I turn 30 this coming Friday (!!!), and as that date quickly approaches, I started thinking about what I’ve learned during my almost-30 years on the planet. I certainly feel like I know myself more these days, and it’s nice to feel that way after lots of years spent feeling more unsure of things and myself and my place in the world.
It’s funny, because as I consider the things I know and believe these days, the overwhelming theme seems to be “gray.” That wasn’t always the case. These days, though, I don’t feel confident that I truly know many things, but at the same time I’m extremely comfortable in that lack of confidence. I’m comfortable in the gray. Embracing the gray has made me calmer, less anxious, less judgmental, and happier overall. The gray feels great, in fact.
When you Google “turning 30,” you get a barrage of articles — lists, mostly — titled things like, “What Nobody Tells You About Turning 30,” “30 Books You Need To Read Before Turning 30,” “18 Reasons You Should Look Forward To Turning 30,” “Habits To Master Before Turning 30,” etc. I found some of these lists funny, some helpful, some irrelevant, and some anxiety inducing (“I haven’t done all those things yet and I turn 30 this week!!!” and the like).
Initially, I started writing this blog post thinking I’d make a similar list. “30 Things I Know Now That I’m Almost 30,” or something along those lines. After all, lots of the things I read in those “turning 30” lists resonated with me. Yes — I agree that I know myself more these days. That I’m so glad I spent money on travel (and will continue to fund that value). That life is more comfortable these days in good ways (fewer, closer friends, a more “grown-up” living situation including the best husband ever, being farther along in my career, etc.). That family has become more important than ever. All of those things are most certainly true, so I guess I’m where I should be, in many ways.
But instead of feeling inspired to qualify these “turning 30” thoughts into a list, I just find myself feeling…happy. Content. Not content in a way that makes me feel stagnant. Quite the opposite, in fact. Content in a way that will help fill my future with confidence, curiosity, and exploration. Content in a way that trumps fear. Content in a way that makes me feel more whole. More like me.
If this is what almost-30 feels like, I’ll most definitely take it. Let’s do this, fourth decade!