1. One old love she can imagine going back to and one who reminds her how far she has come.
2. Enough money within her control to move out and rent a place on her own, even if she never wants or needs to.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella she's not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth she's content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.
7. The realization that she is actually going to have an old age and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
9. One friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry.
10. A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family.
11. Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored.
12. A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded.
13. A feeling of control over her destiny.
14. A skin care regime, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don't get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.
1. How to fall in love without losing herself.
2. How she feels about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what she would and wouldn't like to happen next.
6. How to have a good time at a party she'd never choose to attend.
7. How to ask for what she wants in a way that makes it most likely she'll get it.
8. That she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.
9. That her childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over.
10. What she would and wouldn't do for love or more.
11. How to live alone, even if she doesn't like it.
12. Whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally.
13. Where to go-be it her best friend's kitchen table or a charming inn hidden in the woods-when her soul needs soothing.
14. What she can and can't accomplish in a day, a month, and a year.
15. Why they say life begins at 30.