On My Thirties

Tomorrow is my half birthday, and no I don’t actually celebrate it or anything, but hey, how’s about THAT for a reason to eat cake! (Just kidding!) In fact, it’s a completely odd coincidence that I even noticed, but as of 2:23 am tomorrow I will be 33 and a half. In my mind I am already 34 though. Do you do this too? The second I hit one age, I automatically starting thinking “Oh I am almost (insert one year older here).” So weird. So I’ve felt 34 for a while. But alas, I am only actually 33 AND A HALF! And not even until tomorrow! Wow, that was like a little botox for my psyche. Woot!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I LOVE MY 30s. I’m really in them right now, there’s no going back. I’m definitely NOT a twenty-something anymore (thank god!) and I am not even on the downhill slope to 40 yet. So here we are. And because I have a website where I get to express all of my feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings, here are some things I’ve been thinking:

*Time feels like it has started moving faster all of a sudden. My mom always used to say the first 30 years take FOREVER and then you blink and you’re 50. I completely get that right now. It felt like it took forever to finally turn 18 and “be out on my own” (HA!) but it’s now been almost an equivalent amount of time (16 years, crap!) that I’ve been doing just that, and man does it feel like just a couple months. True Confession: I still get that “Being An Adult Sucks” feeling even though I’ve been An Adult for quite a long time now. Does that ever go away? I’m not sure.

*I’m aware of the fleeting nature of life in such a different way When I was younger I obviously understood mortality and knew we wouldn’t be around forever. Life is short…yada yada yada — now when can I get my driver’s license??? I was 19 when my dad died, and prior to that I had very little experience with death. Since then I’ve had had family members go, coworkers drop dead suddenly, old classmates pass away too young, and parents of good friends not be around as long as I thought they would. There are days when I feel like life is long (oh, so incredibly long!) but man, there are others when it just seems so short I can almost feel it slipping through my fingers with every breath.

*I do a lot more long term thinking Not that my 20s were filled with fly by the seat of my pants thinking, but okay maybe they were. My life in the last 4 years has gone from dating a cute boy, to planning our family. It’s gone from moving every couple of years, to putting down roots. From New Job I’ll Keep Until Something Better Comes Along, to Planning My Next Career Move. From going into debt buying Dolce & Gabbana scarves (FASHION 4EVA!) to responsibly saving and investing & finding ways to cultivate a life with financial purpose. And all in the amount of time it takes to graduate high school! It makes my head spin to compare the changes in my life in just that short period of time.

*I have A LOT more confidence Confidence in my relationships, confidence in my body, confidence with my money and most importantly confidence in my abilities. I have seen the value of hard work and persistence. I have physically experienced that. So these days when I am met with a challenge I have a lot less fear about and am much more strategically minded. I understand that playing the victim doesn’t help the situation but rather makes me look ridiculous. I understand that stirring up drama when I feel unhappy with myself is a wasted coping mechanism when I could be using that energy to improve my situation. I understand that in this big wide world of people who love and support me, I am truly the only one responsible for me. And I like having that responsibility. I’m good at it, actually.

*That said, I also have A LOT less ego I’m not telling you that insecurity never hits, or that I never struggle but I have a good looking life and a lot of that has to do with the ability to admit that I’m struggling without fear of judgment. I know how to ask for help, and I’m okay with doing so. I spend most of my time these days finding reasons to be grateful for my awesome life instead of looking around at others and wondering why I don’t have what they have.

Excuse my french but: THAT IS FUCKING LIBERATING

If I could tell my 20-something self one thing it would be this: Quit looking at others and trying to figure out where you stand in relation to them. Nurture your passions, work your ass off and be nice to people. Be exactly who you are without apology and everything will unfold as it should. It would have saved me quite a bit of struggle, I tell ya.

That said, had someone told me that I probably wouldn’t have listened. I was too busy cruising the aisles of Neiman Marcus buying crap I couldn’t afford. And being stubborn, of course! Not everything changes for the better as you age.

In my 30s I’m just as stubborn, but now with more wrinkles! :)

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6 comments to On My Thirties

  • Amelia
    April 13, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Favorite line: “I spend most of my time these days finding reasons to be grateful for my awesome life instead of looking around at others and wondering why I don’t have what they have.” This has made all the difference for me as well (that coming from a much older and wiser 34 and a half year old!) Life can be such a wonderful experience when I put my energy into noticing all the things that are going RIGHT instead of harping on all that could be better. Learning to redirect my thoughts when they turn negative has been the single most useful skill I’ve learned in the last few years. I am WAY happier because of it.

  • San
    April 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Loved this, Holly. I can definitely relate to all of the things that you brought up and it’s a big relief to know that others have the same feelings about their 30’s :)

  • Kate
    April 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    So much yes to this. I always say, life has just kept getting better and better from age 30 onward. In the last months of age 29, I finished grad school and started my first “real” job, and ever since then life has just continued to improve. I love my job and the friends I have here; I’ve gotten better about health and fitness and finances and planning and confidence. More than all that, though, I just feel so much more sure about myself and who I am now (and who I want to be). That’s the best.

  • sizzle
    April 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I wouldn’t have listened in my 20’s either. I think that’s what the 20’s are for. I have loved my 30’s and as I enter into my last year of them, I feel grateful for all I’ve learned. It IS great to have more confidence and less ego. I concur!

  • Carol
    April 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Great post!

  • Camels & Chocolate
    April 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I do the same thing! Which also means I am forever thinking I’m older than I am–and telling people such when they ask!

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