So, I turned 30 this year. It didn’t hurt physically, although I have been very bloated recently. I keep thinking I’m pregnant but realize I’m just gaining weight. (I have scheduled my very first colonic, a 10 year obsession of mine, for July 18th. I will report after the deed is done. I LOVE intestinal health!)
In the mental health department, I was pretty stable about the whole affair. After all, this is the decade of potential children, mortgages, elderly parents, horrible jobs, not getting enough sleep, losing all of your youthful ambition, losing what marginal looks you have, watching procedural crimes dramas, buying a dog, picking up dog shit, finding God, losing your freedom, eating low-fat, humping treadmills, taking calcium supplements, finding love, losing love, start drinking, quit drinking, dying your hair, eating organic, taking a meditation class, exploring the learning annex, and becoming a knitter. But I’m more than happy to become one of those homely ladies on the subway robotically creating a purple scarf from a canvas craft bag if it means I don’t have to be the person I was in my 20′s again. Our Lord and Savior, Oprah has discussed this before. In 1995, after revealing on her show that she smoked crack in her turbulent 20′s, Oprah talked about how she found comfort in her mentor, Maya Angelou: “I shared this with Maya Angelou…and you know what she said to me? It really turned my life around and I say this to you, ‘You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better you did better.’ And I’ll never forget that.” 1 I’ll never forget it either, Oprah. I think the big “O” and I have some similarities, if you can get past the fact that I have never smoked crack, am not a billionaire, am not the guiding light to millions of housewives across the country, have no influence on book sales or anyone else for that matter, and do not have a former poet laureate and national treasure as a mentor- if you can get past these minor details, then you can see how we all share a likeness to Her. The knowledge that Maya (John the Baptist to Oprah’s Jesus) was dropping is that we are fucking losers in our 20′s. We hate how we look, we’re afraid of being along, we want to fit in, we want to be loved, we have no clue what we really want but act like we do. “You did then what you knew how to do and when you knew better you did better.” Like, Oprah, when we mature and grow into our 30′s we know a little better. We develop a teenie bit more respect for ourselves and in turn those around us. Gossip becomes a little more benign and we use the word “wellness” much more frequently. Maybe some could accuse us of losing our sassy, tough girl edge but I would rather sip red wine at my book club then be drunk and pregnant in a gutter, wearing skinny jeans and mumbling the words to “Rehab.” If you are struggling with turning 30, just think, What Would Oprah Do? Stop smoking crack, of course, and then make more money than God.
- Cathleen Carr
1 Jet Magazine, Jan. 30, 1995