This Is 30

There are a few times each year that I take pause and think, “Ahhhh, a new beginning!”

SELENA GOMEZ, WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?! We have to give you one!
SELENA GOMEZ, WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?! We have to give you one!

There’s New Year’s, of course, and although I’ve abandoned making New Year’s Resolutions, I still like to do a bit of reflecting.

Then there’s fall, which — no matter how old or far removed I get — will always remind me of “back to school” and that sense of exciting challenges and possibility. And also clean notebooks, new outfits, and sweet haircuts.

But there’s also spring.

SPRING. Dancing + jazz hands + tank tops = spring.
SPRING. Dancing + jazz hands + tank tops = spring.

Spring is the happy time. The snow is melted, the cold is gone, and people are a whole lot nicer. We’re thawed out. In New York that means you’ll only get your feet run over by a double stroller on the Upper East Side six times during the morning commute instead of eight!

...and for my birthday, Brian took me to the zoo and bought me two stuffed giraffes named Celine and Dion. Because age is just a number?
.Brian took me to the zoo and bought me two stuffed giraffes named Celine and Dion.

Here in Manhattan, spring is in full bloom. (If you missed the cherry blossoms in D.C., head on over to Central Park ASAP, where the flowers are so spectacular that my throat has completely closed up and I haven’t been able to breathe for a week! Don’t care. Worth it.)

Uh, yes please...
Uh, yes please…

And while spring on its own brings more positive attitudes and blasts of “it’s almost summer” enthusiasm, it also coincides with another new beginning: my birthday!

Thanks, #paulleak, for rubbing frosting on my face at 7 AM. Loved it.
Thanks, #paulleak, for rubbing frosting on my face at 7 AM. Loved it.

I turn 30 today.

And Tyler turns three tomorrow!
And Tyler turns three tomorrow!

There were a few times over the past year that I thought, “Holy shit, I’m turning 30???” and freaked out for half a second. But I’ve never been one to harp on age or freak out about entering a new decade. I’m equal parts happy with how the past 10 played out and psyched for what’s in store for the next 10.

This looks like a good place to get married.
This looks like a good place to get married.

We had a great time, twenties. My god, we had such fun.

My 24th birthday. Literally zero cares in the entire world. And a Coach wristlet attached to my body at all times.
My 24th birthday. Literally zero cares in the entire world. And a Coach wristlet attached to my body at all times.

We were captain of the Quinnipiac University Kickline team and won the Scholastic Kickline Championship.

The best roommates and my greatest fans.
The best roommates and my greatest fans.

We graduated from college. We got our first “real job” as web editor of Dance Spirit — and hustled until we were editor in chief. We made tough career decisions, like deciding to leave Dance Spirit after seven wonderful and rewarding years…

At a cover shoot with one of the nicest dancers in the industry, Melanie Moore. (Go see her on Broadway in Finding Neverland!)
At a cover shoot with one of the nicest dancers in the industry, Melanie Moore. (Go see her on Broadway in Finding Neverland!)

…and easier but equally monumental career decisions, like choosing to leave JackRabbit after eight sometimes wonderful but not as rewarding months to pursue a full-time (and wildly exciting and scary and fulfilling and scary) freelance writing and editing adventure. We lived in two dorms, two houses, and five different New York City apartments.

We started running.

The first group of people who took me in and made me feel like a "real runner." Forever grateful for all the miles I spent with this crew on the Bridle Path.
The first group of people who took me in and made me feel like a “real runner.” Forever grateful for all the miles I spent with this crew on the Bridle Path.

We started running half-marathons.

Post-Las Vegas Half with my girl Al Fel (just like me!).
Post-Las Vegas Half with my girl Al Fel (just like me!).

We started running marathons.

OH SNAP. 26.2 with a kiss at the finish? That's my kind of race.
OH SNAP. 26.2 with a kiss at the finish? That’s my kind of race.

We were sick. A lot. But we survived and got so much stronger.

