Today I turn 32. My thirties so far have been a really great decade. I have gained more experience in life, narrowed in on a career direction, deepened personal relationships, have entered the realm of financial security, feel more comfortable in myself as a person but most importantly, survived my twenties. Conjuring thoughts of my twenties literally gives me a shiver. I consider my twenties to have been a prolonged adolescence where I went groping through the world looking for any sense of stability. I struggled with severe depression, lack of direction, body image, a vulnerable sense of self, illness, social pressure to conform and fear of the unknown road ahead of me.
Don’t get me wrong, my twenties weren’t all bad. I had some pretty amazing experiences as a young woman in the city. My twenties are when I met my husband, spent time traveling the world, bought a home and started grad school. Even still, I am absolutely delighted to be out of the world of the twenty-somethings and into the world of my early-thirties.
With age and experience comes gained knowledge. I feel that the torture of my twenties created a solid foundation on which to succeed in my thirties. I now know the true pain of loss, I know what it is like to fail, I know what it is like to let chances slip through my fingers, I know what it is like to feel aimless, what it is like to feel like you can’t get ahead no matter how hard you try, to make terrible decisions, to give up, to deny yourself, to destroy relationships, to be truly afraid, and to wake up one day only to realize you have absolutely no idea who you are and what you want or how to get it.
I feel I have a much better grasp on things now. However, I do not expect the remainder of my thirties to be easy and carefree, nor am I arrogant enough to think I understand everything I will ever need to know. And although I do expect to be faced with adversity, pain and tough decisions from time to time, I feel much more confident in my ability to manage it. I look ahead to the next year enthusiastic for new adventures, am excited for the unknown road ahead and truly look forward to getting as much out of my remaining decade as a thirty-something as possible!