I couldn't wait a full year to write this post because I'm already overwhelmed by how much has changed since I've turned 30. Yes age is just a number, however the universe tends to know when you've reached a new stage in your life. Like the next level of a game, filled with new challenges and obstacles. This time you're equipped with experience and confidence, guiding you toward making the better choice when faced with making difficult decisions.
You end up tossing those cool rose coloured glasses, swapping them for some UV protecting Ray Bans, and begin to see the world more clearly. Every action, every word, and every decision is now analyzed a bit more closely. If you're rolling in money or retired by 30, this post won't apply. You are less likely to book a spontaneous three week holiday without checking your work deliverables or number of weddings you're attending. You no longer put up with your friends bullsh*t. Work isn't just a job anymore, it's either a major stepping stone or a full-blown career. Finally you tend to put yourself first more often, but find ways to remain an exceptional friend to those that have earned it.
There is just something about turning 30 that "clicks". A validation if you will of what you've always felt in your gut, but still had a lot of growing to do or experiences to endure. Although I wish I had my 30 year old brain earlier in life, avoiding much of the anxiety and pain I went through, I know it was all part of the learning process and now life begins. Life just...clicks:
C - Clarity: You see through the bulls*t more than ever. Things that once worried you, no longer require hair pulling or anger You know how to deal with it and are strong enough to face it head on. With clarity also comes calmness, and calmness is what will steady your heart beat and avoid you from experiencing those anxiety attacks you tend to get in your 20's. The ability to see things for what they are, calling it like it is, leaves you with less uncertainty and ability to understand the lyrics "I can see clearly now the rain is gone" (thanks Jimmy Cliff).
L - Love: You begin to love yourself and the journey more. You've spent most of your 20's dating casually, experience heartache, ignoring the red flags, and acting a bit carelessly with your heart. Now, in your 30's, perhaps considering starting a family, you begin to focus more on what you want long-term rather than immediate desire. You recognize your worth now, you love yourself as you are, and you now seek those who appreciate you at face value. If you've waited this long to find love, you can wait a little longer. You don't bend as easily, you don't put up with the nonesense , and you most certainly don't need someone to make you feel loved. You just need someone to adventure with!
I - Immunity: In the sense of inner strength, physically and psychologically. You now have resources to deal with much of what is thrown your way. Like your body fighting the flu, your mind can now battle negativity. Bottom line, it's about learning to take care of yourself. Eat better, sleep more, slow down, and book the occasional spa day - solo! It's about caring for your body and nursing your mind. If you take care of them now, they will take care of you in the future.
C - Confidence: Your priorities in your 30's shift, naturally, so has your give-a-$#*!-o-meter. Feelings of "FOMO" no longer inhabit you (as much), it's easier to say no to things you don't want to do, and thus, you begin to enjoy things that are important to you. You begin to put yourself first and do what you love. Although you expose yourself to far more criticism, you're old enough now to be confident in your choices and let others say what they want, rolling off your back. Sometimes you may be standing alone...but you're not...you're standing alongside your awesome confidence!
K - Kindness: BE KIND. End of story. To both yourself and to others. It's not rocket science that the world needs more kindness and benevolence. In your 20's you should already know this because you never know who you'll work for or cross paths with in the future. However, sometimes pride gets in the way (or a desire to get ahead). Now, in your 30's, you see the repercussions of your actions quicker and your older self knows it's easier to be kind - pick your battles.
20's were my building blocks, the road that led me to this next chapter. Now, almost a year into my 30's, I feel lighter and am finally focusing on the most important part ... ME. It only took 30 years but I'm glad I'm here. Life can begin! Let's do this!