One early Tuesday morning (precisely at 3:50 AM) of August 1987, in the hospital of Malta, a baby girl was born. It was right in the middle of a heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 40˚C, and little did this child know how many other heatwaves would bring torture to her.
Yep, that’s me! Today I’m turning 30. How do I feel? Eh… I’m not entirely sure.
Unlike many others, I have no bucket list to turn to. I don’t care about tying my goals and wishes to a particular age. And hell, I never liked birthdays, not even my own. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a lack of gifts (except money from relatives) and parties and cakes (before you start feeling sorry for me, I never cared for these things as a kid!).
However, this big, rounded number still beckons for a particular post. So, I’m using this occasion to look back on what has brought me to this point in my life, with the hope of finding positivity and motivation.
Coming up with 30 thoughts seemed difficult at first but, once I started, the flow wouldn’t stop, and it turned out to be a good freewriting exercise. Beware: although you might find something that resonates with you, it’s going to be extremely personal!
30 Thoughts on Turning 30
1. So here I am. 30 years old… how on earth did that happen already?!
2. I definitely don’t feel – even less look – like a 30-year-old. That’s both good and bad.
3. People often give me 5-10 years less, and I feel awkward whenever they point it out.
4. While I bless my genes, I have a feeling that the way I keep my appearance doesn’t help me with looking adulty enough.
5. I’m super conscious about my lack of makeup use, but hey you know what? I’m kinda proud of that. I don’t like myself when made up like an ‘adult’, anyway.
6. Although, I’m aware of when I’m obliged to ‘cake up’ my face and go out adulting. Still don’t like it
7. What perhaps makes this age-looks dissonance even more jarring is that these days I’m always hanging around younger people.
8. Ever since I failed/quit university 10 years ago, wherever I go (classes, jobs), I’m almost always older than everyone else.
9. Such experiences have taught me that the younger ones aren’t all as bad as some media tend to portray them.
10. By sharing the same experiences with them, I’ve also learned about where I went wrong in my late teens and 20s.
11. I’m not going to hide this: I DO regret a lot of decisions I’ve taken in the past.
12. These ‘wrong’ choices shaped up my life, and when I look back, I can’t help but feel sorry for the time I wasted.
13. I know that I missed out on a lot and that, compared to other 30-year-olds, I lack a good number of experiences.
14. Although I’m now out of the rut I had stuck myself in, people’s attitudes around me still make me feel bad and useless.
15. What do I fear the most? That I won’t find the opportunity to build up enough valuable experiences to make me forget the time I wasted in my youth.
16. Nevertheless, at this point, I am able to look back on my ‘mistakes’ with a clearer and calmer state of mind.
17. While I won’t stop calling them ‘regrets’ or ‘failures’, I am now more willing to use them as a lesson.
18. In a way, I know that I should be thankful because these past failures are part of what I am today.
19. Today I feel immensely grateful for succeeding in turning my life around.
20. I’m lucky to have found Matt (or rather, that he found me), a partner that accepts me for who I am.
21. Thanks to him, I found the courage to change, grow up, and take leaps (such as going back to uni).
22. All this happened in the last three years when probably everyone thought I would remain a frozen hermit without a life stuck in my parents’ house.
23. It doesn’t mean that I totally feel like an adult. Nope, I’m still freaked out. I’m growing older, but I’ve yet to grow up completely.
24. Despite that, age is still there, and I can’t ignore it. Not when this single silver-grey hair has popped out right in front of my head, argh!
25. This age is making me more conscious about my health, as I can’t keep saying to myself “I’m too young for that”. It’s kinda scary.
26. I’m also more aware of my parents’ age now, and that terrifies me a lot too.
27. All I can do is take care of myself and the dear people around me. It’s a responsibility that frightens me.
28. Anyway, that’s that. I’m 30. Time to hide my age from my profiles to avoid the ’30-something’ cliché.
29. But I’m not sad about growing older. My life is good, and I’m thankful for everything I’ve come across.
30. So, come on Life! Bring on more, I’m ready!
I encourage you to do such a thinking exercise once in a while, no matter your age. Avoid just creating a bucket list of peculiar goals, spending the rest of your days scrambling to achieve them. I hope you’ll find the serenity to look back to your past to understand your present and find the ideal way to face your future.