Why 30 Is What
You Make It
Why do we put so much importance on hitting certain years in our lives? Of course I personally can't wait to celebrate my 30s (any excuse for a party with your loved ones right?) but why the sudden pressure to have reached certain goals by a certain age too?
It's such an exciting step moving onto the next decade, to see exactly what the next years have in store for us, but how do we subdue the panic that is so frustratingly engraved into us from such an early age?
Last year I put down into words how I couldn't wait to turn 30 and how it's a personal choice choosing to embrace the turning of the page to the next chapter. I definitely still feel this way - but... (I think you knew that was coming didn't you?) thinking about turning 30 along with buying a house and planning a wedding this year amongst other things, has definitely stoked a few 'panicky' flames in me.
Our 30 is what we make it and we have the chance to make it our own version of perfect, no matter what that may look like in comparison to someone else's journey. You don't have to have your life together at 30 and especially not when that life is actually being dictated by someone else's pathway.
TAKING AWAY THE PRESSURE
What is 30? It's widely seen as the age of having your sh*t together. Of knowing exactly what you want to be, knowing exactly where you want to do it and if you don't? Well you surely must be on the road to failure, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong! You can try to take that pressure away by setting your own goals and if 30 isn't achievable for what you want, then rewrite the goals and your path altogether. Life for anyone has never been a straight line, an A to B, an as the crow flies journey. It's a series of choices, of detours, of successes and of failures, but all of them yours alone to learn from.
We all know what it's like to compare ourselves to the person that has 'accomplished' more than us and we all know what it's like to battle imposter syndrome in different aspects of our lives, but it's time to lessen the pressure and quite frankly, not give as much of a damn anymore. This is our life, the life that we should be enjoying living. Learning from our experiences as we grow and pushing ourselves based on our own goals, not the expectations of others. Live the path you want to, not the one you're told to.
FOLLOWING YOUR OWN PATHWAY
It's all about knowing that just because someone else's pathway looks greener than yours, it's not yours to follow. You need to realise that they are doing exactly what they have chosen to do and you can do the same by curating your own pathway to follow. Yes, your friend may well have just had their 3rd promotion in as many years, yes that person you follow on Instagram may be married and have 2 kids already and yes your cousin may well seem to know exactly what career they'll be in for the rest of their lives. Those people are not you. In reality those people should have no impact on your journey, apart from giving you a jolt of inspiration, should you choose to take it, while you set the goals and journeys that are meaningful to you.
I learned a long time ago that the life that people portray on social media is exactly what they would like you to see and know. No one seems to talk about their insecurities, about missing out on the job they so wanted, about falling at the smallest hurdles and about feeling like 30 is meant to signal a mid life crisis out of nowhere. So take those curated posts with a pinch of salt and congratulate those who deserve their successes, all while knowing you're safely where you're meant to be or at the very least you're on your way.
REALISING AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
I often say this to people who tell me they can't wear certain items because they are 'x' years old, or if a friend feels like they can't change careers because they're already 'x' years old and really the same goes for life as a whole. 30 is just a number. 30 rotations around the sun but the day you turn 30 nothing significant will change, you still have every chance to be unapologetically you. Every chance to reassess your goals, every chance to continue on the same path and every chance to simply do what you will with your journey because being 30 should define nothing in your life unless you allow it to.
So if you don't have your life together at 30, work out if you're putting too much pressure on yourself, whether you're actually comparing your path to someone else's by mistake or if you simply are going to party like there's no tomorrow with your favourite people and deal with life as and when - no matter what year you're in. 30 is what you make it.