7 Things I Won't Put Up With Now That I’m In My 30s

by Joanna McClanahan
Sjale / Getty

When I was in my 20s, I thought I had the whole world figured out. In reality, it was a decade of failure and uncertainty. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way, including humility. But those years helped me grow into the person I am today, and that person is pretty badass.

I look back on those years and cringe a little. I was so desperate for people to like me. I would bend over backwards for everyone else and put myself last. I tolerated terrible relationships and had no concept of boundaries or how to say “no” without apologizing profusely for it.

But now that I’m in my 30s, I feel like I’m finally growing into the person I was destined to become; a grown-ass woman who knows her self-worth, but is constantly making room for learning and growth. And there are some things I no longer have patience for:

1. Toxic Relationships

One of the more important things I’ve learned is that sometimes people grow apart, and that’s okay. Whether it’s that group of friends from high school, or an on-and-off-again romantic relationship, sometimes you owe it to yourself to move on. Clinging to an idyllic past, or a romanticized version of the future, is not enough to save any relationship.

2. Trying to please everyone

Say it with me: You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness and you can’t make anyone like you. It took me years to learn to love myself, and I don’t have the patience to try to convince others to do the same. The people who really deserve you will love you unconditionally. And the people who don’t won’t be convinced otherwise.

3. Gossip

He said, she said…who the fuck cares? I think we should just let everyone live their own lives and stay out of them. Who has the time or energy to invest in other people’s lives? Besides, if you talk shit about someone else, that says a lot more about you than them, and none of it’s good.

4. Drama

There are some people who thrive on drama. It follows them everywhere they go, and they live for stirring up shit. They are usually the same people who are loudly, ironically proclaiming how much they “hate drama.” I now understand that this is just a projection of their own insecurities and keep these people at a safe distance.

5. Negative people

I understand that life is not all sunshine and rainbows, but you know the people who are straight-up walking rainclouds? These Debbie Downers are looking for reasons to bring you down, or minimalize your accomplishments, or lay out every possible terrible outcome. They live to complain and seem to thrive on misery. In my 30s, I’ve learned to stay far away from these people or they will pull you into their black hole of despair.

6. Beauty standards

I don’t have time to put on makeup or do my hair. I wear whatever I want. I have wrinkles and laugh lines, but I fucking earned them. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve had two kids and am in terrible shape, and yet I feel more confident than I ever did in my 20-year-old rockstar body. I thought I was fat back then (HAHAHA) and it’s taken me awhile to be comfortable in my own skin, but I’m brave enough to be myself now, without apology.

7. Bad sex

I used to be nervous about speaking up about what I liked. I was so busy worrying about pleasing my partner that my own pleasure wasn’t a priority at all. But not anymore. And what I’ve found is that speaking up about my own wants and needs in bed makes things more enjoyable for both partners.

I am loving my life as an empowered, badass woman in my 30s. I know my self-worth and I’m not willing to settle for less than I deserve. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.