I’ll Be 30, Single, and Still Figuring It All Out

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by Brittany Foster |

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In the movie “13 Going on 30,” the character Jenna Rink sits in a closet crying on her 13th birthday. Distressed about her birthday celebrations going awry, Jenna longs to skip her teen years and go directly to the age of 30.

“I just want to be 30. Thirty, flirty, and thriving,” she repeats.

The next morning, Jenna awakes in the 30-year-old body of actor Jennifer Garner.

When I was 13, I also dreamed about what my life would look like at 30. Fast-forward 17 years, and soon I will be celebrating my 30th birthday.

I also once wanted to be “30, flirty, and thriving.” I had thought that by this age, I would be exactly where I wanted to be, with a career, a husband, and children. But unlike the movie, I am not Jennifer Garner. Instead, I will be 30, single, and still figuring it all out.

Garner’s character seemed to have it all: a dream job at a popular magazine, a gorgeous boyfriend, and a great body. In one scene, the older woman is in an elevator, and her 13-year-old neighbor compliments her dress. Garner pushes up her bra and replies, “It’s because I have these incredible boobs to fill it out!”

To my dismay, I don’t have a dream body like the movie character. I don’t have a full figure. Instead, I have scars down my chest that are reminders of everything I have lived through.

I’m not euphoric in elevators like Garner’s character, but I am proud of the body I live in. Although it’s not exactly society’s image of perfection, I accept my body for all it does for me.

Eventually, Garner’s character learns that 30 may not be such a perfect age after all. In my case, I am approaching my birthday without the house, the husband, or the family I had dreamed about. Going into the next decade, I am newly single after ending a previous engagement, moving back home with my parents, and awaiting another heart surgery in less than a month. The 13-year-old me would be surprised by this plot twist.

In the past 17 years, I lost, gained, and lost again. Through it all, I had to learn the meaning of resilience and hope. I had to trust that my purpose and passion in life would be restored, despite the turmoil I had experienced.

As I near 30, I’m starting to repair things. I’m repairing the hurt in my heart that I feel when I look at the empty finger where I once wore an engagement ring.

I could mourn the life I had planned for myself, or I can embrace the one I’m currently living. In the end, I’m truly thankful for all that I have and all that I have overcome.

Jenna Rink may have been “30, flirty, and thriving,” but Brittany Foster has survived, endured, broken down, and overcome.

I am right where I want to be.


Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.


Michele Lombardo avatar

Michele Lombardo

You are truely an inspiration to me I am 52 years old and currently diagnoses with PAH Thank you for sharing your story It truely touched my heart.

Barb avatar


This was a wonderful article. The stars were incorrect as I meant to hit the max. You are to be admired and respected. You have great stamina and a great outlook. Best to you.

Mary avatar


Excellent, inspiring.
Sorry that somehow only one star showed up. Not intended.


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