I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bothered at all by the passing of landmark birthdays like the one depicted in this Tale. They kinda push you to take stock of where you’ve gotten to in life, with the realization that there’s a literal deadline on it all. And the answer isn’t always a good one.

At 30, I wasn’t all that happy with where I was. I wanted to have a life partner and a job I found satisfying. Instead I was a widow (unofficially) and unemployed. Ouch. But at 30, there’s still time to start over: I could go back to school. I could still find someone else. (It’s not as if I was 40, or even 50, when that would be …. inconceivable.)

And yet I was experienced enough to have some wisdom worth sharing with … someone I saw as a younger version of myself.