Worldwide, there’s a huge stigma that women should have their shit together by the age of 30. Career in place, white picket fence, prince charming, little minions running around, and oh yeah don’t forget about Lucky, the beloved family dog! Listen, I’ve never been one to follow society standards, but I HAVE been that girl who once upon a time planned her life out. At 18 I thought “oh for sure I’ll be settled down with kids by age 25, I want to be a young cool mom.”
Eeeeeeeeeek, pump the breaks 18-year old me!
In my opinion, our 20’s are the learning years. It’s like we have training wheels on and we’re just learning to navigate through life as adults. There are stages to our 20’s and each one of us experiences it differently. We go through University where we change our major at least twice because we haven’t really decided what we want to do when we grow up. We start to question everything and everyone, including ourselves. We date people who are totally incompatible with us because we don’t even know ourselves. We get wrapped up in odd jobs that lead us to being unhappy because society makes us think that we need to have our shit figured out by the time we are 30. We also take on more than we need to because we are set on impressing society. We party too much, we hook up with strangers and we probably end up in some situations that our parents will never hear about. Our 20’s are the years where you kind-of-sort-of have a get out of jail free card to make mistakes and wrong choices and people won’t really hold them against you because “we are just growing up.” Embrace the 20’s.
For other people though, they live their 20’s quite differently. I’m sure you know a few. These are the people who find their love shortly after high school & they stick through it. Then there are others who also have an exact idea of what they’re going to study and what their career is going to look like. Doesn’t anyone else wonder what it’s like for them? What challenges do they face? What experiences do they go through? I’m impressed; kudos for having life figured out, I’m sure you’ve made a lot of people proud.
For me though, my early 20’s were pretty tough and I’ve had some of the most valuable experiences in both life and relationships through these years. Looking back at it now, I didn’t have a clue what the heck I was doing with life. In fact, midway through my 20’s my life was a legitimate shit-show, & I had given up on a lot of things, but I persevered and because of that I ventured on a journey of self love and acknowledgement that has had a huge impact on who I am & what I stand for today.
Unfortunately life doesn’t come with a manual. There are no instructions on how to do things in life, how to live your teens, 20’s or even 30’s. We as society make this shit up and then beat ourselves up about it because we think we don’t live up to the standards strangers have set for us. 18 year old me was in love in high school, I could of stayed and settled because that’s what many of my friends were doing, but instead I packed my stuff and moved across the country to a place I didn’t know anything about. I took a different road, with plenty of bumps along the way, in fact, there are still plenty of bumps I hit today, but I’ve made out to be just fine.
For decades our 30’s have been categorized into the years in which we need to have our lives together in order to be considered as acceptable by society standards. Turning 30 is one of those things in which everyone has different opinions or feelings about. Some people start to freak out, some people (myself included), get overly excited. Across cultures, once we start reaching 30, our families start to pester us about settling down, finding the right jobs, saving money, buying a house, having kids, or working out because our metabolism slows down and much more.
And to be clear, it’s not to say I’m not happy for my happy-go-lucky-married-career oriented-have-their-shit-together friends, I just feel like if I had fallen into society standards & settled just to fit in, I probably wouldn’t be as happy as I am today.
& Speaking of Happiness & Success. They are both a matter of perspective. Your perspective is different than everyone else’s.
For me, having a job that makes me a lot of money doesn’t mean I’m successful, nor will the money make me happy. Happiness is within you, it cannot be bought and it cannot be brought by anyone else, except yourself. It’s also okay to be alone, than to settle down with someone who doesn’t share any of the same values or goals that you do. & While on this topic, understand that being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely, you’re just taking sometime for yourself. Taking this time for YOU is necessary. Once you accept and love yourself, your view for love, happiness and relationships change; and if you surround yourself with good people, love, happiness and positivity, you’ll see how great life can be living outside of those ugly standards society sets for us.
My 20’s were filled with endless adventures and both good and bad experiences. I’ve been marching to the beat of my own drums for yeas & it feels amazing! I still haven’t settled, in fact, in 2015 at 28, I moved across the world to Kuwait, leaving everything I knew behind because I wanted a lifestyle change and I was bored of Miami. The move hasn’t always been easy because I miss a lot of things, but moving across the world opened my mind even more and it’s made me really think about what’s valuable in life. It’s made me more humble, more appreciative and it has reminded me that each one of us is a human with a purpose and we should all treat each other with respect. For me, traveling and learning about new cultures really makes me feel alive, and life in Kuwait has given me a second home, like a second chance and it’s been an incredible experience.
As my 20’s era is coming to a finish, I think about how I have all of these tales to tell and how they may still “not be enough” for some people. “When are you settling down” happens more often than it should. If I’m not worried about it, you probably shouldn’t be either. That’s a lot of energy spent on someone else when you should be investing it in yourselves. To this day, I have a hard time understanding the expectations society has set for us. Travel if you want to, be single if you wan to, be free to make the choices that lead to your happiness. There are no set rules to life. There’s no manual that says you must be settled down by age 30, or that you have to have a million dollars to be considered successful or happy. Do your own shit, invest your energy wisely, and be happy.
I can’t believe I’m turning 30. Seriously, I feel like I’m still a child sometimes & according to these made up standards, I definitely don’t have my shit together. I feel great. I’m confident, I’m happy, I’m wiser, I know what I deserve & refuse to settle! I’m also 30 & single, the fun has just begun for me.
I’ll be turning 30, on the 30th day of the 3rd month of the year. I’m not a numbers guru, but pretty sure this sequence of numbers stands to represent a great year a head! It’s also safe to say, I’ve been planning my 30th birthday for a while. So while cruising through my 29th I started really mapping out the things I would like to incorporate into my 30th magnificent celebration. First of all, having my mother next to me was mas mandatory, as was traveling to somewhere new. So what did I do? Worked my ass off and bought her a plane ticket to meet me in Europe. Having close family members and friends to sip champagne with was also a top priority. I’m so excited; hurry up #30 it’s time to celebrate!
Friends all over the world, it’s time to show ourselves some love and be proud of our age. It is okay to live outside the standards society has made up. It’s okay to be 30, single, & live a not-so-traditional life. Embrace the journey, learn from it, grow from it. You only get one shot at life, but if you live it right, once is enough.
Well done 29-going-to-30-year-old self.
I’m proud of you.