Happy Birthday to me! I’m officially 30! Really, guys, today is my birthday! I’m currently… well I don’t know where! Mr. Actually has whisked me away on a surprise birthday trip and at the time I’m writing this, I’m at my desk. When this is published, I’ll be somewhere else in the world! How mad is that! Anyway, I’ve officially left my 20s and I’ve been feeling rather reflective about things lately. I think 30 is an age that comes with a bit of pressure, and people always talk about how we should accomplish all this stuff by the time we get there. I’ve actually felt very little anxiety or panic about being 30, and here’s why:
I’ve come a long way in the last 10 years. Looking back on who I was when I was 20, I wish I could go give myself a pep talk. I had very little confidence, I overworked myself with very little time off… I didn’t know my own value. That’s something I’ve learned in the last 10 years, and I’m very proud of myself for getting here. It’s tough though. I do feel sometimes like I have to be the perfect adult, especially one that is reflected in my age. There are all these lists out there, about things you should accomplish by the time you’re 30, but I call bullshit. Why is this the age that I have to come out of the oven, as a fully baked adult with all these boxes ticked? Life just isn’t that simple, is it?
Everyone’s circumstances are so different. The last four years of my life completely changed how I view what’s important. Yes it would be great to learn a new language, or go to Glastonbury, whatever those lists say, but that’s not me. That’s not what I need to focus on right now. I’m focusing on nurturing my friendships and relationships, healing my relationship with my body, and just generally making sure I can grow to be my best self. Sure there are things that I want to accomplish, and things I’m working on, but my 30th birthday is not a due date. I haven’t failed, just because I didn’t accomplish those things before I entered a new decade of life.
This past weekend, I went down to Margate with a group of friends for a little pre-birthday birthday celebration. I’d never really done a girl’s weekend away, and since I moved it took me some time to build up my group of friends again. This trip to Margate was a fun way to again remind myself of how far I’d come. I’ve never been one of those people who had loads and loads of friends. Ten years ago, I was desperate to have a lot of friends; these days, I’d rather have a few really good, close friends, than loads of general acquaintances. My weekend was a little celebration of that (I took a little advice on celebration from Kristabel, my internet-turned-IRL pal and birthday twin!).
I have a good group of friends who I love and care for, so by my book, I’ve accomplished something really important. I’m heavier than I was 10 years ago, but I’m not obsessing over being thin so that someone would love me like I was then. I have a better sense of who I am, and what I stand for. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m taking the time to recognize those little changes. I’m a work in progress, like all people, and I hope to still be growing and learning whether I’m 30, 50 or 100. We’ve got to let go of this idea of what 30 is supposed to look like, and instead focus on just trying to be our best selves!
Instead of reading lists about all the things I apparently should have accomplished by this age, I’m reading these posts, which feel like a breath of fresh air and much more in line with my thinking…
This post by Hayley
Amanda’s post here
This post I spotted on The Everygirl