In just under a month I enter my thirties. While I am a little sad to acknowledge that my twenties are soon to be a thing of the past I do welcome some of the things that come with entering a new decade. I marked the occasion by visiting New York with my oldest friend. The trip didn’t disappoint.
My twenties, and most people’s twenties, are a time to explore and figure out what it is you want to do, where you want to be, what you like and dislike in life and so on. I have had many jobs, visited many places, met and lost touch with many people, lived at home and abroad, figured out what my passions are, what my personal strengths and weaknesses are and worked on myself in many ways in the hope of being more a “together” person for my thirties. In recent weeks I had a particularly tough time with my anxiety for many reasons and hit a point that left me feeling like a bit of a failure. I had this notion that I should be passed that now that I am thirty, that I’ve done enough work now to be “perfect”. That has always been the aim. One I now know is not only unreachable but unnecessary.
Something I have to reiterate to myself sometimes is that many things in life are ongoing. I used to think that when I was twenty I’d have all the answers, then when I reached that age I convinced myself… no it’ll be about twenty five. Then I’ll have the house, the husband, the career and all the knowledge in the world. Much to my surprise by twenty five this wasn’t the case either. The secret is when you’re younger you think adults know everything. They’re these wise creatures to which no issue is too complex. Eventually, and I mean eventually, you begin to realise that no one ever really knows exactly what they’re doing. To some extent everyone is guessing as they go along what the next thing to do is. It’s that light bulb moment that makes you feel a bit more at ease.
I still think that a lot of old school social standards and expectations dominate day to day life in terms of timelines and hitting certain milestones at particular points. It’s unfortunate but ultimately I think it is up to us as individuals to change that. One of my aims at the moment is to try not to make any judgements on others even if I completely disagree with their thoughts, actions or decisions they make. I am not saying this is always easy but the least we can do is respect each other even if there are vast differences of opinion. If everyone did this even a few times a day I think society could evolve to be a much more harmonious place.
When I look back on my twenties I am fairly proud of everything I have achieved. I am not exactly where I would like to be in some aspects but that’s ok. Someone in work said this week that he believes age is just a number and he knows people in their twenties who act like they are in their fifties and vice versa. With that in mind I think moving onward is key and allowing yourself to fall every now and then isn’t any kind of negative reflection on where you are. Often we are our own harshest critics so less judgement on ourselves is no harm either.