Sometimes, things get right when you move to the wrong side. That’s what happened to me when I crossed over to the wrong side of twenty-nine.
I think we all are quite apprehensive about aging and more so to enter the thirties. For some reason, the thirties sound quite scarily old though ain’t. We are full of energy during teens, excited about the twenties but not very welcoming for thirties.
I was no different about my apprehensions for the thirties, not at all welcoming for lovely thirties. I wasn’t clearly very happy during my 30th birthday. But this all cleared up once I discovered what is it that thirties offer and hence decided to come up with this blog to share how this decade can be all about self…self…and self.
The pressure to please everyone is off.
For starters, I magically got rid of the pressure to please everyone around. I don’t know if there was a button inbuilt that got turned off or was it because I had enough of people and finally came to realize that life is limited which has come with a set expiry. I was never much of a people pleaser my entire life but then there were those who fall in the inner circle and you are bound to at least please them and so was my pattern. I even got rid of this pattern of mine. The thirties set me free and I stopped caring for what others think of my opinions, actions and the way I lead my life. Not that my actions are destructive or intrude someone else’s boundaries. I have completely stopped thinking of how anyone would feel when I weigh my options to make an important decision about my life.
I have somehow come to be okay with people not liking me. In fact, I rather like it when people do not like me. I don’t know if this is some psychological disorder or new heights of self-confidence, self-love, and self-acceptance but I am totally enjoying this phase as I am getting comfortable in unapologetically living my life like I always wanted to. I read somewhere that, “be good but do not try to prove, you are good”, and thirties made me see how liberating this can be.
Good Riddance from “what people would think” syndrome
As it happens with most of us, there is always someone around who would not agree with what we do, why we do, how we do and again I was no different here too. I always had an uneasiness to justify why I did, what I did especially if the value system didn’t match. There was this constant loop of explaining pre/post actions. Suddenly this pressure to justify my actions has evaporated as well. I rather conserve my energy and use it for self-betterment than wasting it on people who would anyway find faults. My true gang doesn’t need any justifications to stick around and that’s what counts.
The bliss of “Ignore”
This is another blessing that I have earned right after turning thirty. It became easy for me to move away from the things that don’t work out, move on people that do not resonate with my spirit. As far as I recall I found it next to impossible to ignore events, people, hurts and disappointments by the time, time worked its magic. I have wasted numerous precious hours rather days being hurt over people and events which were totally out of my control.
I could never understand how people could so easily ignore. My husband said to me oftentimes, “if only you could feel the bliss of ignoring what doesn’t serve you” and all I could say was, “how unreal it is”. I now know that act of ignoring is truly a real bliss. Why waste your energy over something that is beyond your control, that doesn’t contribute to a bigger change when you can ignore and move on? Now I refuse to hand over power to anyone to make me uneasy. Life has started coming full circle and I am relishing the “bliss of ignoring”, the easiness to move on things and people that once seemed almost impossible.
Quality over quantity
I never had a big circle of people that I care about, but it couldn’t be smaller as it is now. I have trimmed my circle of people further to only allow who cares for me and who I care for. In short, I chose quality over quantity. My self-worth never came from how many people I know and how many know me. I never took it as a success criterion like women from generation X have, mostly due to lack of career. For some reason being popular with as many people possible, became a substitute to career options for women of generation X and it’s no wonder that it’s being replicated by many millennial women who chose upkeep of unnecessary relations over career.
I believed in a small but loyal gang and I have it. The 30s came as a litmus test where unnecessary relations got trimmed themselves and all I am left with now are the people that I would cherish for life. People that I would want to walk until the end of my life. The unsolicited advice of “being nice to all, keeping in touch with whom you meet, you never know who you might need” has failed on litmus of the 30s that made me see clearly that there would be very few people in your life who would stick with you in your thick and thin and such people can be counted on fingertips. So what’s the point of being invested in quantity when you might as well indulge in your smaller but meant to be gang
Picking your battles
I never knew and no one ever told to be very choosy about the battles you take on. I have been very aggressive in my approach over certain things mostly that oppress you as an individual and I would stick my nose everywhere where I thought that some kind of oppression was in action. If only someone could help me realize that one has to be wise in choosing the right battles. When you start fighting for anything and everything, all you do is lose your energy and foresight for the right cause. I have never felt wiser enough about picking what resonates rightly with me before the big 30s. I now do not waste my energy over everything that comes in my sight. Or maybe the depleting reservoir has made me wise.
Respond than react
So, it wouldn’t be wrong if I call myself sodium that reacted on everything with a highly exothermic reaction and unfortunately storing me in kerosene oil wasn’t an option. I can very confidently say that up until now in my personal life during stressful situations, I have reacted ninety-nine percent of the times than respond which has only worsened things further in my mind. With the thirties at the doorstep, I started reflecting and responding more than reacting. I realized that not everything needs an instant reaction. How well thoughtful responses make you look at the problem in a different light. Taking time to reflect always leads to better responses that bring home what you want.
Start doing what you like
My fears of the thirties being scarily old urged me to start doing what I have been putting on the back burner for so long. It somehow felt as if life is about to run out and I have put off things that I wanted to do for so long. For the first time, I felt as if I was standing on a threshold of now or never and hence just treaded on new paths. Jumped right onto the wagon of “life is now and here” to do more of what I have been holding on.
I wanted to write hence started this blog than waiting for that mysterious maturity that follows your aging all along. I felt poor in experiences of life, so started traveling to explore more. Got the bucket list right on my wall with the target of ticking at least one of all.
Own your “own”
I am on my own like never before. I totally own my “own”. Be it talking, dressing, living, eating and so on. No one dictates my choices anymore. It may come out to be funny, but the thirties also helped me own my dressing style. I know my colors, patterns and just what would help me be “me”. I do not go with what is in the fashion, hardly did that before but there were few picks of the season but now I have even got rid of that, have discovered my style that I totally own. I do not worry about what is in fashion or what others would like me in. I have a leaner life and leaner wardrobe. I put on what I like without worrying about how cultural stereotypes and sentiments of others would be hurt.
Why wait for the thirties to start doing what you could do during your formative years – energetic teens and exciting twenties. I wish if the elderly could pass this wisdom all along. But perhaps that’s how the schooling of life operates. That’s how the most important lessons appear. Pathway to self-love passes through self-hate like right after mischievous twenties wonderful thirties open the door.
Cheers to liberating 30s that make me feel, “live some more” !