Before turning 30 this year in January, I sought advice from several friends, mentors, ex-boyfriends, strangers and my parents about what to expect, and how to gracefully handle such a big transition. Some of the advice I was given was funny, some very direct, some a little elusive, but all very helpful. In fact, I find myself returning to read it often. While this advice has certainly resonated, as I'm now actually experiencing 30, I've noticed something I'd not expected and hadn't really been warned about.
No one told me how exciting it would be to watch and celebrate what's happening in the lives of those around me, too. Maybe those rumors about being selfish in your 20s are truer than we'd like to admit.
As I was out buying a Mother's Day gift for my own mother this week, I found myself also picking out presents for several friends of mine who are first time moms. From listening to how their lives have changed dramatically since having a baby and knowing what an asshole I was as a child, they've earned a massage or a bottle of expensive wine. Don't worry, mom, you're still my number one.
On the same note, a dear friend of mine is a first time dad. As he is navigating this experience while living in San Francisco, the most expensive and busy city in America, his fiancé and he decided to move out of the city and into the suburbs. It doesn't feel that long ago that we were all making the decision to move away from home and into the big city for an exciting new chapter. Watching him and his new family turn the page to the "return home to raise a baby" chapter is really touching.
Before baby, usually, comes marriage. Since social media tells me everything I need to know about everyone in the world, I've seen and "liked" many engagements and new babies, but for the first time, this year I was genuinely thrilled by an engagement. Upon learning that my best friend from high school returned from vacation with a ring, I cried. And then I bothered her for every single detail, and how many months I have to look super-hot for the wedding. After nearly fifteen years of friendship, growing and learning together through those shitty first years of serious dating not-the-right boys, it was really special to know that she is so happy with a wonderful man. Who hopefully has attractive groomsmen.
While on the subject of best friends, in a week I am heading back east to be a part of my closest girl friend from college's 30th birthday festivities. Still riding high from how much fun my own 30th celebration was and how hugely important it was to me to be surrounded by such immense love, I look forward to making it all about her as she enters the big 3-0. Although, this means I only have a week to re-learn how to walk in heels and apply eyeliner.
Not only are there huge personal events happening that have been moving for me to watch, it's also been a time of many loved ones growing in their professions. I've picked up the phone to friends in tears because they're now the boss after a big promotion. I have been to launch parties for my insanely smart entrepreneurial friends creating their own brands, and I've witnessed hugely courageous moves in total career changes.
I understand life changes every day, every month and every year, but in my experience and understanding, there is a certain newfound confidence at 30. You sort of have shit figured out, or at least are starting to, which is why it's really enjoyable to watch others' find the same peace.
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