....By the Time She's 30
I wrote this list 25 years ago, when it was first published in Glamour magazine. Since then, it’s been shared widely often under the title “Maya Angelou’s Best Poem Ever”. I was so frustrated about my byline getting disappeared that I wrote an article for Huffington Post called I Wrote Maya Angelou’s Best Poem Ever. That established by authorship and Glamour as the publisher, and set the stage for the New York Times bestselling book we created under its proper title, 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By the Time She’s 30.
But now I’m frustrated all over again because Glamour violated my contract by republishing the list without my byline. And then they changed some of the items so it sucks anyway and I don’t even want a byline. But really, et tu, Glamour?
Here, in its original form, is the list. By Pamela Redmond.
By 30, Every Woman Should Have
- One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
- A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
- Something perfect to wear if the employer of man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
- A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
- A youth you’re content to move beyond.
- A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
- The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
- An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account, all of which nobody has access to but you.
- A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded.
- One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
- A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
- Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
- The belief that you deserve it.
- A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
- A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.
By 30, Every Woman Should Know
- How to fall in love without losing yourself.
- How you feel about having kids.
- How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
- When to try harder and when to walk away.
- How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
- The names of the secretary of state and your great-grandmothers,
- How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
- Where to go, be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat, when your soul needs soothing.
- That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
- That your childhood may not be perfect, but it’s over.
- What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
- That nobody gets away with drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for long.
- Who you can trust, you you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
- Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
- Why they say life begins at 30.