Dear 1987 Ladies...You are enough.
So here we go. We're quickly closing the chapter on our first full decade of adulting. Congratulations! If you're reading this it means you've made it through alive. (which with the amount of times I've accidentally left my stovetop on is nothing short of a miracle)
Fact: You are exiting this decade far removed from the person you were at 20.
Also Fact: That is a wonderful thing.
Turning 30 is a funny milestone that I think lends itself to a lot of reflection for most of us. There is a lot of build up to how we will celebrate. As your 30th nears people start asking how you're feeling about it...
The reason why I think there is all this '30' speculation is because I've never reached a birthday milestone with my fellow 1987 friends while at the same time being in so many different stages of life.
Think about it. Think about your friends. You have friends going through divorce. You have friends with a newborn who are wondering if real sleep will ever happen again. You have friends with multiple kids (you know those superhero ones where you don't know how they do it.) You have friends who are newlyweds or planning weddings. You have friends that are happily married. You have friends that are not happily married. You have friends who feel as though they are doomed to singledom forever. You have friends that feverishly swipe left and swipe right. You have friends who have had to face some of the biggest trials in their life. You have friends who have had to fight for their own health. You have friends who have had their heartbroken. You have friends who hate their job. You have friends that love their job. You have friends who have lost their job. You have friends who have found great success. You have friends that through the lens of their eyes have found failure.
That's a lot of different places to be in life. All consolidated in a group of friends that in past years have migrated through life at the same speed. Saying to your friend, "I can relate"... Well that may not be as accurate anymore.
YOU probably fall into the category of one of the above 'friends'. Your life is probably filled with moments of blissful perfection and moments of utter disarray.
Comparison is something that has become a growing phenomenon as we've progressed in our adulting.
You probably got Facebook in college or university. Instagram a few years later...and Snapchat...well if you're me you got it last year. (I was a little late to the party and still don't frequent as much as I should)
All of these platforms lend themselves to comparison. I think that this escalates a little further as we head toward 30. Mainly because all of our 'born in the same year 1987 lives' start to look increasingly different. We start to question our choices. We start to want what is projected through the filtered lens of others. We give in to fleeting moments of self doubt. We contribute to the comparison culture by sharing our own victories and highlight reels.
I know far to many people that are reflecting on their 20s and feel a little gloomy heading into 30. They look at an entire decade and think...did I spend it wisely? Did I do enough? How am I 30?...Seriously thirty. THIRTY! 3 decades of life. HA!-see how easy it is to spiral into the 30 trap.
Well I''m hear to tell you no matter what you are facing in life... You are enough.
We are on the brink of entire decade of new opportunity, new experiences and new challenges. You have been adulting for a while now and you know yourself. Your 20s have shaped you into the person you are today.
You are closing a chapter of your life. With all the reflection that you're bound to be doing there really is only one thing that matters. Are you happy? If you aren't over the moon fulfilled with your life I beg you-Change. Change what is holding you back from living that happy life.
Happiness is certainly not defined by a life where everything seemingly goes perfect all the time. However, just like Instagram has filters...we have the same ability with our mind. Every situation is malleable with how we perceive it. How we react to it. How we move forward.
Reflect on your 20s. That is important. But learn from the experiences that have left you feeling lacklustre.
I'm going to be honest I'm exiting this decade very fulfilled. Life has thrown some interesting curveballs within the last decade, but I was raised an optimist. I also for some reason have this strange urge within me to constantly challenge myself and take risks. Point in case. My first move from home was to New Zealand. I then worked on cruise ships for 2.5 years traveling the world. I applied for my dream TV job...over...and over...and over...and over again...after lots of hustle I got it. I moved myself across the country from Ontario to BC. Lots of change. Lots of risks. Lots of fulfillment.
So here is my wish for you and a promise I want you to make yourself. This is your 'Thirties checklist'.
- Laugh every single day.
- Jobs are necessary...BUT...Do what you love. You more than likely spend 40 hours a week at your job if you're FT. That is a huge chunk of life to be miserable while lining someone else's pockets.
- Make sure your friends know that they are loved. Life gets busy and its harder to spend the quality time together that you did in your twenties. A simple text, FaceTime or dare I say phone call can help you reconnect. It's 2017-There are lots of options for communication...no excuses.
- Take care of your health. Health is often not valued until an illness occurs. Make sure you build important 'me' time in your life. Exercise and eat well. Food is your life fuel. If you start taking care of yourself now it will remain a habit as the years go on.
- Love passionately. We have so many ways to be distracted in life. Listen wholeheartedly to those you care about and treat them in a way that they will know they are valued in your life.
- Spend time with your parents. If you are lucky to have both your parents roaming this earth give them the greatest gift you can. Your time. The sad reality is that if you're getting older...so are they.
- Stop acting like you live twice! Travel when you can. Take the leap. Climb the mountain. Say yes. Start now. Accept the challenges. Learn from them. Don't live in the past. Take the risks!
- Be kind to your friends that are Mothers. They now are in charge of a little human or humans and putting themselves first is often not an option. Lend an ear or lend a hand when you can.
- Be kind to your friends that choose not to be Moms or simply can't. Some have the choice...others do not. In the end there is happiness on either side of the equation. No life path being superior over the other.
- Be Happy- The choice is yours. Maybe you're finishing your twenties as an epic novel with chapters you would read over and over again. If that's you...can't wait for the sequel. If that isn't you...well I'm excited. This is the start of your new book. Fill it with stories and adventures that give you that epic novel. Because you know what comes next...40...Forty....FORTY
UH OH I THINK I'M HAVING THAT MELTDOWN NOW...