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30. For such a seemingly small number, it is, in actuality, a milestone we must all dauntingly endure. For many, we become so obsessed with the notion of what 30 represents, that we lose sight of the things that make us quintessentially unique. We fall for the guise that by this remarkable age our lives should fit into the format society has laid place for us. At 30, tertiary education should be a thing of the past, a booming career within our grasps, a spouse just ahead, with children just over the horizon. And although this does reflect the reality of some, it certainly does not for most.

From personal experience: 30 for exactly 30 days, menial, part-time job, half way through a Bachelor’s in English, the aforementioned is a far cry from my reality. To fix this, when I turned 29, my goal was to somehow complete a degree, find the job of my dreams, and while I was at it, maybe throw in a husband, all within 365 days. There was no way this could end badly.

In my eyes, my future seemed tremendously bleak, and my dreams unattainable, until I began to change my inner dialogue. By questioning the idea of “happiness” and “self-fulfillment” in relation to my life, I began to realize that I had leaps and bounds to be grateful for. Although I was a few years away from the life I envisioned for myself, I was living. My days were spent focused on what I love (English), while my leisure time was mostly spent surrounded by my loved ones. But most importantly, I was beginning to love myself in a way I had never done before. I was so focused on fitting into what I believed life at this age should mimic, that I began to feel like a square peg being forced into a round hole. And every time I changed aspects of myself to fit this mould, I slowly began to lose the facets of myself that I loved; characteristics that I hid because I never saw the beauty in them.

So I stopped caring: about timelines, expectations, deadlines, judgement and failure. I began to compile questions I wished I’d known more about by the time I turned 30, (topics and answers I hope to share in later posts), rather than the accomplishments I once felt I failed to attain. I understood that a life worth living came with questions, indecisiveness, risks and most importantly, failure. And with every hurdle and every obstacle I endured, I learnt a bit more about myself and in turn, began to love my journey, my story a little more. I began to understand that life wasn’t about living for anyone but me.

“Enjoy the Journey: There are moments when it’s best to quiet our worries and fears and just be. Enjoy the moments, live for today. Embrace, cherish and absorb the time we are given. Take it all in as it comes, rain + shine. We must have faith in our journey. We may not always think we’re travelling in the right direction, but trust in the fact that you are where you are supposed to be. – Alex Elle.”

Written by : MM

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