Today I turn the big 3-0!
When I was 18 I used to imagine how much I would dread this day. However, when I was 18 I hadn't yet met Avnish and my view of the world was small and unknown. I saw myself by 30 living alone with a herd of cats and I was actually OK with that. I had resigned myself to my imagined fate because I didn't believe I had much going for me and didn't believe that others would see something special in me (don't worry, this blog post will cheer up I promise!)
Now I am here and about to cross over into my 30's I've been looking back and reflecting on what an amazing 3 decades it's been and also what utter tosh I used to convince myself of.
So here is a list I've compiled of 30 things I've learnt before 30 - perhaps you're about to make the leap into this next epoch too (big up 80's kids) and maybe you're dreading it. Or perhaps you're in your twenties (big up 90's kids) and you're thinking your life is about to end at the 30 mark.
I'm here to tell you it's just beginning.
So, shall we begin?
- You don't need to have got everything sussed out by 30. Where has this milestone come from? Most famous people didn't reach their potential or goals until in their thirties or even forties, or fifties (Vera Wang, Samuel L. Jackson and even Charles Darwin are amongst these). So much of your 20's is just trying to figure out how to adult and make sense of the world.
- People really don't care what you're doing/wearing/listening to
- You too will start to not care about what you're doing/wearing/listening to when you realise point 2
- Job success does not necessarily = life success
- Having a highly paid job will NOT bring you happiness long term
- Mediate whenever you can
- Do one thing a year that completely terrifies you. Helps keep stuff in perspective.
- You will lose some friends along the way, but that doesn't make you a bad person. It's no ones fault, it's just life flowing.
- No one teaches you how to do a tax return and they really bloody should at school
- By the time you reach your late twenties it's less about needing to fit in and more about how much you can stand out
- Switch off your phone for a whole day. It will help you live longer
- Be brave. Bullies don't disappear as an adult and they come in many disguises.
- Regularly check in with yourself to make sure that what you're doing (work/relationship/actions) aligns with your core values
- You will survive stuff you never thought you could
- Move and keep moving
- Walk as much as you can and learn the map and history of where you live. We just coexist and don't build communities or tether ourselves to our past. Let's reconnect.
- When you buy from a local store or independent, you're truly making a difference to the world.
- People project their feelings onto you; try not to absorb too much
- Forget life plans because they don't work. Plus, life is way more fun when you chuck the road map and see where the road takes you
- It's ok to not be doing what your friends are or what your family think you should be. They're advising you on their life experience (as I am) and it doesn't necessarily apply to you.
- A degree isn't everything. No one, as of yet, has asked me what I got and all I have is a huge debt to pay.
- Be kind to one another. Fundamental life rule that really isn't hard to do.
- Go and call that relative/friend you haven't spoken to in a while. I bet they miss you, and just the fact you've contacted them will brighten their day and make you feel the good feels.
- Live as slow as you can so you can take it in before it passes you by
- Children make the world a brighter place, but whatever you pour your heart into it will do the same thing. So don't beat yourself up if you don't want/can't have children (and I'm talking to the ladies who have their biological clock reminded to them by 'helpful' friends and family.)
- Know that at any point, you can change course and start a new adventure
- Get sleep, because if you decide to start a family you're going to miss it
- No seriously, get sleep because it's so damn good for you
- Get off Facebook. No one likes having their data stolen and life will go on.
- And if all else fails, just listen to this by Baz Luhrmann.
Where I am today is a million miles away from what my 18 year old self had depressingly predicted, and I am eternally grateful with the lot that I have been given. Who knows what the next 30 years will hold - I mean, I could become a grandmother in that time! - but I'm looking forward to learning, growing and just sharing the adventure with my loved ones.
No one in this world has it all sussed out, and we're all just muddling along together.
So here's an imaginary blog post toast to me (HBD) and to you guys!