The epic birthday is already several months behind! It didn’t cripple me. I didn’t go balls out on a crazy statement party, I am still alive and kicking and having a blast.
Leaving the 20s really got to me! The frenzy of reaching my 27th, 28th and 29th b-days has died down. I step into the fourth tier, desperate to leave behind the immaturity, the hesitations, the self-doubt and the insecurities that graciously ruled my twenties.
I had a pact with my BFFs: we’re 25 as long as we can show it! Guess what?! I’m 30 and damn proud of it. I still can’t see my destination but I am well aware of what I am destined to be: a mother, a lover, a friend, a team mate, a doer, a traveler, a speaker, a believer…a winner. I feel like I am on a steep hill, going upwards, not looking from the bottom valley, but from the very top. My 30s achievement list still leaves room for the upcoming years’ resolutions, but there are many things I’ve learnt:
1. To use LOVE as a verb and follow up my feelings with actions
2. To stop looking for THE ONE
3. To show strength in arguments and not anger
4. To see the world in exclusive company
5. To be alone and feel great about it
6. To enjoy myself and partner with my own thoughts and feelings
7. To embrace change and deal with the fact that nothing is written in stone
8. To wise up – it’s a never ending process
9. To let go of past defeats and don’t feel vulnerable about failures, mistakes and mishaps
10. To enjoy every second of wellness, good health, dedicated friends and family – there are millions who don’t reach 30, have no dear ones left, live out in pain, misery, torture and despair and still find the power to move ahead
11. To wear lace and pumps whenever I feel insecure
12. To make things happen for myself and on my own
13. To look back only to point out those goals that I didn’t achieve and put together loose ends
14. To time out all negativity
15. To feel sexy and undefeatable in a pair of diesel and a white T-shirt
16. To be stunning with no make-up
17. To use sarcasm to such an extent that it’s considered politeness
18. To avoid complicated phrasing when I want to say simple things
19. To let myself go and be ok with it
20. To take promises and calculate the percentage that represents my own ability to fulfill them. If there’s over 60% dependence on somebody else, I have my heads up that it might not happen.
21. To understand that I am responsible for what I do and say and not for how people react to that
22. To adore those who can put up with my worst, insane, insecure and selfish ego. They are the ones who deserve the best as well.
23. To hold on to those people who have loads of luggage. They are the ones who can teach and educate me, understanding burdens and appreciating goodness.
24. To be a little Walt Disney, a little Lev Tolstoi, a little Martha Stewart and a little Marylin Monroe…being Bill Gates is impossible. I know my limits
25. To accept that coolness grows with age…if you can open your eyes widely and see it!
I stare at photos from my college years and I blush. Yes, youth is blossom, freshness, sassiness. But God! Never before have I ever been as toned, as healthy – especially in my eating habits (and I never been a fast food chewer – as I ate my first McDonald’s a couple of months ago), as sophisticated and as confident as now. My jeans were always either too tight or too loose, too long or too short, my lipstick too red or too pink, foundation was a chemistry experiment – always the wrong shade, mascara was acrobatics between my lashes, my eyelids and my eyebrows – not to mention that the nose was always in the way – and the blush was mostly applied with a neo-modernist painting technique that generally failed…a Dali in training. I know! Cry me a river! Whatever the wrinkles, the bad hair days, the moody mornings and the body awareness – I still have a decade to work it out. I know 40s are the new 30s, but you cannot trick time forever. Now, I hold a little bit more information about fashion, styles, trends, beauty and care…there’s certainly an evolution ( unfortunately that doesn’t translate to all aspects, taste in terms of the significant other still linger) and I know what my hair will and won’t, what my muscles can and can’t, what my cheeks do and don’t!
So, why is there such a meltdown in our 30s?
Some answered that it’s because you’re now a grown up, doing grown up stuff. The wunder kid is now either on his way to becoming the promising rising star or not. It’s as simple as that! The 20s are like those seconds when the airplane takes off – taxiing in position on the runway, piston engines run up at high power, acceleration to rotation speed, nose up, flaps going underneath and…..there you have it…the heavy lift! Hadn’t we done this in high spirits, partying, wearing our brains and bodies out, experiencing good dates and nasty dates, getting drunk and sober with unlimited frequency, wearing embarrassing clothes and trending nasty show styles…we would have probably been billionaires by 20, infamously notorious by 25, ostentatiously prized by 30 and retired by now…cheer and kudos to all the exceptions to the rule who have already written the much appraised novel of their life, invented the social networks, saved the white whales and the endangered pandas and ran triathlons. Would have loved to do all that! But I guess I am o a different timeline…and there are bigger plans for me to achieve… (whatever?!?!)
I cannot say that I will love my 30s as I loved my 20s – I was playing hard to get with them and didn’t really show it – silly outfits, ugly shoes, terrible haircuts and questionable mimics. I did do good grades though! So, my brain was left out of this scientific progress and was truly grateful for that! magna cum laude to it! But…I have better and bigger reasons to love these unfairly dreaded 30s: my kid, my mum and dad, my cousins, my few but precious friends, their kids, my readings, my thirst for still getting educated, my downtown apartment, my BMW, my manners, my intuition, my IT list and my HIT list…and my fabulous dressing…all of which I am able to have because I am THIRTY.
Getting out of the soul crushing moods over what I should be valued for, deciding for myself that being HOT is not what I strive to be in life, meeting my own standards and reaching out to higher ones, getting close to people who become good friends without being bruised and eventually disappointed for the uninspired flair, IT ALL COMES WITH AGE. What also comes with age is selection and the capacity to detox your life and separate things and people who matter and have them make it to your present days and have a worthy ride together. Maturity reduces dichotomies. The 30s are more about the inside of the Tiffany box than the wrapping…it’s more about the diamond that you become than the diamond you wear and also about those who are charmed by the glitter instead of being fascinated with the alloy.
Somebody smarter said this – Jack Welch perhaps, but not sure – I came to that point where I can understand the fine line between arrogance and self-confidence. True! It was in my late 20s that I discovered how to do it better and take things at a time without feeling that I’m juggling with my mum’s china on a trapeze…although it burns calories! It’s not like I woke up at 30 – enlightened, experienced and enamored with the right people and things in life. Cracking the mother, the lover, the friend and the professional – and the constant student dilemma took a while and it hasn’t been solved when I hit 30. I didn’t discover the formula…but I manage the process more skillfully and less worriedly. I simply don’t rush – although on the inside, I am driving a Mercedes McLaren on the Monaco formula one track). It’s a difference of pace that probably, by 40, will be reduced.
I am definitely ready to live my thirties with the same intensity, however…looking forward to being sung to and being wooed, to being heart-broken and getting stronger…to being woken up with a glass of milk and a white rose on top of it, to being tucked in with a torrent of hugs and kisses…to still being a child and a parent, a loved one and a lover, a confessant and a confessor…a driver and a copilot.