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Thinking about being in my thirties is a funny thing… How did I get here!? I don’t really give a whole lot of thought to being in my thirties but since The Thirty Spot started this project, it really got me thinking.
I found myself asking questions like:
Am I where I thought I would be?
Am I the same person I set out to become?
Do I even like being in my thirties?
What are my thirties about?
When I was a teenager I had it all figured out. Don’t we all? I was positive that I would marry my high school sweetheart. After all, he was my first “real” love and everything about him was perfect. We would have this modest house, 2 children and I would drive a cute family sized sedan. As for my profession, I was going to be a writer of some sort. I would stay at home with the kiddos and write, write, write. I liked writing children’s books, poetry and light journaling so it made sense. This was going to be me. I just knew it.
Let’s fast forward a few years… ok, let’s fast for nearly 20 years…
Today I am 34 closing in on 35. I have made it to my mid-thirties and I can tell you this – while I had some really sweet ideas on who I was going to be and what I was going to do with my life, I was never more wrong. And you know what else? I am OK with that.
My twenties… Let’s just say that my twenties were full of ups and downs. The high school sweetheart was long out of my life and I was out in the world experiencing new things. I had boyfriends and different types of jobs. In my early twenties I really just did a lot of discovery. OK, let’s be blunt about it. I was flighty. I had no idea what end was up and was obvious! I was seriously headed in no particular direction and fast. Thankfully I got my act together and by the time I was 24, I had met the man I would marry. At the age of 26, I found myself with the company that would help develop my career. And with so much heartbreak, I lost my mother before my 29th birthday. The point is… my twenties were full of experiences both good and bad. They were unpredictable. They were fun. Sometimes they were scary.
My thirties are something different.
Today, I know so much more about myself. I am still part dreamer, still part adventurer but a whole lot more grounded. I would like to say that I know what I like and what I don’t like… and as stubborn as I may be, I still challenge myself to be open to new things. I've been married for nearly 10 years and each day I fall more and more in love with my husband. I've gotten to watch him change from who he was in his twenties to who he is today. We have learned that so much can change in those years.
So am I where I thought I would be? No.
Am I the same person I set out to become? No, again. Rather than becoming “her”, I opted to become “me”.
Do I like my 30’s? Yes! As a matter-of-fact, I love my thirties! These years have been so good to me. I am so much more comfortable with who I am today than I ever was. I get to challenge myself harder and I have this discipline that I wish I had when I was younger. Where did that come from? But honestly and importantly, I wouldn't change anything. Being right where I am today is the greatest blessing I know. Iam truly, truly happy.
So what are my thirties about? Well, from what I have learned, they are about enjoying life – all things big and small. They are about working hard and enjoying the fruits of my labor with my husband, my soul mate. They are about taking ownership of my life and being all that I am truly destined to be. I may not have the cute family sedan and 2 children. I may not be a writer by trade. Instead, I went for something different. Instead, I have a great career in technology governance and I attend college. I take lots of pictures and have pets to chase after. I attend concerts and visit family. I even have the perfect partner to share the journey with. This isn't just as good… this is better because this is me.
Of course, my journey doesn’t end here. I am sure I will change and grow and learn more as I skip forward towards my 40’s. I wonder what I will be like then. Will I be the same person I am today? Probably not… and that is an exciting thought!
A note to my 18 year old self: 35 is NOT old, get over it!! Never get a tattoo with a boy. Polka dots and flannels do not work well together. Stay away from jello-shots; they aren’t really just jello in a cute little cup. Johnny Depp still looks good. Oh… and most important… The journey is worth it if you allow it to
Nichole is the owner of the small blogsite JustSomeJane.com where she and her best friend Skaty write about every day life of a Jane. She spends most of her time balancing between family, career, college and seeking out the occasional adventure.
Image source and rights: Nichole Shinners