On Turning 30

The last year of my twenties was rather eventful, in a somewhat disheveled, slightly lucky and a somewhat unfortunate way.

Within 3 months of my 29th birthday, I had helped my mother find and purchase a home, I was kicked out of the house and up to that point the family that I thought to be my own, although not by blood, at least by association. Any illusion of having an actual father were washed down the toilet, and I locked out, of that illusion,  figuratively and literally, whilst all my belongings and any feeling of normalcy of a “home” locked inside, in a place ironically, I called home.
Not even after a week, after my mother boarded the plane back to the country of her residence, after having purchased the home I was to move into the following month, I was told I was no longer welcome in the place my mother made “home” and up until that point where I laid my head down to sleep at night. The place where you are supposed to feel safe and welcome.
I somehow managed to move what little belongings were “allowed” out of the house I was no longer welcomed in, in the middle of the night, in a van I borrowed from work, by myself.
Three weeks later, I moved into the place that was to be my new “home”, be it mine or my mother’s – irrelevant.
At the end of that month, I got a promotion at work and a ton of new responsibility.

And so began a life in my new home, that felt oddly like a place that was being borrowed and somewhat perversely like “home”. It was supposed to feel like home, but I felt oddly uncomfortable thinking that maybe one day soon my other parent, could turn on me just as easily. So I stayed stagnant for a while. Unsure of what to make of my good fortune, and a bit flabbergasted by the bad.
I was physically and emotionally exhausted and having just received a promotion, I poured my energy into what I knew would give me an immediate result, my work.
Whether purposefully or not, I took a hiatus from CrossFit and yoga, and proceeded to get sick 3 times in the span of less than two months over the Christmas holidays well into January and February.

So what all, if anything does have to do with me turning 30 or being 30?

Well maybe nothing and maybe everything.

If my life taught me anything it’s that nothing turns out as you expect.

I didn’t expect to end up in the town I live in, I didn’t “expect” to work here, when I arrived back in the States in 2012 ready to charge at my future.
I certainly didn’t expect to get back with my at the time ex-boyfriend. That just wasn’t “part of the plan”. But. Shit happens. And sometimes shit hits the fan. And I’ve always managed to come out alive and better and all the wiser.
I imagined my 30th birthday to be something grand and absolutely the most exciting thing ever. I expected a huge party and I expected people to be really excited about the fact that I was embarking on this new decade. Having lived though my 20s I certainly felt deserving of it. Didn’t happen. People came, people celebrated, but it wasn’t what I had envisioned or what I was expecting.
If I’m learning anything is that expectations suck. And I can only expect things from myself, because I’m the only person I can control, and even then, that’s not always the case.
So my 30th arrived quietly, and was welcomed in by my mother and my boyfriend in a tucked away quiet place in the south of Georgia. Gosh, “you are old”, you’re probably thinking.

Maybe. I’ve started a joke with my friends that I am 90 at heart. I’m pretty sure it’s true. I sometimes act like I’m 5, but I am most certainly an old soul.

So 30. Here I was 30. None the wiser, none the smarter, none the prettier. Just 30. I was sure an epiphany would hit me soon.
But as often happens with epiphanies they arrive quietly and gradually just as my birthday did. There wasn’t a big boom or a big party, a lightning rod didn’t strike me, and nothing tragic or dramatic happened.
I think even life thought I had enough excitement the year before. My whole 20s decade was  exciting. Even that is an understatement. It came close to that of an emu teenager meets girl next door. Full of happy pictures and drowned by sad elephant tears. I don’t remember just being ok. I was either on Cloud 9 or severely sad, (I’m purposefully calling it sad, and not depressed.) My own diagnosis.

I knew all the above mentioned would end up in a written form eventually, I just haven’t felt that it was time.

But now I’m 30 and actually all the wiser. All the wiser to know that I don’t have forever to twiddle my thumbs and wait for the perfect moment. That the time is actually right now. And I have to use the agency I’ve been given with my life. No excuses. That I am not willing to wait for someone else to get excited about my life. Screw ’em , if people aren’t excited about me, I don’t need them in my life. That may be harsh, I know, but some people are fleeting. What you create with your life is not.
Something quite literally stewed, between my heart and my brain, in the last couple of months to inspire me to take charge of my life, and something is telling me that I do not have forever. I have right now. And I can’t wait for everyone to get on board. I may be on the train by myself, maybe for a while, or maybe forever, but I have a journey to live, and I can’t wait.

I’ll quote a piece of the Elle Article from this month, celebrating their 30th anniversary and other women’s take on having turned 30. It’s very apros pos, and is most likely the inspiration I had needed.

“What got me through my 20s were all my girlfriends  who’d actually turned 30. They reassured me that 30 was secretly the best, most important birthday a woman could have. Like a reverse Cinderella, my life would magically improve on the dot of midnight. My brain would mysteriously expand, and somehow all the things that didn’t make sense in my twenties -how and why people behaved the way they did, how to play the game – would all be made clear. At 30, I would know How To Do Things, including How to Make Actual Money. I’d be smarter. I wouldn’t get fooled like I did in my twenties. And you know what? All those friends were right.”

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2 Responses to On Turning 30

  1. Cheryl Clark says:

    First, I am sorry you had to go through all that. Second, I am sorry you went through it more or less alone. What a crappy thing to happen.

    In just a couple of weeks (17 days to be accurate), I will be 48. It seems like a week ago I celebrated 30, and yet, it feels like forever. I promise this will be your best decade. You will find out who you are and what you want. You will learn that you can’t save the entire world. Sometimes you can’t even save your little piece of it. And that’s okay. There will be days you struggle and days you fly, but overall you will grow and change and become the best you ever.

    If I could give you one piece of advice I would tell you to cherish it. Don’t overthink things, just live each day as if you will never get another. Love big, laugh loud, forgive quickly and completely – be all in. Life is a gift and you are only untying the ribbon.

    • Elle says:

      Cheryl, thank you so much! I feel like I know the direction I am heading in, whereas in my twenties I felt like I was chasing my own tail. So I am excited. I know I will learn a lot.

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