What I learned at 10, 20 and 30

Today I turn 30. (Happy birthday to me). Three decades have passed since the day I was born. It got me thinking about what I’ve learned during my 30 years on this planet.

At 10 years old I learned that boys were pretty cute and that they didn’t (always) disgust me. My first crush was at 10 years old. It was also then when I learned to not tell my mom about my crushes because for the next 5 years I got a question about said crush every few weeks.

At 20 years old I met a really attractive young man (I still called them boys then, really). He was from another country. He wore European clothes. He took my friend and me out to dinner one night and thoroughly impressed us when he bought us each our own dessert.

At 30 years old I can’t believe that I’m still with that same young man. Married for nearly 7 years now and still learning new things about each other all the time.


At 10, my mom just told me to make a wish. Wonder what I was wishing for?

At 10 years old I was just about to learn that I wasn’t going to have a growth spurt like many of my friends and that my time playing basketball was limited. Sure, I could have kept playing but I wasn’t an outstanding point guard and really that was my only option. The next year I would start playing soccer.

At 20 years old I started playing soccer with a team of other young adults and realized 1) I was out of shape; 2) I love team sports and 3) it’s a great way to make friends.

At 30 years old I’ve been doing more solo sports – running, biking, swimming. I miss soccer and wish that Frederick, MD had a co-ed or women’s adult league (that wasn’t just indoors) because 1) I miss team sports; 2) I’d love to make more friends here and 3) I could probably be in better shape.


At 20 (me on the far left), I was also learning that eating fast food and staying up to 2 a.m. can cause weight gain…

At 10 years old I wrote a book about slaves. At my school we would work on writing a book, illustrate it ourselves and then bind the book. I was fascinated by the South pre-Civil War and I wrote about a young slave girl who was separated from her mother. It was gripping.

At 20 years old I was a few years into my journalism program at LSU and writing freelance for a campus newspaper. I was 20 when I had my first article published in a “real” newspaper – the Baton Rouge Advocate. Something very special about seeing my byline there.

At 30 years old I’m thinking it is pretty darn cool that I can say I’ve been writing professionally for 10 years (because, hey, I was getting paid for that campus newspaper gig).


At (pretty much) 30, not quite my birthday but a shot of me from a hike this month in Wales.

At 10 years old my dad (always an early adopter) got dial up internet. I loved the sound of the computer “calling in” and the chime “you’ve got mail” when we, indeed, had e-mail. I had to split an e-mail account with my siblings (we called it Tigger) and we barely knew what to do on this world wide web. (Admittedly I don’t remember if we had Internet in 1993 but it was definitely in the early 90s).

At 20 years old I had been coding and designing my own websites for five years. I was constantly logged in to AIM, chatting with friends at nearly all hours. I’d also use the Web for homework, research for my news articles and generally just wasting time between classes.

At 30 years old my job is the Web. I recently got promoted to Web editor and those 20 years of Internet experience and 15 years of coding experience come in handy every day.

At 10 years, 20 years and today at 30 years I still want the same thing on my birthday – an ice cream cake. I’ll eat my slice of ice cream cake tonight with my husband and a glass of wine and celebrate the fact that not much has changed in 30 years.

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About Stephanie Y.

I'm a professional news writer in Frederick, Maryland. I blog at S.Y. Ciphers.

6 responses to “What I learned at 10, 20 and 30”

  1. Sharon says :

    Loved this post! Happy Birthday Stephanie:) Can’t wait to see your 40, 50, 60 year posts.

  2. Liz says :

    Love this post! Happy birthday!!

  3. Vanda says :

    Well done, Steff. Shows a good sense of humor and the right attitude to life! I’ve read it with pleasure.

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