Sick in the body, sick in the head.
Sick in the body, sick in the head.

We went to something like 146 weddings.

(And I was sick for MOST of them. Ouch.)
(And I was sick for MOST of them. Ouch.)

We got a sister-in-law…

Michaela, are you SURE you want to be a Feller? (SO GLAD YOU ARE MY SISTER LOVE YOU AND ALSO THANK YOU FOR TYLER AND ABBY.)
Michaela, are you SURE you want to be a Feller? (SO GLAD YOU ARE MY SISTER LOVE YOU AND ALSO THANK YOU FOR TYLER AND ABBY.)

…a nephew…

"Auntie Ali, can I give you Elsa hair?!"
“Auntie Ali, can I give you Elsa hair?!”

…and a niece.

LOOK AT THAT FUZZY HEAD OF HAIR!!!
LOOK AT THAT FUZZY HEAD OF HAIR!!!

We made so many lifelong, game-changing friends. We fell in love, broke some hearts, had our hearts broken, and eventually met the best dude.

BRIAN, WHEN I TURN 30 I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH FOR A PUPPY PROBABLY. PLEEEEASE.
BRIAN, WHEN I TURN 30 I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH FOR A PUPPY PROBABLY. PLEEEEASE.

So far, I’m digging being 30. I woke up to flowers from Brian, and was out the door by 5:10 AM for November Project.

OMG FELLER, CALM DOWN, YOU'RE BEING SCARY.
OMG FELLER, CALM DOWN, YOU’RE BEING SCARY.

My friend Steve wrote on my Facebook wall yesterday saying, “Tomorrow’s your birthday!!!” And my response was, “On birthdays, we wear pink!” I was kind of kidding. But then everyone actually wore pink. It was amazing and beautiful and so coordinated. The power of Facebook, I tell ya.

The birthday girls! All four of us share May 6! I'm the oldest. Like, by far...
The birthday girls! All four of us share May 6! I’m the oldest. Like, by far…

My NP friends spoiled me good and rotten with hats, hugs, cupcakes, flowers, a gift bag (including a selfie stick!!!), a phone call from West Coast Lucy (which meant she had to wake up at 3:19 AM to be FaceTimed in), and a whole lot of love.

Look at Lucy on the FaceTime!!! So awesome. Miss that girl so dang much.
Look at Lucy on the FaceTime!!! So awesome. Miss that girl so dang much.
If you give a girl a selfie stick...
If you give a girl a selfie stick…

The twenties were fun as hell.

This was two weeks ago. I am more mature now.
This was two weeks ago. I am more mature now.

But the thirties? Everyone says that’s where life really begins.

Someone wrote this on the sidewalk on the Upper East Side last week. WAS IT YOU?
Someone wrote this on the sidewalk on the Upper East Side last week. WAS IT YOU?

That in your thirties, it all gets really good.

REALLY GOOD. With sprinkles on top.
REALLY GOOD. With sprinkles on top.

So let’s do that.

LET'S DO THAT.
LET’S DO THAT.

Let’s get really good.

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Ali

Ali

45 Responses

  1. Somehow I missed this post. So, belatedly HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I turned 40 in February and cannot believe that my 40s will ever be able to trump my 30s. They were awesome, from start to finish, and I’m confident yours will be too. I got married at 30, became a mum and a runner and a Californian and a vegetarian in my 30s. I learned to be nice to myself and to be kinder to others in my 30s. I discovered red velvet cake and macademia nuts and mint oreos in my 30s. I discovered amazing authors in my 30s and first saw Idris Elba in my 30s. You’re going to love them. xxx

  2. Happy Birthday, Ali! I just turned 31 in April and I have to say 30 was very kind to me. I feel more secure and not so much trying to figure life out like I was in my 20s.

  3. Happy Birthday, Ali! Your twenties looked fun, but I think you’re right-your thirties will be even better. Here’s to the best decade yet!

