For the first time today I verbalised that I was in fact 30 years of age. It made me laugh as the number became a reality and I said that phrase I've often heard from 'old' people that 'age is just a number.' Life is quite hilarious, it seems to be that everyone's paths are virtually the same or at least there are many commonalities. I guess the most important part is making sure you know how to make your life something else, something special. Different.
In January I ended up travelling to Budapest and Cardiff. It was a heck of a lot of fun and to top it off I got to celebrate turning 30 years of age surrounded by some lovely friends and luxing it out in the lovely St James Court Hotel near Buckingham Palace. It was quite the lush experience, I didn't want it to end. The entirety of my birthday month was so fun and adventurous that it left me thrilled for what lie ahead this year. So naturally this morning when I am laying bare chested on a hospital bed getting an ECG I told the 20 year old female intern that in fact life does start when your 30.
The past few weeks has continued the nostalgia for the yester years as it were and has given me what I think is the best gift ever- wisdom. I am no longer at an age where I want to spend time with people who will waste it, I don't want frivolous friendships or relationships and I don't hold back on what I want. Most importantly if I want to experience something I make it happen, I don't wait for it to happen. Thirty honestly feels like the sweet spot. Had someone said that too me when I was 20 I think I would have laughed it off, probably as much as the intern nurse when she was looking at me hoping her 'girls' don't look like mine in 10 years time but alas I would bet she would be saying the same thing when she gets here. In my early 20s I wanted to grow up, have kids, a house all the things that I felt an adult was supposed to do. In my late 20s I knew that being an adult wasn't settling for anything and now at 30 I know how to make sure know one hinders that effort. A blunt, cut throat approach to life it may be but who doesn't want to make the most of it?
As Valentine's Day came and went I thought of all the things I love about growing up and it has nothing to do with what I have or who is or isn't on my arm. It is much more than that. Years ago I would have accepted being hidden behind the shadow of beautiful people around me. Today I don't accept that I'm not worthy of being noticed. Its nice how the moments in life give us the opportunities to learn about these things as well, how we have grown and developed.
For example, when I was a teenager and we were learning swimming at school we always had to get changed in front of our peers, I hated it. Naturally I tried to do the most awkward of changing routines beneath my towel while the other girls wondered why I was testing out my contortionist skills. But the truth was regardless of size I wasn't comfortable with how my body looked. 10 years down the track I found myself in a London change room where clearly women had been changing in front of each other for years. I wasn't used to it at all. I was immediately thrown back into the emotions of those teenage years. It seemed ridiculous but I never really had to get used to accepting myself in such a way. Slowly but surely I got used to the fact that changing rooms were scarce and unless I wanted to freeze whilst waiting for a change room in the middle of a UK winter I needed to embrace my body and just get changed. It sounds like the most ridiculous thing but nonetheless a key part of recognising that I needed to finally grow up and well, 'get over it'. Now thanks to 'environmental conditions' I have managed to gain a body confidence I never had before, and have found that in actual fact the changing room experience is far less daunting and more accepting than I had ever imagined. Ultimately, to be able to appreciate yourself well is a real blessing and it is completely underrated.
For women (and I daresay men as well) reading magazines stand as a way to make you feel as though your life needs a complete overhaul in line with the monthly magazine schedule. But little, sustained changes are the most important ones that allow us to make the most of life. I still vaguely recall the first time I decided (as a teenager) to stop waiting for friends and do things on my own. It was a daunting experience but now years later I am someone who is comfortable in my own skin. It was this little decision and slowly built confidence that helped prompt the decision to move abroad, travel overseas solo, leave a job for a happier path and have faith that things will be fine. It isn't a series of off the cuff choices that are rashly made without some understanding of my own capabilities but it does allow me to make decisions that are a little risky yet within my capability to achieve and therefore make the most out of life.
In any case whatever it may be looking back stands to teach us all a lot about how we can make the most of the right here and now. I encourage you to look at and appreciate where you have come so that you can make the most of what is yet to be. Don't just 'go with the flow' but create it. Have experiences that you want to have, carve the life you want to live and don't make any apologies for it. Your everyday life, friendships, relationships and achievements are exactly as you want them to be. So make the most of life and get out there.
Till next time...