“The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate!”
A great quote that I have been living by, particularly over this last month. As on the 30th of July this year I turned 30! I’ve been going to town celebrating with my friends and family. Including lots of cake & balloons, dinners, afternoon teas & spa days! No big parties but these are the kind of things that make me happy. QI’ve even had a party/birthday theme going on on my Instagram feed.
I did wonder how I was going to feel about it though, when it came to the big day itself. I kept thinking about that Friends episode, The One Where They All Turn 30. Was I going to turn into a Joey shouting “why god why?!” Or start obsessing over all the things I hadn’t done in my life yet like Rachel & Phoebe? Turns out: none of the above! I’m personally feeling quite excited about it to be honest. I feel at my happiest and most confident within myself right now and really content with how my life is – and I believe that contentment is seriously underrated! All of my teens and the majority of my twenties have been really rough, riddled with health issues and quite a struggle in all sorts of ways. So my wish for this birthday is for my 30’s to be my best, most fun, successful & happiest decade of my life so far!
You know, I’ve actually had several people say to me this year things like “I can’t believe you’re going to be 30, you don’t look it” which is obviously very flattering. But what does turning 30 ACTUALLY look like? I feel like 30 isn’t necessarily the same now as it perhaps used to be, say with my parents generation. There is no ‘one size fits all’. How boring would that be? Who says you have to be at a certain life stage or have ticked of certain milestones? For me 30 is feeling more confident than I was in my 20’s. Having less fear to say ‘yes’ to certain experiences and ‘no’ to certain people. Knowing more about who I am and what I want out of life and that’s a really empowering feeling. So for me, that is what 30 looks like!
Thinking back to my teens and early twenties though I definitely did picture my life being different at this age. But doesn’t everybody? I genuinely don’t think I know anybody who’s life has turned out just how they pictured it would. We all hit speed bumps along the way and find ourselves turning down different side roads. I pictured myself living in my own house with a dream job, able to travel to wherever I wanted, married to the love of my life, maybe even with a baby (definitely some cats though!). Idealistic. In actual fact I don’t have any of these things (well, except for the cat!) and you know what? Somehow, miraculously…I’m still okay! My life has gone down paths I never would’ve expected or imagined both good and bad (in fact very bad!). However I have great friends and family who I feel closer to I think because of those struggles I’ve gone through. I’ve found myself doing a creative freelance job, blogging, writing, doing photography and working with brands all from my home. Something I never could’ve expected, that is taking me in all sorts of new directions and giving me opportunities I could only have dreamed of! Maybe it was all meant to be? Daily life still isn’t always easy for me and I struggle a lot with my chronic health issues but I am trying my best to create a life I love in spite of that. It might be a bit deep but I think we’re all lucky and privileged to be growing older. Growing up with a lot of health problems (although luckily for me none of them life threatening) I was surrounded by a lot of people in hospital who did very much have life threatening, life shortening conditions and I feel like it really put things in perspective for me. Something I really needed during my teens!
I guess I’d say that if you’re freaking out about hitting a new age or entering a new decade just try and remember how lucky you are to be here. Plus you’re not actually a whole year older on your birthday, you’re literally just a DAY older than you were yesterday! Ask yourself questions like: Irrespective of age, are you content with where your life is right now? Is there anything you would like to change? I think 99% of the time you have the power to change it, you have the power to create a life you love! No matter your struggles. I’m a great ‘list’ person and from a very young age I’ve made lists of goals of things I want to achieve, both long term and short term, split into ‘big goals’ and ‘small goals’. I find it really satisfying! Especially when you start to tick things off. I have lots of trips on mine and places I want to travel to on the big goals and the small goals mostly involve saving money!
Most of all have fun making memories and be sure to celebrate every year.