1. You don’t wake up on the morning of your 30th birthday with crow’s feet and wrinkles. Apparently aging is a gradual process.
2. Infact everyone I know who is 30 looks much younger than the pre-conceived version I had as a kid (formed primarily from Jeetendra’s 30+ ads). Perhaps the definition of what is young has changed for me from clear sparkling skin to a general zest for life.
3.If you are single, people finally stop plaguing you with prospective grooms. This saves all the time and effort involved in explaining politely why ‘change your entire life and cook for me’ guy is not Mr. Right.
4.Your relationship with your parents has moved from ‘They run the universe’ to ‘Get away dictator’ to ‘Panic over signs of aging’ to ‘They are alright, you know’.
5.You can appear in public with your parents and not feel like a social outcast from your peer group. You finally realize that you are lucky to have parents you get along with.
6.You don’t define how your friends need to show their affection for you and appreciate what you get. Some of them brave it to your birthday dinner even if Raj Thackeray is burning up the city, some of them take the time to give you a belated but longish birthday dinner ending up in your house on the other side of town with lots of music and ice cream, some of them join you in a tiring quest for a particular present and some of them design clothes for you. None of it is the perfect party you had planned in your head. But all of it is somehow so much better.
7.You are more or less Ok with your work and the pace at which you are growing and the money you make. Sure there are the occasional blips. This is not the same as the frustration that came in your 20s with knowing that some people are growing faster than you and seem to make truck loads more. You understand different people make different compromises to be where they are and you are happier leading life this way. And if you wake up and realize that it is all wrong, there is still time to jump ship.
8.You have enough money to spend on most of the stuff that matters to you – travel, frivolities, parents and the occasional binging.
9.You are no longer embarrassed about not knowing everything under the sun. And in my case, I am glad I have still not lost the enthusiasm to learn as much as I can.
10.If you meet some one you like, you will hopefully be more aware of your own faults and hence more willing to give a chance.
I think most of all; you are comfortable in your own skin and do most things for yourself. There is only so much you can please your parents, your boss, your friends, everyone. You know where to draw the line.