It's very common to have anxieties over turning 30. It's a time in our lives when we face immense pressure to have it all together. Whether that be financially, mentally, or emotionally. The perfect career, the perfect marriage, kids, a house, and a faithful group of friends for Friday nights. But let's be real, that's not everyone's life, and your 30s can come with a lot of unexpected changes. Some of your goals might never be met. You might discover new passions and change careers. Friend groups get smaller, and that perfect spouse might have a new boo. But whatever the case may be, you aren't alone. Life is always changing. Here are some books we recommend for women over 30.
Speed Grieving (The One) by Allison Ellis
"When Allison Ellis’s husband died of an unexpected heart attack, there was no playbook for a thirty-three-year-old widow with a breastfeeding infant. In her grief, she devised a practical strategy: find a new husband within twelve months. What transpired was a year of mourning, manic dating, and breaking hearts across Seattle on a deadline mission to heal her own."
I found this book to be a very realistic look at the pressures women face to keep moving despite tragedy. Allison's experiences may have felt superficial to some readers, but I think most women in her situation would have had similar thoughts and feelings after such an unexpected loss. Nobody wants to or plans to be a single mom, even if they don't admit it.
ROOTWORK: TRIUMPH OVER TRAUMA by C. Imani Williams
"For trauma survivors, navigating the path to self-love can be a tumultuous journey, fraught with highs and an incredible number of invaluable life lessons. But, with rootwork, the result of self-love is the ultimate gift. In ROOTWORK: Triumph Over Trauma, Holistic Wellness Life Coach C. Imani Williams uses creative arts, including poetry, short stories, and personal essays, to help women overcome trauma and years of self-doubt. Unresolved trauma often leads to substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, and promiscuity. She believes we must be about the business of breaking generational cycles of dysfunction."
Featured in the 2021 winter issue of COFFEE, WINE, WORDS magazine, Miss Williams shares the ups and downs of her life as a queer, afrocentric Black feminist. In this hybrid of personal essays and poems, we get a deeper look onto the life of a woman who is not afraid to be outspoken about her journey through grief, abuse, activism and self-discovery. Support her and get this book!
Yes, And (The One) by Kristi Coulter
"When Kristi Coulter’s husband proposed, she didn’t admit her fears. When they exchanged vows, she didn’t reveal that she was terrified that marriage would ruin her life. During fifteen years of genuinely happy marriage, she never said a word about another man in her life. Then she comes clean—about all of it—and discovers a new world."
This was one messy ass story. But despite the mess, I completely understood the message. The message, that human emotions are complex, and someone's 'the one' isn't always enough. I am in no way advocating that anyone has an emotional affair on their partner, which is what Kristi did. But maybe monogamy isn't always the best choice for every relationship. There are other mutual, respectful ways to go about exploring options. Kristi and her husband ended up going the poly route, which seemed like the best choice for them.
Does This Divorce Make Me Look Fat? : A Self-Help Guide To Getting Over It Already. Seriously B*tch. by Nikki Frias
"We’ve all been through some sh*t, and in 2016, Nikki never expected her world to turn upside down from divorce. Yes, the scarlet letter “D” some are too familiar with. After the countless sympathies and questions of the future, she decided to do something about it; live the life she saw for herself. The evolution of sh*tty new boyfriends to ex-boyfriends and roadblocks felt never-ending as she learned to do everything independently. But then she figured out how to conquer the biggest elephant in the room: herself."
A book for every woman's coffee table. Nikki is hilarious as she shares her experience getting divorced and tackles a tough subject in a way that will empower you. I highly recommend this book, even if you just want to be inspired to make changes in your life after a traumatic event, or depression, or if you need some general advice about dating, especially over 30, this book is for you.
Neighbors (The Real Thing collection) by Elizabeth LaBan & Melissa DePino
"From next-door neighbors to BFFs, Pretty Little World coauthors Elizabeth LaBan and Melissa DePino share how they became each other’s “person,” proving that friends can be the greatest loves of our lives. Sometimes our soul mates live down the street. Melissa finds hers when she opens the door for her new neighbor, Elizabeth. Over many years, their lives become intertwined as they support each other through pregnancy and motherhood, divorce, bereavement, and starting over. This is the story of finding a life partner under a different roof."
We all want that person we can share everything with, and turn to when we need a shoulder. Elizabeth and Melissa gave a realistic look into women's friendships as we navigate marriage, children and all of life's challenges. As we get older, keeping friendships tight becomes harder, and some come and go. This short book shows that real friendships can overcome anything.
Get Good with Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole by Tiffany The Budgetnista Aliche
"Tiffany Aliche was a successful pre-school teacher with a healthy nest egg when a recession and advice from a shady advisor put her out of a job and into a huge financial hole. As she began to chart the path to her own financial rescue, the outline of her ten-step formula for attaining both financial security and peace of mind began to take shape. These principles have now helped more than one million women worldwide save and pay off millions in debt, and begin planning for a richer life."
While I do believe that capitalism is a rigged game, there are still ways to tolerate some of the financial curveballs life throws at us. Will the information in this book help everyone? Probably not. But we're never too good to seek advice. Give it a shot if you're in need of a financial overhaul.
The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Navigate an Unequal System, Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help you Deserve by Rheeda Walker PhD
"We can’t deny it any longer: there is a Black mental health crisis in our world today. Black people die at disproportionately high rates due to chronic illness, suffer from poverty, under-education, and the effects of racism. This book is an exploration of Black mental health in today’s world, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African Americans, and what needs to happen for African Americans to heal psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization in order to access effective mental health care."
How to X Your Ex: A Guide to Getting Past Unhealthy Relationships by Ashleigh Guice
"Most people struggle with breakups because they just don’t know how to start the healing process. How to X Your Ex is a step-by-step guide on moving past unhealthy relationships. Renew your strength and find your happiness by walking away from relationships that no longer serve you. Start fresh by x’ing your ex."
If you follow Ashleigh on Instagram or read her blog, then you're familiar with her takes on men and relationships. She gives it to you raw, answering the questions we don't always want answers to. Being single after 30 comes with its own challenges I'm sure. If you need answers about why he hasn't called, or why he's sending mixed signals, this book is for you.
Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
"Luvvie Ajayi Jones is known for her trademark wit, warmth, and perpetual truth-telling. But even she's been challenged by the enemy of progress known as fear. She was once afraid to call herself a writer, and nearly skipped out on doing a TED talk that changed her life because of imposter syndrome. As she shares in Professional Troublemaker, she's not alone. With humor and honesty, and guided by the influence of her professional troublemaking Nigerian grandmother, Funmilayo Faloyin, Luvvie walks us through what we must get right within ourselves before we can do the things that scare us; how to use our voice for a greater good; and how to put movement to the voice we've been silencing--because truth-telling is a muscle."
Overcoming the fear of change is probably one of the biggest hurdles of reaching 30. I can relate all too well. But whether we like it or not, sometimes change has to happen for us to be where we want in life. Those goals aren't going to reach themselves! Let Luvvie give you the tea on getting past your fears of imposter syndrome and self-doubt.
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