  4. Hope you had the absolute best birthday – you have so much to look forward, let the even better things begin!!!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love this post. It’s so easy to be negative about getting older, but you’re so so right – 30 is going to be killer 🙂 Love your positive attitude !

  6. Happy 30th, Ali! Reading your blog is always a pick-me-up for me. Also, I love that you have a friend you call “West Coast Lucy”…it reminds me of “outside Dave” in New Girl.

  7. This is beautiful! I turned 27 yesterday and am already freaked out about 30. Thanks for the reminder to not worry about a number!

  8. Wishing you a happy 30th birthday filled with lots of pink, sparkles, giraffes, jazz hands, nutella and anything else that makes you happy!

  9. I turn 30 in September and read this every day until then. Hope you like the page views. They’ll all be me.

    And Happy Birthday.

  10. Happy Birthday! 🙂 Love that you and your fellow birthday girls all wore pink. Here’s to another fabulous 30 and many, many more!

  11. Happy birthday! I turn 30 in a month so now reading your post I’m getting all introspective and emotional! Ha! I have heard the 30s are even better than the 20s, and I choose to believe it! 🙂

  12. HBD! And I pretty much think 30s are better than 20s. Sure the HOs are worse in your 30s, but it’s nice to not be as poor and not get ridiculed for staying in on Fridays… or Saturdays. Ha. And something about being 30 at work is better… you’re no longer the young idiot. 🙂 And I mean you may just decide to adopt 2 cats… oh wait, that’s just me. (#meow) Enjoy your day! Love, your old and wise 33 yr old friend, Liz

  13. Happiest of birthdays to you, m’lady. I can tell you that, as of of seven months in, being 30 is pretty great. <3

  14. Happy birthday Ali. I’m looking at thirty here soon as well and also feel like twenties were fun but also ok to leave behind. Looking forward to the next big events, if all goes well the thirty year will include my first marathons, a 70.3 and babies. Not a bad start to the decade.

  15. Happy Birthday Ali! I turn 30 tomorrow (eek!) and while I haven’t been dreading it, I haven’t been super stoked for it either…LOL. Your excitement helps convince me it might not be as bad as it sounds—it just makes me feel SO OLD–like when did that happen? Yikes! Anyway, we should celebrate with Selena Gomez and a Celine Dion karaoke fest at my house in our PJs with cupcakes? Yes? Yes! Happy day again!

  16. Happy Birthday. Have a fab day and lots of fun. i am well in my 30’s now and neither feel grown up or responsible. I would agree that is a great age and you have some wonderful things to come. 🙂

  17. Happy birthday Ali! This post is so sunny and bright. Whenever I see you, I feel your energy and the sun just bursting from you. May your sun always shine!

  18. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAYZ!!!!! I am going to wish you a happy birthday in every way imaginable. BRB, gotta get back to posting embarassing photos of you on Facebook with Scott…

    WOOOOOO 30!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALI! It makes me happy to see so much happy on your birthday! Hope you have a wonderful decade with much froyo, smiles, laughs, and a puppy! OMG Brian, she needs a puppy.. look at that face!

  20. Happy birthday Ali! 🙂 hope you have a great decade ahead. Love reading your blog posts and if you ever come to Singapore, look me up!

    – Shweta

  21. I’m fairly certain we all had coach wristlets attached to our bodies 6 years ago, it’s amazing we didn’t all get coach tattoos! Happy Happy Birthday is looks like a fabulous time. My actual birthday was look key last week, and then I made the mature 27 year old decision to day drink well into the evening…I’m still debating if it was fun to last a lifetime, or the last time i should do that in my lifetime.

  22. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I turned 30 last August and, embarassingly, wasn’t as joyful about it as you are! However, I can certainly say it has been WONDERFUL so far.

    I hope you have a great day and the BEST year yet!

  23. Happy Birthday, birthday twin! Fellow May 6er over here! Hope your day is amazing! It looks like you’ve had a pretty great start. . .

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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