All right, I’m just going to say it…I am turning thirty this summer. I never imagined four words would cause me so much unease. I. Am. Turning. Thirty.
Turning twenty-eight was a significant year for me. Mostly because my mother’s birthday is the day after mine, and my mother turned twenty-eight the year I was born. She already had two little boys and baby girl (me) made three. So when I turned twenty-eight I was comparing my life to my mother’s and I felt a strong sense of loss for the children I did not and still do not have. As a result I was sad and feeling dire about not having a family of my own.
When I turned twenty-nine there was nothing in particular that caused me any distress. It really just felt like any other day. But I did start to think about my stance on turning thirty and at the time I came to the conclusion that it really did not bother me all that much, after all, I would rather be thirty than dead. I was confident that I would not be one of those people who have a nervous breakdown the year they turn thirty. And while I’d still rather be thirty than dead, I am having more anxiety about it now that the probability of it happening has increased.
During Christmas my cousin was telling me about his memories of turning thirty. He talked about how, at the time he wasn’t satisfied with his position in life compared to his friends and that he thought he would have accomplished more at that stage. That realization motivated him and he is now very successful with a blossoming career and a very lovely, comfortable and meaningful life. He is a kind and generous person who deserves everything he has achieved because he has made sacrifices and worked hard for his success.
His story pressed me to examine my own life more thoroughly and I became aware of the fact that I too had not accomplished any of the things I thought I would have by thirty. And I will admit that it didn’t feel good. At that point I knew I had only two choices. I could either accept my life for what it had become, even though I was not entirely satisfied. Or I could start doing some of the things I had always wanted to and expand my life experience.
I always wanted to be a writer therefore I started my blog and I’m now taking my writing more seriously. I love to travel and dream about all the places I want to see, so I booked some vacations and started putting money aside for future excursions. My life felt cluttered and disorderly, thus I organized my belongings and redecorated. I started reaching out to people more, making plans and committing to social engagements. I’m trying to take better care of myself by eating healthier and cooking more. I’ve set goals for myself, which I never really had before as I lacked enthusiasm. I am trying to be kinder, more generous, less selfish, less judgmental and more open-minded to fresh ideas.
Right now I know there is still more for me to accomplish but in life if you reach the top, there is nowhere to go from there. A person needs to feel challenged in order to succeed in life. No matter your age or your circumstance, if you are arrogant enough to believe that you have nothing to learn you will never grow. I was such a person, sitting around thinking that life had somehow forgotten about me. Such a naïve notion can lead a person into a very dark place.
Wherever your place is in this world, it is you and only you that has the power to change it. Don’t just sit around expecting some magical force to put the mislaid pieces back in order for you. I know that making a change is intimidating and all too often a lack of funds will prevent us from getting what we want. But if you work hard, take advantage of available resources and push yourself good things will happen for you.
The enormity of turning thirty still weighs heavy on my shoulders but I keep myself distracted with work and scheduled outings and I surround myself with family and friends in the hope that my anxiety will dissipate. Even if that doesn’t work I booked a four-day vacation with my entourage over my birthday weekend. I will be turning thirty while I am in Las Vegas, Nevada. The kingdom of debauchery, profligacy and distraction awaits us.
I am still nervous about this milestone birthday but I do have confidence that thirty is going to be a great year and I will be starting it off with a bang! All apprehension aside, I am happy with the risks I have taken and the changes I have made in my life; and with hope there will be many more still to come.