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Prepare Yourself: 29 Things That Will Likely Happen When You Clock 29

I turned 29 this year, and I’m doing arguably OK with it. I may have referred to it as my “29th anniversary of not being 30,” and insisted on a themed birthday party next year where everyone dresses like they’re 18 again — an excuse to wear a midriff one more time before I die — but I’m doing OK, I swear.

It’s not all bad, just a special time in a girl’s woman’s life. Here’s the good news: 29 won’t make you lose your mind unless you let it. Knowing what you’re in for helps (a little), so start mentally preparing yourself for the following:

1. You develop a secret love for game nights and/or dinner parties.

2. Forever 21 is where you go when the gym isn’t punishing enough.

3. Credit cards are no longer awesome.

4. They’re just those things that trick you into trading the ability to buy a house for new shoes.

5. You don’t plan a birthday party because you know you’ll want to leave it early.

6. Having snacks as meals makes you feel young again.

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7. You will go through a juicing phase.

8. And a CrossFit phase.

9. And a phase phase (you have a lot of things to try on before you turn 30).

10. At least one doctor will accidentally offend you by calling you “overweight,” “old” or “unmarried.”

11. At least one person will mistake you for being pregnant (but probably more).

12. A panic attack is finding out that someone you look up to is younger than you.

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13. One of your forms of birth control is being too tired.

14. You’re as terrified of getting pregnant as you are of never getting pregnant.

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15. Secretly going to bed at 10 p.m. on a Friday night is the most rebellious thing you regularly do.

16. You finally accept whether or not you can pull off bangs and high-waisted pants.

17. You will buy eye cream, but never remember to use it.

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18. You don’t even pretend to be happy anymore when people get engaged.

19. You accept the fact that you may never outgrow adult acne.

20. If you’re single, you swipe right on everyone — not because you’re desperate for sex, but because your friends are all so busy these days and it’d be nice to have some company.

21. If you’re in a relationship, you wish there were an app for making all your couple’s decisions. Moving in together? Swipe left. Getting a dog? Swipe right.

22. You have enough bridesmaid dresses between you and your girlfriends to throw at least three adult proms.

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23. You want to immediately quit any job that makes you do icebreakers.

24. But you don’t, because being broke is what you miss least about your early twenties.

25. You get REALLY into DILFs.

26. You’ll wonder if becoming a therapist is easier than going to one.

27. You will unintentionally offend your friends in their thirties with your anxiety about turning 30.

28. You will realize that most of your friends in their thirties are no different than you.

29. And that all of your expectations about who and where you should be in life by the time you reached 30 were pretty unrealistic and immature. Don’t worry, you’ll get there by 40.

Joey on turning 30

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