How I feel about Thirty
I keep getting asked whether I fear the milestone number that’s approaching. And I’ve given it a LOT of thought. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it for years.
Thirty is a good age. In fact, I think it should stick around for a while. Maybe extend the decade a little bit, add in a few more years.
Many people I know who have already crossed the proverbial bridge into their thirties have given me some great insight. I’ve been told over and over again that thirty is the year where you stop questioning who you are, and you finally just KNOW. Yes there is always something more to discover, as there is with anything in life, but it’s more than that. It’s knowing when to trust your instincts. It’s knowing when to stand up for your opinions, and knowing when the battle isn’t worth the fight. It’s knowing that you aren’t perfect, and that you don’t need to strive to be. There’s always going to be room for improvement, and choosing which things to work on will always be a “flavour of the week” thing. Do what makes you happy.
In the words of a great friend of mine, my twenties were full of life-building experiences. Going to school, getting a career established, getting married, having two beautiful children, and filling my life with some FANTASTIC people. True friends, people I love. Now I have the rest of my life to reap what I’ve sewed. Slowly watch my pension build as I put more countless hours into the daily grind (okay, that one is a little less fun, but necessary nevertheless.) Watching my beautiful children grow, and learn and surprise me with their awesomeness every single day. Spending time with so many remarkable people who I am proud to call my friends. People who accept my absolute insanity, and some who specifically love me FOR it. And being amazed with each passing day that the partner I chose to go through these motions with is becoming more and more incredible with each passing day. Thirty is the time where you get to sit back and watch your flowers grow. Water them and nurture them of course, tend the weeds, allow room for growth and change, but most of all enjoy.
Thirty is when you have lived long enough to see that much of the advice you received growing up actually makes sense. And you are old enough to have the sense to listen to reason (sometimes), instead of stubbornly needing to find everything out for yourself. The most important being “it doesn’t matter what other people think.” We spend so much of our lives trying to live up to these self-created ideals that are actually based on what we THINK other people want to see or hear from us. Well, obviously we all need to make an effort to get along with each other. That’s not really what I mean. What I mean is in the details. What you wear, what you watch, where you go. These things are uniquely your own decisions. It’s no one else’s business what you want to do with your spare time, as long as you’re enjoying it, (and not breaking any laws… cause it would be other people’s business if you picked a hobby like cannibalism or bank heists.)
One more point to make is in regards to a working environment. I feel like age gives your more of a leg to stand on in a professional environment. Heck, I suppose it works in a “parenting” environment too. The conundrum is, no matter your level of ability, people do not see you as being as “good as” the more experienced workers/parents/etc. If you haven’t hit that thirty mark, you’re much less likely to become the boss, because frankly, no one in their thirties or forties or whatever they are at really wants to take orders from a twenty year old. And let’s be doubly honest here. I don’t think I would either. If a completely qualified, fresh from university grad came walking in calling himself or herself my boss, I might do that exact thing that I can’t stand. I might be one of those self-righteous “I’ve-been-through-more-of-the-motions-than-you-so-I-am-more-deserving-despite-your-dougie-howser-ability-to-excel-at-something-at-a-young-age” people. I don’t want to be one of them. I want to accept that people can have a knack for something at whatever age they happen to be. But it happens. We forget what it feels like to be young, and able, and treated like an imbecile for no other reason than the numbers on our birth certificates. We fall right into the pattern, despite our better judgement. So to reiterate, thirty is old enough to be taken seriously, but young enough that people don’t think of you as “past your prime” (which is a whole other battle I’ll have to fight a few decades down the road I’m sure.)
So the answer is this. No. I do not fear the number thirty. I embrace it. I feel young and old in perfect harmony. I am surrounded in the best things in life. Children, family, friends and love.
And if all else fails, my husband is older than me, so I will always feel young next to him 😉