My name is Carla Marie, I’m about to turn 30 and I AM SO EXCITED. If you would have told me on my 25th birthday that I would have said those words I would have probably rolled my eyes at you. When I turned 25 I had ALL the questions. Everything from “can I still order chicken fingers?” to “when will I learn to walk in heels?” These were, and are, valid questions to have when going through a quarter-life crisis. Anyone who tells you a quarter-life crisis isn’t real can suck it. As my 25th birthday approached I asked all of these questions and wrote an essay which we talked about on the air at Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. I still have people refer to the segment and essay and say they related so much to how I felt. I’m happy I wasn’t the only one in a panic at 25 but 30…30 is different. I’m unbelievably happy while I write this and tell you all of those questions have been answered for me over the last five years. It’s definitely bittersweet, saying goodbye to my twenties, the decade that molded me into the woman I am today. In honor of saying goodbye to my twenties, let’s rehash some of those ridiculous ((and valid)) questions I asked when turning 25.
“Are backpacks an adult thing?” HELL YES THEY ARE. I’ve purchased so many backpacks in the last few years whether for work, travel, or for shopping, I’ll be rocking a backpack for life. When I turned 25 I wondered “Can a 25-year-old order chicken fingers?” Sure can! Even now I order them, if anyone judges you, they’re clearly a fun-sucker. “What about Uggs?” It depends on how ratchet your Uggs are. I ditched my college pair and got myself some fresh ones. They’re perfect for the days when I want to be comfy but sneakers won’t cut it!
As I turned 25 I wondered if that was the year I’d finally understand politics. Um no, and I don’t know that anyone does no matter their age BUT I do have a way better grasp on things. I also asked if I had to stop watching TMZ and watch the news. Luckily, I get every news alert possible on my phone so I’ve got a healthy dose of both! I can’t believe I asked this one…”Am I still allowed to take naps or is that a college thing?” What an idiot!! My nap game is so strong and it’s vital for my survival. I questioned if I’d ever have an adult relationship with wine rather than just chugging. Shortly after I turned 25 I took a wine tasting class and learned so much! Wine becomes a necessity in your late 20s. Find the one you love. Twenty-five year old me asked if I’d ever enjoy folding clothes? That’s going to be a hard no for me. I do it but I’ll hate it forever.
My favorite question was “Are my boobs done growing? Are boob jobs acceptable?” Yes, they were done growing...naturally. I got my boob job a year and a half after this and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself. If someone doesn’t think that’s acceptable. That’s a THEM problem.
All of those questions, while totally legit, were fun. But I was seriously afraid of 25. I was afraid of getting older and not being relevant or fun. I had these fears from age 22 to 25. A few months after turning 25 I quickly realized it was an idiotic way of thinking. I was surrounded by people who were older than me and, for lack of a better word, were cool. My best friend, co-worker, and radio idol, Danielle Monaro was turning 40 a few weeks after I turned 25. Other than being married, having kids, and being hungover way less, Danielle and I had the same personality. We put out the same vibe. I began to realize that’s what this was all about, it has nothing to do with a number, If you were grumpy about getting older people would perceive you as a grumpy old person, if you accept it and you’re excited it’s totally different. I was lucky to be close with all of my co-workers at Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, all of them older than me. After turning 25 I remember thinking how I never saw Garrett, Josh, or Anthony as older than me, we were the same! As simple as this sounds, it calmed me down. They all turned 30 when I was 27, that’s the first time I started to get excited about turning 30. THEY WERE STILL COOL! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? They were 30 and were all at different points of their lives and careers. I began to realize the formula and timeline of life we’re often pushed to follow doesn’t exist yet it gives us so much anxiety. The only way you’ll ever be happy is by making your own story as you go and ditching the formula and time crap. You can still be fun at 30, I’m living proof, and if you want to be 30 and not fun, you can do that too!
When I turned 25, the thought of looking older and getting wrinkles scared the hell out of me. I began doing research and learned our skin starts to lose it’s elasticity at 25! This is when I started the hunt for anti-aging beauty products. I’m not going to get into all of it now, but I will tell you this: find a daily routine that works for you, be sure to moisturize, SPF is unbelievably important for everyday life and if you’re still going in a tanning bed you give zero F’s about what you’ll look like in one year let alone five, and ladies TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP EVERY SINGLE NIGHT...NO MATTER WHAT!
I loved my job when I was 25, I was working for the best morning show in the history of radio in the number one market and my role on the show was constantly growing. But didn’t stop me from worrying about my future. Radio doesn’t have a path that everyone follows, so I had no idea what my future would hold. I didn’t want to move (ha!) yet I knew the show was rock solid and wouldn’t be changing, so I worried I’d be answering the phones forever. I carried the worry for a few years after I turned 25. All while constantly working my butt off. I never said “no” to any task asked of me, and as Anthony always says “We did things other people didn’t want to do. We picked up the crumbs.” I was 27 in November 2015 and I got advice that would change my life. I went to an iHeartRadio women’s networking event. One of the panelists said “Don’t set goals. When you set goals that’s all you’ve got your mind on so when a new amazing opportunity you’ve never considered pops up, you’ll brush it off because it’s not that goal you set, when really it’s something incredible.” I paraphrased, but it really changed my mindset. Here I was with the goal of never leaving NYC but still expecting to grow in my career in a place where I couldn’t. From that moment on I remember sort of feeling like a weight was lifted, anything was a possibility. Less than two months later the opportunity to move across the country and start my own morning show with my best friend was presented to me. Don’t throw everything out the window, but be more open about paths other than the one you’ve always envisioned.
It’s wild how far I’ve come in five years both mentally and literally. I moved 3,000+ from home, family, and friends yet it’s been so rewarding, refreshing, eye-opening, and thrilling. While I have grown and learned so much about myself I’m still the same me I was five years ago, even 10 years ago. Yet, I am way happier and more fulfilled than I was at 20 and 25. I have considered myself a confident person since I was a kid, but between 25 and 30 you’ll gain this new type of confidence in your personal and professional life.
Thirty is going to be so so great. How do I know? Because I’m going to make it great. In the end, it’s all just a number and the alternative to not getting older is dying so I prefer getting older. If you’re 25 and freaking out like I was, I am so excited for you!! The best is yet to come! Freak out for a little but brace yourself, you’re about to learn a whole lot about who you are and what you’re capable off accomplishing. I know did, but I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. I’m ready for Season 30.