Sapphire Howell- Embracing My Age

young woman petting dog and blowing candle on birthday cake while sitting at the pink desk on blue background

Last Updated on November 2, 2023

Embracing maturity and forgiving yourself for being who you thought you should be.

My life is an ever-evolving journey. If I’m doing it right, it’s all a bunch of transformative periods that shape my perspectives and priorities. As I approach what used to be a dirty word, 30 (I’m 26, by the way), I have come to appreciate the profound shifts happening in this new phase. As I sat thinking the other day, I realized what a huge change had occurred without me even realizing it. The days of endless partying and seeking constant stimulation have given way to a newfound sense of maturity and a deeper understanding of what truly matters. 

I want to explore how this transition feels and encourage my Thrissle besties to compare stories and normalize the new set of priorities that our younger selves would have deemed totally uncool and not fabulous at all. Here’s a play-by-play of the biggest changes I’ve noticed.

I don’t care about endless partying anymore.

In my early twenties, I needed to be out every night of the week. It was exciting at the time; drinking for false confidence, seeking validation from others, looking my best, and thinking about what the night could turn into was a thrill. The energy, the loud music, and the carefree atmosphere seemed irresistible, and I wanted to be in the midst of it all.

Cut to where I am now, and I see I’m not missing much. These were things I thought I needed to do. I grew up in a time when celebrities like Paris Hilton made the scene look so fun and like you’d be discovered (even though you were in Ohio, and that probably wouldn’t happen), so being a party girl was a full-time job. It was like if you didn’t go out, you’d have nothing worth talking about, and god forbid someone asked you what you did last night, and you had nothing to show for it.

Now the constant noise and superficial interactions no longer hold the same appeal. Ugh, living for other people stinks! Nowadays, I crave more meaningful connections and genuine conversations with close friends who share the same genuine love for being a sloth like me. I would never get that in a club; I want to hear you speak, and I don’t even like to dance! (If you’ve ever seen me in that Amber Rose Music video, you’d know.) Still, I totally used to pretend I did because I just wanted to fit in. 

I’d love to do a show of hands now to see how many people would have loved to turn the music down, lounge, and chat if we removed the fear of being uncool. The real party these days is at home, and it’s a blast playing my music and hanging with a few people I enjoy. Plus, the drinks and snacks are waaaay cheaper!

I crave alone time.

working on myself

As the years pass, I become increasingly aware of the importance of personal growth and self-reflection. I find that being bored, uncomfortable, or even depressed needs a rebrand, and needs to hire a new publicist! We’re all so worried about “feeling bad” and spending time alone because it forces us to sit with our unresolved feelings, and sometimes that’s followed by an uncomfortable bout of feeling bad. If we change how we perceive “feeling Bad” and sit through it instead of trying to distract ourselves, we can get to the growth that comes after a lot quicker. That feeling can be your greatest asset; the only time I’ve ever leveled up in life has been from feeling bad because that’s the indicator of change, which we all naturally hate. 

Anything worth having will feel uncomfortable in the process of getting there. I never stop to take inventory for personal growth when I’m feeling good. Why would I? I feel great and want to ride the feeling; I have to keep hitting the “Happy Button” (it’s addictive) until it stops working and the natural indicator that you are moving to the next level comes up (that’s feeling bad). Trust this process, and know the level-up is coming. You’ll actively seek ways to get out of it authentically and productively when you’re alone.

Don’t feel defeated or miffed that you have to do some work; ignoring it with distractions or outside influences will only prolong the pain with temporary fixes, and this is an inside job. This is why it’s so important to sit with your feelings and get to know yourself as well as possible. It’s not always fun, but it ALWAYS passes, and it ALWAYS brings you to an even more level and purposeful place. I guarantee it!

I prioritize health and well-being.


Approaching 30 brings a heightened awareness of my physical and mental well-being. I realize that my body is not as resilient as it once was. Or maybe it is, but I have a lower threshold for bullshit after recovering from one drinking binge and another sleep-deprived night eating junk food and feeling like crap, then starving myself. Recovering from late nights and excessive partying becomes so exhausting. I guess you get used to it and forget that THIS IS A CHOICE! After living one way for so long, you can forget you don’t have to feel so crappy, not from overconsumption and a constant struggle of “Detox to Re-tox.” Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep start to take precedence. Taking care of myself enables me to lead a more fulfilling life because I can focus on how I’m feeling, get new creative ideas, and think about what I want to do with my life. All that stuff comes up when the other crap is out of the way.

My funds are for me.

I like my money, and I want to keep it. Gone are the days of spending everything I had on designer labels. Every now and then is okay, but I’m talking about forfeiting my rent money for Hermes Handbags when I couldn’t afford them and wondering if my phone is going to get cut off because I just had to get bottle service at the club to make that night all about me and impress people I didn’t know. That shit is crazy, like why am I going to go out of my way to take my decent income and spend it on people I shouldn’t care about and things that will have a temporary high when there is real self-confidence in knowing that my bills are paid, my home is paid for? Then and only then will I treat myself because the real treat is knowing that I’m safe and don’t need anything; I only have “wants” left. You’ve got to look after yourself first, girl. Plus, we already established that home is where it’s at.

Nurturing meaningful relationships.

coffee with friends

Gone are the days of seeking validation through a large social circle. Instead, I recognize the value of deep, meaningful relationships. Now I only surround myself with individuals who uplift and inspire me, sharing common values and goals. Genuine connections and heartfelt conversations take precedence over superficial, BS interactions. I want two-way streets of emotional support and seek to cultivate those relationships to enrich my life. No more fair-weather friends. No more friends that are friends of the owner; no more starf*cker social climbing collectors. It’s time just to be me, and if someone else matches that vibration, I’m in. Protect that peace.

All in all…

It’s okay to do everything from bed, and it’s okay to dress for you and not dress up at all. It’s okay to shut the world out for days if that’s what we truly want because as we approach 30, we become more selfish in a good way. We live more for ourselves, what we want, and how we want to spend this precious time on earth. The funny thing is that if only we all got real with each other earlier, we could have saved a lot of time by realizing we were all trying to keep up the facade to impress each other by doing things none of us wanted to do anyway!

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