Thirty, Flirty and Thriving… (well, I’m trying to be)
April 2022. The month I turn the big 30. You may be wondering why I’m writing about this but the truth is, turning 30 is something that has instilled fear in me for years. It’s the one consistent anxiety inducing thought I’ve had. But why?
Something about turning 30 has always given me the ‘ick’. Perhaps because I had idealized notions about what life at 30 should be like. Perhaps it’s society pressures. Perhaps it’s just the idea of no longer being 20 something. Perhaps it’s all the above.
Over recent years, I have sent myself spiraling into a whirlpool of thoughts – (none of which were very helpful.)
I started to ask myself if there was something about being in my thirties that felt bad? Are there milestones I haven’t yet reached? Whether we like it or not there are societal pressures that start creeping in at this age and there are things that I as a female, need to consider that perhaps my male counterparts don’t (at least not yet) I looked at where I am in life and compared that to where I thought I would or perhaps should be. I started overthinking about goals I haven’t yet achieved and goals I that aren’t even fully formed yet. I have noticed new changes in my body and appearance – fine lines under my eyes as an example. The things I once enjoyed doing, I don’t enjoy so much anymore. The thought of going to a club and partying until 4am, just doesn’t appeal to me now. I’m becoming more comfortable with being in my own company and sometimes, that makes me feel like I’m not ‘making the most of my youth’. I know how this sounds. In the grand scheme of things, I am young. I have my entire life ahead of me and picking out insignificant concerns such as wrinkles, really sounds quite pathetic but, it is something that has impacted my mental health and I don’t think I’ll be alone in saying that.
I think most people feel this way at some point in life and I acknowledge that it’s completely okay and normal to have feelings of uncertainty, inadequacy and even a little sadness sometimes. What’s not okay (for me personally) is to succumb to those feelings permanently.
I am 30 (or I will be very soon) and despite having moments of that dramatic dreaded doom, I’m starting to realise, that this may just be the best decade yet. Hindsight is a funny thing. For so long, I regarded my 20s as the era for the ‘best time of my life’ and whilst I do have some fond memories, for the most part my 20s were spent in physical pain (due to ill health) mental discomfort and I spent years on numerous medications. I kept myself hidden away and even when I did enjoy the company of others, I forced a smile. I wasn’t happy, I was just pretending to be.
I don’t feel that way anymore. The closer I’ve got to my thirties, the more comfortable I am with it. My life is far from perfect. There are things I don’t yet have but I’m okay with that. I am not where I thought I would be at 30, but I’m okay with that also. I have some plans for the years ahead, but like most people a lot of the time I am just winging it. I don’t always know what my next step is and sometimes, I can just about get through the week. There are areas of my life that are so fulfilling and there are areas that could use some extra attention. But what I do know is that right now, in this moment, at this time, I am the happiest and healthiest version of me. In my 30th year, I ran a half marathon in 2 hours 11 minutes. Me… running a half marathon. A 20 something Beth would be laughing if I could tell her that now. It’s something I never thought would be possible for me, even just a couple of years ago. I feel more motivated now than I ever did in my early 20s. I have vision, I have goals and a fire in my belly. I know there are great times ahead of me just as I know there will be struggles. I’m learning how to navigate the difficulties and allowing myself to be unapologetically me. I am comfortable with who I am as a person and I’m getting to know the new aspects of me. I love the woman I am becoming and that’s all I can ask for. (Well, that and a good under eye cream ha – recommendations welcomed)
I don’t know what this next chapter has in store but whatever it may bring, consider me ready.
Thirty. Flirty. Thriving.