By the time we reach our late twenties, we might as well be old maids by society standards. We’re constantly exhausted because of the careers we’re building, children we are raising, or partners we have become mothers for. Things like dry shampoo, concealing makeup, and Febreeze become our besties, while our actual best friends may go days waiting for us to respond to their text messages. An idea of a fun Friday night once you hit thirty usually involves sweatpants, our current Netflix obsession, and opening the door for the pizza delivery guy, who knows us by name.
Thirty, flirty, and thriving? More like dirty thirty with a carb baby (I kid… mostly).
So, naturally, as time started encroaching on my 31st birthday, I was feeling anything but desirable and sexy. Each day made me acutely aware that I’m hitting that point of being “beyond my prime.” Every fight with my partner made me start to visualize myself as a single, lonely, crazy cat lady if our marriage were to fizzle out. Each scroll through my social media made me feel completely unattractive and hopeless.
Ever the optimist, though, my best friend concocted a wildly wicked idea to remind me how footloose and fancy free I still am: “When you come visit, we’re going out to a nightclub!”
We carefully selected our clothes and put plans into place for alcohol consumption, and off we went to have the time of our lives on a beautiful Saturday night. We were a little early to the party, but we ordered drinks and laughed as we anxiously awaited. As the clock struck 9:00, a magical transformation occurred as the DJ started spinning up tunes and bodies flocked to the dance floor.
“C’mon, let’s go dance!”
After 4 drinks, I needed very little encouragement to hit the floor and bust my moves. At first, my eyes nervously roamed around the room, the fear of inadequacy and unattractiveness still lingering in the air surrounding me. Slowly, though, those worries evaporated as the compliments began to roll. A guy smiled as our eyes met, then a cute girl told me I looked nice and asked my name. I found myself turning adventurous, cat-calling and dancing with all the beautiful bodies as the rhythm of the music began to hypnotize my soul.
I began to chat that famous line from “13 Going On 30” to myself and feel it in my bones:
Thirty, flirty, and thriving… thirty, flirty, and thriving.
It was in that moment that I realized something. I found someone I thought was lost forever. Hiding behind that exhaustion, weight gain, and complacency that comes from long-term commitment, was a fun and vivacious woman full of life and tenacity. That hip and hilarious girl from my late teens and early twenties is still there; she just needs more opportunities to come out and shine.
I think my nightclub revelation was a light bulb moment we all need at times. We all need friends who are willing to remind us how phenomenal we are, even when we lose sight of it ourselves. Sometimes, we need to let go and live. Because no matter what empires we are building or how many diapers we’re changing once we pass our twenties, we all still have that magical time of being “thirty, flirty, and thriving.”
Feature Image via Screengrab From “13 Going On 30”