Thirty. Dun, dun, dun.
The word itself can cause an uproar in the hearts and minds of even the most collected of women. For some, it can feel like the end of an era. No more long nights of partying. No more casual recklessness. No more twenties. For others, this particular milestone can become a pivotal point where ‘past you’ swore that ‘present you’ would have accomplished (insert here) by this date.
If you promised yourself that you’d be a biochemical engineer or a homeowner by 30 and instead you’re waiting tables and sharing a small apartment with a roommate, it’s easy to feel like you’ve fallen short of your own expectations. All of a sudden your future self is your current self and you still haven’t earned that damned Nobel Peace Prize.
As a whole, we have a tendency to project things onto our future selves and, due to circumstance or choice, we sometimes fail to take the necessary steps to achieve them. It can be daunting when milestones knock on our door and we feel we’ve shown up empty-handed, failing to produce the desired results. We feel this way because it is easier to focus on what we haven’t accomplished because we’ve now reached the point in our lives that we once felt sure we’d have it all figured out. But here’s a secret: As long as you are trying, as long as you are learning and progressing, you are doing just fine. You are exactly where you should be. Just breathe.
However, should the impending doom of 30 cause an epiphany, seize the revelation. Take the steps, make the goals and work for what you desire.
I know that I have personally veered from the path that I once believed I would be on but I feel as if I landed right where I belonged. Each mistake has shaped me. Each decision has had a cause and effect. I’ve lived. I’ve learned. And *gasps* I don’t fear 30. Here’s why:
Your twenties are a time of self discovery. It is in this decade that you try, fail, and try again. Hard lessons are learned as you create yourself. As a result, your opinions become more developed with each experience and you become more secure in your mental and physical being. With this additional presence, the opinions of others becomes less substantial to your sense of self. You become confident in who you are as a person simply because you know who you are.
The decade of your twenties are spent fumbling through life, trying to grasp the answers to lives complexities. Few look to you for words of wisdom and there are few places this is more prevalent than the workforce. While you are undoubtedly expected to perform, there is a preconceived notion of being a twenty-something year old. Although it is possible, few break this mold. Perhaps you are an old soul? Regardless, the stigma is still present. While 30 is far from old aged, despite what you thought a decade ago, there is now a sense of history. You have experienced a portion of life that you are expected to have developed from. Let’s hope that is the case!
Keeping consistent with lessons learned and developing from experience comes the all-encompassing knowledge. You have fought your battles. You have earned your stripes. With each additional experience, your knowledge base has expanded. Partied hard all night during the work week? Decided to incorporate the word “moderation” into your vocabulary. Spent your money carelessly? Stocked up on candles & Ramen and learned the benefit of a well thought out budget. By this point, it has become clear that actions beget consequences and you act accordingly. This growth is essential and paves the way for betterment. It assists you in becoming the best you that you can achieve. That’s all anyone can ask for.
While this compilation barely scratches the surface, there are lessons and optimism to bring forth into your next decade. Do not dread an end of an era but rejoice in the opportunity to have anew. Let yourself embody the growth you have experienced and find assurance in your presence. This life is the only opportunity you have.