthday. I usualy feel joyfull and proud to have lived one more year in this crazy world of us.
    I’m married, don’t have children, and I’m starting a PhD program – years of study ahead before starting a carreer and being able to settle, get a house, maybe have kids… In that sense, sometimes I feel like time is escaping too fast and I wish I could get everything I want before turning 30!

  119. I just turned 30 in April (another Taurus here!) Everyone I know was waiting for me to freak out about it, but really, I figured I was exactly where I expected to be at this age, and really, it was just another birthday, so why freak out? So far, 30 has been a pretty darn good year. I finally finished by Phd last November, so I have a real job in my chosen field, I have a great husband and family, I’m developing some good friendships in the city I moved to a couple of years ago to complete my training, I ran my first 10k race, and life is generally decent. I can’t really think of another year that was better. I imagine 6 was okay, but I don’t remember much of it to be honest! Hope you have a very happy birthday, and don’t get sucked into the hype about aging being a bad thing!

  120. I am 33 – definitely enjoying my 30s more than my 20s as I feel happier about who I am. I also met my boyfriend when I was 30, which probably helped a lot. But sometimes I do have to remind myself to look back at how much my mid-20s sucked, when I find myself getting nostalgic about being a mere whippersnapper of 24.

    “Meanwhile, my sister M. says I will forever be 15 in her mind — once I hit that milestone, I got stuck there. Which explains a lot about our relationship.”

    I know that feeling – my little sister will always be 16 to me (she may think she’s 31, but she’s wrong). As I recall, you’re the youngest sister, Kate? I suspect this may be an older sister thing – and of course, as long as my sister is 16, I’m still not a proper grown-up!

  121. Happy birthday if I haven’t missed it!

    I am 32 and 32 is my best age, because I’m happy with me. :)
    (Cheese, I know, but true.) I’m a Gemini, by the way.

    I love my job, I love a paycheck that lets me go crazy when the Nordstrom Rack Big Shoe Size event hits and still be able to pay all my other bills and save some, too. I love being able to go out to a fancy dinner by myself without feeling a friend or partner has to be with me. I didn’t freak out at 30 (and don’t really understand the big deal) and don’t have a lot of patience for the women in my office who are always “turning 30.”

  122. Just turned 50 last week: threw myself a bog party with all my friends and family. Loved the 40s, looking forward to the 50s. Would not trade any of it.
    Worst year for me was when I turned 25–expectations of how life should be ran headlong into the reality of how life is. Once you get past the unrealistic expectations, the “how life is” is hard to beat.

    Been single over ten years, kids are old enough to not need constant supervision, friendships have not only withstood the test of time, but have flourished (My best friend and I have been pals for 37 years now).

    I think, for a lot of us, it really and truly only gets better and better, but I have to say that good health is among the determining factors there.

  123. Um, while a “bog” party might have been fun, I actually just settled for a “big” party……

  124. Hey, I’m turning 29 in like a week too. *waves pompoms*
    I just went to Pennsic for the first time (big SCA/medievalist 2-week camping event in the woods with tons of booze) and this woman in a neighboring camp was celebrating her 42nd birthday, and entertained us for hours with her stories. She told a truly wonderful story about her thirtieth birthday party, which had happened at Pennsic twelve years before. She’d asked her friends to throw her a really original theme party…
    They’d held a witch trial for her, and had burned her youth in effigy.
    It sounds like a riot.

    I’m just going to have to think of ways not to make 29 be one big countdown to 30, because *i don’t care*, but… my older sister had her first child at 29, and my younger sister just got impulse-married in Reno two days ago, so I’m kind of feeling very squashed by other people’s expectations. Yikes!

    Good luck to you with the whole 29 thing.

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