As my 30th birthday draws closer [18 days!], I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my life – where I’m at, how I got here, who I’m surrounded by. I mean, thirty is a milestone b-day! It’s the first big birthday after 21 [unless you count, 25 – woo hoo, you can rent a car]. That’s nine full years of anticlimactic birthdays. And nine years of goofing off, being a kid, being young and dumb, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change anything about my twenties. I learned so much about myself and the person I want to be. I had bad relationships, I had good relationships, I gained friends, I lost friends. I traveled, I explored. I learned that I’m an introvert with the occasional extrovert moment, and no amount of alcohol will ever change that [cue the post traumatic stress and anxiety – I am the queen of regretting my decisions in the harsh light of day, and then dwelling on them for years to come]. I learned that it’s okay to miss out on things, to not stretch yourself so thin, to make time for yourself. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes!
I am reminded every day of my age. Facebook and Instagram are overrun with engagements, weddings and pregnancy announcements – constant reminders from society of what your life should be like. When I was a teenager, I had a plan – go to college, meet future husband, graduate at 22, be married with babies by 25. Plain as day, simple as that. In my mind, that seemed completely logical and reasonable.
Fast forward to [almost] thirty. I have no college degree [but I do have a career – thank you, insurance industry!], I met my future husband a little over a year ago, I have no children and absolutely no desire to have them right at this very moment [eventually, but not right now]. Truthfully, I can’t imagine already being five years into the life I had imagined for myself fifteen years ago.
Strange, isn’t it? To think you know what you want at such a young age, and to finally get to that point in your life and be nowhere near the place you thought you’d be. It just solidifies that no young person should be making lifelong decisions before experiencing some major life changing events.
Most people my age are dreading turning thirty. Like it’s the end of an era, making it absolutely official that we aren’t “young” anymore. I, personally, don’t understand the dread – I can’t wait to be thirty! What are 29-year-olds afraid of? No longer having an excuse like age for immature behavior? Or maybe it’s the reminder that none of us are really where we thought we’d be at this age. And that’s okay! While I don’t necessarily believe in God, I do believe that each of us have a pre-laid plan and that regardless of where we think we should be, we are exactly where life planned for us to be. That’s why I’m excited to be thirty. I’m ready to put my twenties behind me and start this new decade with a clean slate.
Don’t ever let what other people are doing, or have done, effect your life. If you have babies, don’t be jealous or feel like you’re missing out on things other people are doing because they don’t. And vice versa! Our times will come – the right things are supposed to happen at the right time. Be patient, love yourself, love your life, and enjoy the ride. Here’s to thirty, and to many decades ahead.