Dirty 30 Reflections
April 5, 2019
When I was a preteen I was obsessed with the show ‘Friends.’ I still vividly remember the episode where Jennifer Anniston’s character turns 30. She was beside herself with dread and was not prepared to leave her 20’s and enter this new unknown world of 30. Ever since then, 30 has been the milestone age in which I would dread aging. Not 18, nor 21, but 30.
Today is my 30th birthday and I’m happy to say that my perception of this milestone has changed… for the most part.
Most people enter a new age era with similar questions: Do I have my shit together? Have I been successful? Am I happy? Am I where I want to be in my career? Is my life going according to plan? Some of those questions still loom overhead, however, I’ve changed how I perceive success, happiness and what goals I truly want out of life. Here are my thoughts broken down by a few life departments:
It’s clear that I’ve gone through some internal crises over the past few years (you can read about that battle here) and I believe that part of this has to do with how I (& society) defined success vs what truly made me happy. I was thriving climbing the corporate ladder, yet I found no joy in what I did every day. It took some courage to change career paths late into my twenties to reinvent who I am and what makes me happy which in turn has given me a whole new view on life. I no longer look at success as a monetary value (which I did for the entirety of my life). I cared too much about what people thought of my life choices and worked to prove them right instead of following my heart. Having listened to a plethora of podcasts and books on this topic, this seems like a common dilemma people my age grapple with.
I got my first grey hair when I was 21. I didn’t think too much of it until the patches started growing more each year. Everyone around me told me that I was being far too self-critical, and they couldn’t even notice them. Yet I still worked hard to cover them up dye after dye. Last year (2018) I decided to stop colouring my hair (at least for the time being). I was fed up with the maintenance, cost and damage happening to my hair (& the planet). With a toner slapped on to make the growth process easier to manage, I’ve now started to notice all my greys shining through and for the first time I’m no longer embarrassed by them! I find them natural and endearing.
Wrinkles are becoming more plentiful and I’m perfectly content with that! It’s a sign that I’m alive and happy! There’s nothing better than a smile line in my opinion. Living in LA, there is a constant pressure to do Botox. It baffles me. My laser hair removal technician constantly hints that she can do it for me (& my roommate – 26) and you see more and more girls our age doing Botox. I feel angry that our society has pushed girls into feeling so insecure about themselves. The wrinkles that come with ageing have never really scared me to be honest. Now I just have a greater appreciation for them than I ever did. I want to be that silver fox at 50 rocking her long grey/white locks with a bold red lip and not caring what the world thinks of her looks. There is nothing sexier to me!
As a chronic control freak, I’ve learned to start letting go of expectations. When things don’t go according to plan, I just end up disappointed. Not forcing every outcome of my life and starting to just appreciate the journey has been a big learning curve but has increased my overall happiness and joie de vivre tenfold. Being comfortable with the unknown actually gives you a little bit of power back into your life and as contradictory as it sounds alleviates stress.
I’m still working on happiness every day, but I feel closer to my ideal lifestyle than I ever have been and am confident that happiness will follow suit.
So, as I enter my 30s today, I’m still confronted with these age-old questions trying to resurface self-doubt, but I’m working at relishing in the unknown, reminding myself of my past successes and working to remove outside influence from my inner voice. Whilst I may not be in the exact place I’d hoped to be by now, there are no rules to life and I’m having fun writing my own the way I want to now. How freeing is that?!
Lots of love,