In my twenties, I thought I knew everything there was to know about life. I had graduated high school in 2004, college in 2014, and have been working a “big boy job” since the age of 21. With a path like that, you would think I would have known what turning 30 would truly be like.
Welcome to life in your thirties. Where you think you knew what was coming, but really didn’t. The cookie cutter life I had once envisioned doesn’t truly exist, Martha Stewart is still not cooking dinner for me, and if one more person tells me I should be married by now I will introduce them to the world of 21st century dating.
My life today is nowhere what I had envisioned it to be five years ago. I saw myself turning thirty in my farmhouse home with a husband, working a Monday-Friday job vacationing in Nantucket on the weekends, all while being completely debt free.
Well, the Monday-Friday is a thing. Sorry, Nantucket, you don’t exist yet and neither does my husband in a farmhouse.
As I become more in tune with life in my thirties, I’ve come across a number of realizations. All of which have taken me by storm as my biological clock continues to tick away.
- There’s no such thing as the perfect life. Those TV shows with families that live in McMansions that make you laugh while you still try to understand what the parents do for work because they’re somehow always home? Yeah, it’s called a set. You see, what tv shows do for us is distract us from the world of which we live in. There is no such thing as the perfect cookie cutter life. Your life. Your rules. If you’re happy, stay the course. If you’re miserable, slap yourself and change it.
- You’ll be sixty soon. Really. Retirement is looming. Haven’t you noticed how fast thirty showed up? I mean, just yesterday you were out with your best friends on a summer night trying to not get caught by your parents drinking and now you’re a regular at local bar after work. Life is coming at you fast and it’s up to you to be prepared for it. That vacation you’ve been meaning to take but keep pushing it off? Book it right now, you can’t keep pushing it off forever. You won’t live forever!
- People die. Speaking of not living forever, you’re probably already at that stage where you’re watching people disappear out of your life. Aging parents, friends with health issues, and a world of violence. Remember that vacation you’ve been meaning to take? You may want to grab someone to do it with so you can spend more time with them. Life isn’t guaranteed to a certain age.
- You’re own happiness isn’t defined by others. Speaking of people disappearing, if there are people that are making you unhappy in your life or there are people that are not exactly helping you out on your journey to being the person that you want to be in life, now is pretty much the time to tell it like it is. Other people don’t define you, however, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Listen to yourself. I’m such a social butterfly, but life in my thirties has truly been all about balance. I enjoy my me time. In fact, I enjoy it so much that if I want to get out of town and take a vacation solo to explore, well, I’m going to do just that because I won’t have a single person telling me what we should do with all my time. You’re alive. Be alive. Don’t be afraid to listen to yourself and do things on your own.
I could keep rambling on about the things I’m learning in my thirties. I have a life to live, however, and it’s out there waiting for me to enjoy it. Get out and live your best life possible and stop thinking you know what life is all about. It’s really just begun, but I’m sorry that Martha Stewart still isn’t making you the perfect entree.