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It’s my 30th birthday!!!! It’s all very surreal because I thought everything would be different. I’m not sure what I expected but this isn’t really it. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life. I make good money and work with great people; I’m working on a graduate degree; and I’ve traveled to over 25 countries.
But 30 *feels* different. I can’t explain it. My 20s felt free. I always felt like there was time to take risks and try new things. It seemed like there were opportunities to make mistakes. But, 30? No……it’s different now. I’m supposed to be responsible. I’m supposed to keep my apartment clean, and not like fast food, and I’m supposed to max out my Roth IRA. (Yeah right…who can afford that yet?!?!)
All I know, is that my 20s have taught me 5 very important lessons:
1. I don’t have it all figured out. And neither do you!
Most people work hard in their 20s to get an education and they take their first couple of dead-end jobs. That’s was I did – even though I was 28 when I graduated from college. Even at 30, I still don’t have my dream job. That’s ok though….I’m not done growing and learning.
I’ve also learned that most of my peers are paddling along next to me in an identical boat. It’s actually quite refreshing to know that no one has it figured out.
2. I don’t want kids.
Yep, I said it. Judge me all you want, but it’s my choice, and I’m sticking to it.
It’s taken me a long time to say this aloud, but it’s the truth. Kids aren’t for me. I probably wouldn’t be a great mom, and I *really* require sleep. No matter how you feel about kids, by the time you are 30, you probably know what you want by now, so you should own it.
3. You have to have money in the bank.
Saving is 0% fun. Z.E.R.O. It’s boring. It takes forever. But, it’s necessary. And it gives me *a lot* of peace knowing that I’m ok for a few months if anything should happen.
Now that I’ve been saving for a couple years, I actually get as much pleasure out of transferring money into the savings account that buying something frivolous. And, my 700 sq. ft. apartment thanks me too!
4. Life does not revolve around your relationship status.
Relationships are wonderful. They make a huge impact on your life, but they do not make YOU. You are not defined by your relationship status or your partner. You are defined by your personal character. At the end of the day, no one is going to remember that guy you met at the bar, or what type of cake you had at your wedding. They are going to remember how you treated them and how you made them feel. And they’ll remember it forever!
5. Traveling is the only thing you pay for where the return is twofold.
Travel is the best way to expand your horizon and to gain perspective. When you travel, your mind opens, and somehow, you take in the vast world that you never knew existed. Then, you have to keep traveling because you will never be satisfied. No matter how much money you spend or how much time you take off work, the experience is worth every cent….and more!
So happy 30th birthday to me and to everyone just like me. Don’t worry…it’s not that scary. And besides, we are all in this together!
Stella Rose is an overqualified cubicle employee trying to make the most of life after work. She is a lifestyle blogger at Climb Out of The Cubicle. Follow her on Twitter @StellaClimbs.
Blog: Climb Out of The Cubicle