I distinctly remember the 6 months leading up to my 30th Birthday and the immense pressure I felt to have it all figured out. And by all, I mean LIFE. Thirty seemed like this magic number. Where everything I had ever mapped out for my life, would somehow all start aligning and fall into perfect place. And here I am, more than half way through my 35th year of life and I'm far from having it all figured out. In fact, in most areas of my life it feels like I'm starting over.
Lately, in conversations with friends I've noticed that many of us are going through similar changes in our lives. And the one thing we all have in common, is that we're in our early to mid thirties. There's something about this decade that causes you to have uncertainity about yourself and also makes you question your path in life. And you often find yourself asking the question: "Am I happy?"
In your 20's, you graduate from college, start choosing a career, date with the intention of marrying one day, make friends with everyone and start to discover who you are as a young adult. In your 30's, you no longer feel fulfilled by just working a job to earn a paycheck, you find that spending time with yourself is just as important as being with someone else, your group of friends get smaller as you become more selective and you really begin to discover who YOU are as an individual. And all of this somehow starts to unravel little by little and you realize that life is really just getting started. Your thirties are a time in which you feel more eager to not settle for the things you once wanted and to go after the things you never knew you needed. I myself, can vouch for this. Over the past few years, I've undergone many changes in my life. But it's brought me to a better version of myself ultimately.
You see, your thirties are a time in which you can REINVENT yourself. It all starts with discovering who YOU are and figuring out what IT is you truly want in life. And it looks different for everyone. Sometimes it's moving to a new city. Maybe you're contemplating quitting your job to pursue a passion project. You may choose to stay single to focus on your career. Or maybe you want to settle down to start a family. You may discover that you want to travel rather than stay in one place. And you may find yourself starting over in several areas of your life.
However, no matter what changes your thirties may bring, you owe it to yourself to figure out what truly makes you happy. And even if you feel the immense pressure by those around you to do things a certain way, don't apologize for wanting to take a different path. My best advice for anyone going through this phase of life, is to be open and honest with yourself. Throw out the life timeline you once created for yourself and just live in the moments, days and months ahead. Don't be afraid to color outside the lines.
Nobody tells you that your 30's will be some of the most challenging, significant, best years of your life that will bring you so much strength and growth. But I promise, you will be so much better for going through it all.