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Almost Thirty Free

“Why the anxiety around turning thirty is a patriarchal snare”

female freedom

Turning thirty comes with a certain baggage, a pressure seemingly exclusive to women. It's like a ticking time bomb, steering the algorithm towards eager cosmetic brands. Emphasizing the notion of your transience. Or the Cinderella syndrome thanks to Disney, suggesting that if, by thirty, we haven't been chosen by the prince on the white horse love would entirely pass us by. This patriarchal ideology also excludes older mothers or women who don’t become mothers at all, don't belong to the categorized happy endings.

Wherever you are on the twenty or thirty something spectrum, I bet one of these unwanted anxieties have lingered in your mind. I unexpectedly became a mother before thirty, something that wasn't a personal fear influenced by my mother's example (first-time mother at thirty-eight). Yet, the other two fears significantly impacted how I perceived myself.

A male doctor specializing in cosmetic beauty once told me at his sister's 28th birthday party that women are most beautiful at 27, and it diminishes afterward. Before delving into the revelations of being in my thirties, let's zoom in on how I experienced my twenties. The pressure on female beauty is undeniably present, and whether you're sensitive to it or not, it leaves a mark. It fosters self-consciousness and entirely focuses on the exterior, as satisfaction never comes without nurturing the inner self. I found my twenties challenging, the decade of the inner critic, as I like to call it.

As my thirtieth birthday approached, I was at home, prime time Corona, on my postpartum cloud. It could be as rosy as it was grey, but I never felt a moment without gratitude. The gift of motherhood would surpass any illegal Corona birthday celebration. 

Motherhood had immensely boosted my confidence and brought a sense of trust. How could thirty be so daunting when I felt more home in my own presence. Sometimes, I wonder if without hormones and oxytocin from 24/7 cuddling with my newborn, panic would have set in. I can only speak for myself, but turning thirty sparked a fascinated interest in myself in an incredibly fresh and curious way.

feminine freedom

The burden of others' opinions, imposed ideal images, the notion of having to be perfect, and always available for everyone were banished with thirty. Crossing a collective panic threshold and realizing it's a door to freedom took a lot of strength to break free from the conditioning I unconsciously adopted. This year, approaching thirty-three feels like a magical number. A double three that transitions from the experiences of thirty, feeling like a beautiful milestone again. The thirty anxiety is a prime example of how the patriarch still attempts to keep women small because, in reality, the fear of a woman standing in her power is the true anxiety that prevails.

I love how in my thirties, my social circle, although smaller in in form, is a tiny community of high quality muses that inspire me to be the best version of myself. How we hold room for each others process and growth.

Sometimes I can feel nostalgic about how often and spontaneous we would meet up with each other in our twenties. But when I think of the quality of our visits when we do meet now, the nostalgia makes room for appreciation of the process and how far we’ve actually come. 

If you're not yet thirty, haven't found your confidence, or are still a people pleaser, I hope these thirty-something years help you see that you are the greatest muse of your own show. Cheers to my always evolving muses.


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