Right before my 25th birthday, I remember standing in the middle of my kitchen, contemplating every life choice I’d ever made. Ironically, Lorde’s “Ribs” was playing in the background as I began to sob quietly to myself so my boyfriend couldn’t hear me from the other room. I felt alone, unaccomplished, and weak; I wanted more out of my life and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t where I wanted to be. But, now, as I look back, I can’t help but want to shake my younger self. There were so many great things happening at that time, but I was so blinded by fear and my anxiety (which I had no idea I had at that time) that I couldn’t see all the opportunities that lay ahead.
So with my 30-year-old crisis only about a year and a half away, I plan on jumping into this new chapter with a new appreciation for life. (And maybe a few margaritas, but that’s for another post.) While things may feel a little different when I turn 29 (the end is near!), at this moment, I don’t plan on buying a Harley Davidson or chopping off all of my hair (yet). Instead, I decided to list a few reasons why I’m no longer afraid of letting go of my twenties in hopes that I can convince other women and men to join this pre-30 crisis party bus with me. Because if there’s any way to embrace the inevitable, it’s with a group of people who are experiencing the same thing.
1. Let’s be real: Because being in our twenties is uncomfortable.
Remember when you were nineteen and you couldn’t wait for your birthday to happen so you could officially say you were no longer a teenager? Shouldn’t we have that exact same feeling about our twenties? Being in your twenties basically means you’re a teenager with A LOT more responsibilities, and during this time of your life, you are most likely going to discover who you’ll eventually become.
While I’m not saying these experiences and thoughts won’t happen in your thirties, you’ll most likely have a clearer understanding of who you are as a person. The pain and lack-of-direction you’d experienced in your twenties allowed you to grow and discover your truest self. Yes, you may lose some friends and you may even say “no” more often to things that don’t appease you, but these type of things will make you enjoy life to its fullest.
2. Because growing old is a privilege.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but you’re not guaranteed to grow old. Each day is a gift, and the more you moan about turning another year, the less likely you’ll be able to appreciate every minute you have on this earth.
Just try to think about turning thirty as a new chapter in your beautiful story. Write down what you hope to accomplish, what characteristics you would like to change, and how you wish to see yourself continue to grow. Hopefully, during these next ten years, you’ll become wiser, more empathic, and more adventurous with your time, friends, family, and yourself (because you deserve some lovin’ too). Because, frankly, why waste your energy over something that you literally can’t avoid, when you can use that time to make the most out of the situation you know you can’t change?
3. Because it’s actually not about the number.
Let’s be honest: turning thirty isn’t the real reason why you’re truly freaking out. It might be because this birthday plants a giant timestamp on your life, indicating how long you’ve been on this earth and what you’ve actually done with that allotted amount of time you’ve been presented with. When you get closer to this age, you begin to overthink and may even regret a few things, and it can be scary to process that.
Instead, remember that everything you have done had a purpose and brought you to this moment for a reason. While you may not realize what that reason may be right now, it’s important to be kind to yourself and to be proud of the person you’ve become. This journey we’re all on isn’t about how successful we become, if we get married, or if we become rich, it’s about the intuitive drive we have within ourselves to make sure we live our happiest lives — and if we happen to gain any of the above, well, that’s a bonus!
4. Because we know we’re a hot mess and we’re okay with it.
In our early twenties, we tried to be perfect and do it all. We aimed to be viewed in a positive light and didn’t dare admit defeat in our issues or true desires. However, once we begin to roll into our late twenties/early thirties, all of that goes out the door. Friends invite you to go out after 9 pm on a Friday night? Nope. Your S/O finds out you always cry during your favorite childhood movie, A Little Princess, while eating a tub of ice cream? Yep, don’t care. You eventually come to terms with these little nuances and learn to be comfortable and confident in your own skin.
There’s nothing wrong with owning up and admitting to your mistakes and experiencing failures. These “hot mess” moments allow you to embrace the human condition. Once you stop apologizing for who you are and begin reflecting inwards, you’ll eventually evolve into the person you’re meant to become.
5. Because you know you can handle anything that comes your way.
One of the perks about entering into your thirties is knowing that everything will eventually be okay. Sometime during your twenties, you’ve probably experienced loss or pain of some sort. You probably thought the world was going to end, but as time went on, you realized that that situation was either A) a blessing in disguise or B) a lesson that needed to be learned. Either way, you’ve probably gained enough life experiences to make you feel comfortable in knowing that you can handle almost anything that comes your way. Plus, you’ll continue to gain wisdom, to accept the things that you cannot change, and show gratitude when things go right — and that’s never a bad thing to experience with age.
What are some reasons why you’re no longer afraid to turn thirty? Tell us in the comments below!
This post was originally published on October 27, 2017.