5 Things Taylor Swift Is Teaching Us About Life in Our 30s

written by KAILEY HANSEN
Source: Getty
Source: Getty

In my opinion, Taylor Swift is in her best era yet: her Taylor era. Between an international tour, the Eras movie, the release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on October 27, and all of the buzz surrounding her budding romance with Chiefs’ Travis Kelce, it’s hard to deny that the Grammy-winning songstress is low-key taking over the world. I’m here for it. At 33 years old, Taylor already has a storied career at the top of her industry—and it seems like there’s still so much potential ahead.

As a newly minted member of the thirties club myself (and a Swiftie to boot), I’ve been looking at Taylor’s year of mega-success from a new lens: admiration for a powerhouse woman in her thirties who is unapologetically hitting her stride. Yes, the artist’s decade-and-a-half career is already insanely impressive, but the Taylor we see right now is smashing records, reaching new career heights, dancing to Demi Lovato without a care, and seemingly happier and healthier all-around.

By the time we hit our thirties, women are in every stage of life: married, mothering, single, and everything in between. Many of us have settled into a career, established a tight-knit group of friends, and have a sense of what we want in the long term. We know ourselves a little better and embrace both the “Bejeweled” highs and the “Anti-Hero” lows. We’ve been “Fifteen,” “22,” “Delicate,” a “Mad Woman,” “The Man,” and through so many eras of our own, that this decade is when we can finally settle into who we are. To put it plainly… the thirties are our prime.

As Swifties witness Taylor’s new era, there is a lot we can learn about embracing this decade. The twenties are out. Thirties girlies, we are in.

1. The potential for potential does not end with our twenties.

If you thought Taylor was in her prime during Speak Now, 1989, Reputation, or literally any of her other albums, you would be wrong. She’s experienced great success with each, but the multitude of what she’s achieving right now, between Midnights, The Eras Tour, re-records, and potential new music, seems to surpass even her biggest moments in the limelight.

Most of us aren’t garnering Grammys, but this serves as a reminder that our lives are not stagnant. Where we are at in life when we hit the age of 30 isn’t necessarily where we will be when hit 33 or 35 or 39 for that matter. There’s an entire decade of possibility ahead, and our “eras” are still in the making. Since turning 30, Taylor has released Lover, Folklore, Evermore, and Midnights; albums that are wildly different from one another. Like this music, life evolves. Our past eras are important, but they aren’t necessarily endgame.

2. Perfection is not the end goal.

By this point in life, most of us have done some work on ourselves (thanks, therapy!) We know our toxic traits but we also know our strengths, passions, and what makes us unique, which is a far cry from our early twenties. In Taylor’s last album, Midnights, there is a beautiful contrast between self-love and self-loathing. You’ve got “Anti-Hero” declaring, “I should not be left to my own devices, they come with prices and vices, I end up in crisis,” while “Bejeweled” touts, “Best believe I’m still bejeweled when I walk in the room, I can still make the whole place shimmer.” If this duality doesn’t capture the feeling of being self-aware, I don’t know what does. As this album reminds us, perfection doesn’t have to be the end goal. We grow, we learn, and we change, but life remains imperfect.

3. The opinions of others matter a little less.

Shortly after Taylor started performing The Eras Tour, news broke of her split with Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend of six years. Swifties sleuthed every piece of concert content for confirmation: Is she okay belting “Lover” night after night? Is this the reason she swapped out “Invisible String” for “The 1?” We can speculate all we want, but the truth is, we’ll never know the full story. What we can assume is that there was a difficult breakup period at some point.

One of my favorite takeaways from how Taylor handled her very public healing journey is that she didn’t owe anyone answers. Despite performing in front of a live audience every night, and having the world speculate about her personal life, she didn’t address the breakup to her fans or the media because she doesn’t have to. As we get older and learn to put a little less weight on the opinions of others, we realize that we don’t need to justify our decisions when they’re the right decisions for us. Essentially, we’ve learned to shake it off.

4. Dating in your thirties can be lots of fun.

Speaking of healing journeys, Taylor seems to be fully enjoying her return to the dating scene and who can blame her? The photos and videos of her cheering on new boo Travis Kelce at Chiefs games are too cute to handle, and girl seems to be genuinely happy. Only Taylor and Travis know how serious or un-serious this romance is, but it looks like they’re both enjoying each others’ company and having a blast.

Plus, it’s refreshing to see a woman in her thirties dating outside her usual type, something that experts say can be healthy when seeking a partner. While society’s timeline puts pressure on women dating in their thirties, there’s something far easier and stress-free about it. We tend to know ourselves better, understand the type of partner we’re looking for, and often approach finding love as a bonus in our already full life.

5. It’s a time to get to know ourselves better.

If our twenties are all about finding ourselves, what are our thirties for? I say getting to know that person better. Through her music, Taylor has shared with us many chapters of her personal life, from heartbreak and hurt to complex friendships and a demanding career. While her newer music still touches on these things, there’s one major difference. It’s clear that Taylor knows herself. She embraces her flaws, she knows what she deserves, and her music resonates with the fans who are entering their thirties with her. The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now because today’s version of Taylor Swift is confident, secure, and ready to take over the world. Now that I’m 30, I’m taking a leaf from her book. Here’s to a decade of possibility ahead.