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Approaching 30 was a mental and emotional lesson. The last few years of my 20s were definitely ones filled with seeking, exploring and searching to find the person I wanted to be going into the next decade, the person I was meant to be.
A pivotal point occurred as the sun set on this past year. I was sitting atop a mountain in Southern rural India surrounded by new friends and a trusting, nurturing energy. I began to reflect, not just on the year before, but the last 5 years, 10 years and on as I refocused my energy to set an intention for the future, I thought to myself, is this where I saw myself at 30? We have so many ideas of what our life is “supposed” to be at these benchmarks or birthdays. Taking the time to ponder these expectations I had of myself and my life was quite powerful, disregarding these rigid timelines or socio-cultural expectations was liberating.
I thought about my relationships and, sure, I wasn’t married or even in a committed relationship, but I have taken the time to learn about myself. I’ve learned to value my beliefs and ideas and feel confident in my own skin. I have learned to be alone and be okay with it, I have learned to do things by myself that I never thought I could do and I have developed an intuition to make decisions on my own. I would never have been able to be in a meaningful relationship without knowing these things about myself; it is these traits that make me a much stronger person with more to give to someone else.
I thought about my friendships and how I’ve held on to the bonds that weather time no matter the distance or years apart. I’ve also thought about the new friends I make now and how it’s not about the material things you share in common or someone’s reputation, but rather I surround myself with those I respect, those who challenge me and those who offer a caring and open heart no matter who they know or where the come from.
I thought about how the last couple of years of circling the globe and leading somewhat of an alternative lifestyle might have seemed ludicrous to some, but to me it was important to take the time to cross paths with people and cultures from all over the world in order to feel grounded. As the saying goes, not all who wander are lost, and traveling has helped me learn that home is literally wherever the heart is. Perhaps, I’m never going to be the settled down type of girl, and that’s okay.
And lastly, I thought about myself, about how years ago, I felt stuck, emotionally unchanged, constantly battling with my physical body, never stimulated by my mental or spiritual self. And today, of course there are days where I get frustrated because of the number on the scale or I just want to be stuck in a sad mood, but I’ve grown to like myself and am okay with saying so. I value my physical body for its strength and health, my mind for being curious, my emotions for learning compassion and my spirit for seeking peace.
Turning 30 has allowed me to put behind what would’ve, could’ve or should’ve been and realized where I am… right now… is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Cara Caulkins is an overly talkative, wanderlusting, yoga-practicing, fashion loving, veggie-eating 30-year old. She prefers to wear flip flips whenever possible and is inspired by the people that cross her path every day. By day, she works as a public relations professional based in Austin, Texas. Follow her travel adventures at http://roundtheworldwithc.blogspot.com/ or on Instagram (http://instagram.com/caracaulkins) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/carac)