30 is a big number. It symbolizes the turn of a decade. Numerically, it means the end of being a 20-something year old. In the world of magazines, it means that I now fall into a different age bracket, where I am told to wear different jeans, wear my hair “sophisticated”, and smother my face with anti-aging face creams. No wonder, we attribute so many different emotions to turning 30. When I was in my teens I thought that a 30-year old person was… well, old. A REAL adult. Serious and established. Living in an owned house with a lawn and a fence, kids and a couple of dogs (can you tell I am from the countryside?!). In my young mind, 30-year olds had everything figured out.
So, here I am: 30 for 5 days, renting an apartment in Brooklyn with Raz and our pretty badass cat, one humble year into my dream career, far from having it all figured out, but happier and feeling free-er than I ever imagined myself to be.
Do I feel like I wasted my 20s or that I should be further along? To be honest and 100% realistic: Heck no… there is no way I could be where I am today without having a solid 10 years of being 20-something. Reflecting on the last 10 years, I can see that I did incredibly important work! I addressed a lot of personal confusion in all major areas of life (work, love, play, and health) and built the foundation I am standing on today. That takes time and serious effort!
I really got to know myself and learned the most important lesson of life: how to accept and love who I am; not in a conceded, flashy, or gross way, but in an authentic and genuine way where I treat myself lovingly and give myself the benefit of the doubt (like I would do with my best friends). I have given up on seeking perfection and instead am striving for wholeness. I have (largely!) stopped comparing myself to others and instead have embarked on an adventure to unveil my own uniqueness and personal strengths. Instead of giving credit only to my brain and to logic, I am able to tune into my gut and trust my intuition.
Most importantly, I have come to truly believe that life does not have a destination, but that it is an on-going journey that is continually unfolding and exposing new paths, opportunities, and relationships. I don’t believe there is a destination and if there is, I hope I never arrive because I never ever want to stop the excitement of growing, finding, and blossoming yet again.
But, to be frank, despite the excitement this journey holds, it is also not always easy. Nor is it supposed to be. True growth is hard and sometimes you have to fall apart in order to put yourself together again and emerge as someone who is stronger, more authentic, happier, and simply more who YOU really are.
In my 20s, I have fallen apart and re-collected myself as I navigated through my deep fear of falling in love and my simultaneous, even deeper fear of being lonely; through my ambitions to be recognized as successful and admired by others which resulted in professional confusion and stringent self-dislike; and through my back-injury which forced me to finally wake up and befriend myself.
My 20s served as a time for me to search, fail, get up again, and ditch who I thought I should be so I could be free to be who I actually am. It allowed me to discover my coaching career and now guide others through this journey of self-discovery and authentic goal setting, and it allowed me to utterly fall in love with someone who I have been building a loving and adventurous reality with.
So, when people ask me how I feel about turning 30 (and trust me, it’s been the most prevalent question lately!) I can honestly say that I feel younger, happier, and more alive than ever. I feel like I am just coming out and beginning to blossom. I am finally ready to receive and absorb all the goodness life has to offer… because my foundation is based on authenticity, clarity, and fearless zest for life.
And what's the best part of my journey to 30? Raz must have noticed how much I love our life, because on my 30th birthday, while hiking in Yosemite, Raz asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. Of course I said “YES!” (honestly, I probably said it at least 7 times) because I am ready for the next stage in my life… 25, 30, or 50… it doesn’t matter. My inner life doesn’t have an age.
Here are some pictures of the proposal in Yosemite and of our celebration a few days later.
In the comments below, I would love to hear from you: How do you feel about your age? Are you worried that you are behind or not where you want to be? Is this worry because of the pressure society sometimes puts on us?
P.S.: August is the last month in which I am giving away 3 1-hour Strategy Sessions for FREE, so if you are interested, email me by tomorrow, July 31st to be entered into the bucket.