Turning 30 is a pretty epic milestone.
For some, it involves running into the closest bottle-o to drown their sorrows in cheap plonk, lamenting at what happened to their twenties.
Increasingly, however, I’m finding most of my friends who are turning 30 are embracing it.
Thirty is NOT the new 20. Case in point: Solange Knowles.
The celebrity sibling of Beyonce and respected singer and songwriter in her own right used Instagram to remind us of just that, after celebrating her 30th birthday on Friday.
Her lengthy caption marked the significant milestones of her life so far, reading:
“Born June 24th
Wore tap shoes and tutus everywhere 3-5
Wrote first song (A jingle for the United Way) 9 (Ed: I only stopped wetting the bed at nine)
Felt God 10
Met first love (in a parking lot) 13 (we’ve all been there, right Tay-Tay?)
Wrote/Released my first album for weird teenagers 15 (I wrote my first letter to the local newspaper at 15)
Started writing songs for other awesome people 16
Lost my best friend Marsai, to gun violence 17
Married first love 17
Gave birth to angel baby 18
Financially independent 19
Bought my first house 19
Wiled the hell out 20-22
Wrote/ Released second album 22
Fell head over heels in love again 22
Insane panic attacks and agoraphobia and convinced I would die by 30 – 24
Wrote/released third album 26
Started record label and cultural hub 27
Released first album on label 27
Freed myself of “friends” on the journey to womanhood 27
Started writing most proud of body of work 27
World called me crazy 27 (I can only guess that she’s referring to that famous elevator incident)
Married Best Friend 28
Completed 4th album (72 hours before turning 30)
Just really getting started 30.”
Solange concluded the post by writing:
“I say all of that to say…don’t eveeer let anyone write your story for you. They can talk, they can doubt, and they can say what they wanna, but only you have the words to narrate this ting we call life.
“So much gratitude for all of your wishes. So much gratitude for love. So much gratitude for freedom. So much gratitude for life.
Ps: About to take a note from Paris Hilton and have 4 parties.”
Watch: Ask Bossy answers the question: ‘No one is coming to my birthday party. What do I do?’ (Post continues after video.)
What is most remarkable about this post is not just the fact the singer has indulged details that were previously unknown to the public (agoraphobia, anyone?) – she’s also experienced some startling life lessons.
One of the most telling details was the ridding of toxic influences in her life — “freed myself of ‘friends’ on the journey to womanhood” — before she started working on her “most proud body of work”.
In writing this, she acknowledges something that plagues us all to some degree: toxic relationships can affect your productivity, and your aspect on life.
If her sister Beyonce has been likened to a “cone of silence” (in that her interviews are rare and far-between), Solange is a refreshing and honest window into a family whose lifestyle many aspire to, but not all understand. (Post continues after gallery.)
A proud Southern black family, peppered with a long and colourful history, the Knowles family was thrust into an (even more) glaring spotlight during the elevator incident of 2014.
Solange mentions it fleetingly with a rather humorous note: “World called me crazy, 27.”
In short, it may be one of the most brutally honest and compelling short autobiographies I’ve read in recent history. I can’t wait to read the extended version.
How did you feel about turning 30? What was the greatest lesson you’d learned?
Featured image: Getty