I have written and rewritten this blog post at least two dozen times and my thirtieth birthday has long since come and gone (three months ago to be exact) but I am only now figuring out how I feel about being 30 – and luckily it’s not all bad.
My initial thought about turning 30 was that ‘I’m just not ready’. It seems perfectly normal not to have your life in order in your twenties. But in your thirties, you’re supposed to have it all figured out, right? You’ve seen the articles – ’30 things to do before 30′; ’10 financial goals to reach by 30′; ’20 items every 30-year-old should own’; ’12 things to give up before 30′ and a hundred others about the love, life, career, fitness, family and fashion goals that every 30-year-old should have achieved and honestly, it all made me feel quite ill-prepared for 30.
My birthday was also actually a bit of a disappointment. I was terribly spoiled with gifts and messages from friends and family near and far but it wasn’t that big moment of clarity that I had imaged it would be (I think for a while I was genuinely hoping that just the act of turning 30 would propel me from my current state of mostly chaos and confusion to one of order and maturity). But unfortunately I didn’t wake up feeling any wiser or more put-together on the morning of my thirtieth birthday.
But there do seem to be some upsides to turning 30 (one of which might even outweigh the few gray hairs and wrinkles that unfortunately also come with age). As I get older, I have become far more content with myself and my own company (in fact, I might even like 30-year-old Vanessa). I am also more aware of myself and my own desires, wants and needs. That’s not to say that I’ve figured out exactly what they are but it’s a whole lot more enjoyable and rewarding focusing on a journey of self discovery as opposed to worrying about what other people think of me and trying to please everyone (which is what I seem to have spent my twenties doing).
So, although I am still not all that pleased that I will now be considered old by anyone under the age of 30 (yes, even I, up until my birthday this year, considered people in their thirties to be old), I am starting to appreciate being 30 and I no longer think that it’s all downhill from here but rather that the best is yet to come!