Today marks the start of my last two days as a 20-something. It’s kind of crazy. I’m excited! Actually, my emotions are all over the place.
To be clear, it’s not because I’m scared of getting old. It’s a fact of life and so many great and wonderful things come with growing old. The memories, the experiences all add up as time passes. I think most people assume that when people aren’t excited about a birthday, specifically a milestone birthday like 30, it’s because they don’t want to get old. I promise that’s not the case here.
This past week I’ve been looking for some inspiration. Inspiration on how to face this milestone with a brave face, for things to blog about, for ideas of goals I want to achieve and things I want to do. Let me just recommend that you not search Pinterest for things related to turning 30. You end up with post after post of the following:
- 30 Things to Know Before 30
- 10 Places Every 20-Something Should Visit Before 30
- Books to Read Before Turning 30
- 25 Items to Toss Before Turning 30
- The 11 Staples Every 30-Something Should Have in Her Closet
- 11 Things You’ll Regret in Your 30s
- 5 Fitness Habits to Master Before 30
It goes on and on like this as you scroll. I kid you not. Don’t bother clicking on the links. I learned I haven’t read most of the books I apparently should have, I still have some of those items I should toss, and I’ve only been to two of the places I should have visited before Saturday. Think I can knock out London, Paris, Greece, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Machu Pichu by Saturday? Seriously, what 20-something had enough money to go to all of those places?
It’s a good thing I didn’t take any of those lists seriously.
There were two lists that I did find I rather appreciated. One was career-focused and I liked its three pieces of advice, including recognizing that my time and energy are finite resources, finding meaning in my career, and knowing that I don’t have to please everyone. The other list focused on life skills we should all have by 30 and I’m proud to say I could check off quite a few of them. This list included things like wrapping a present, knowing how to give cpr, taking a mental health day, going to a party or event alone, and mastering a handshake. I admit, I still can’t fold a fitted sheet though.
What’s behind my mixed emotions? I think it all comes down to not knowing what’s coming next. What makes this year any different? I’m not sure to be honest. Maybe it’s just the way society tells women they should feel about turning 30 and all the things we should have accomplished by now. This begs the question of how anyone can tell you what you should have done, seen or know by the time you’re 30? Everyone is different and we’re all having different life experiences. How boring would it be if we all were having the exact same experiences and reaching the same goals and milestones?
With all that said, the one thing I do know is that we get to choose how we feel about something. We can make the choice to be angry, to hold grudges, to dwell on things. Or we can make the choice to be brave, to be happy and to smile and face the future head on. That doesn’t mean there won’t be times when we’re nervous or scared or unsure, but we don’t have to let that prevent us from looking forward to the future with anticipation.
So this weekend I’m turning 30. I may not know what this year holds in store, but even if there are times I’m nervous or unsure I’m going to smile and look forward to it all. Bring it on!