I turn 30 soon. I’ve always felt a tad nonchalant about birthdays especially after I threw out all those goals I had that were age – milestone based (e.g. the moved out by 25, car by 28, married by 30 etc). This has helped me live life year by year without the added external and internal pressure and I am a very see as we go along type of person (but I still do love to make plans and I am strategic with my actions when I feel I want to go to the ‘next level’) For some time I’ve felt that my 30s are just gonna be like my 20s perhaps with worse knees, and even worse hangovers, hopefully with less mistakes etc but the closer I get, the more I feel like it’s a big thing and I should be ready for it…for something…or more (I’m not sure what) but I feel this overwhelming feeling every day as it gets closer. Any advice on how I can ‘get ready’ for my my thirties?
29 going on 30
Dear 29 going on 30,
Imagine turning 30 is a big deal. This life is such a scam that you have to celebrate surviving as long as you have. You should celebrate.
The sense of apprehensiveness that you feel is probably all the years of socialisation in you that makes the 30s A BIG FUCKING DEAL. Even when you have released yourself from the societal pressures, they always find a way to sneak back into our psyche. If you have people around you who have followed the script (school, job, marriage, kids) it sneaks in even more.
Perhaps it’s also moments of “oh my god life is moving fast” even when you are living with intention and purpose and free from what is expected from you.
I am hurtling towards 40 and to be honest, your note made me smile because who is ever ready? I believe in doing your best and finding joy.
That being said, I can offer some things that I think could be of help.
- Work on knowing yourself – who you are, who you want to be, how to continue knowing yourself since change is always happening, what you want, how to get what you want, why you think what you think, what you believe in etc
- Find joy – Find the things and people who bring you joy. Then do the things and spend your time with those people.
- Forgive yourself for the things you had hoped to achieve and haven’t yet. Be gentle (continuously) with yourself.
- Spend time with yourself. A lot of time. Figure out why you are experiencing what you say to be feeling that you should be ready for something.
- Do you believe that happiness is a goal? Do you believe in love? Then spend time thinking about why those things (among others) matter and how it looks like for you.
Finally, Happy (early) Birthday. I hope you celebrate it in a way that means something to you.