On Turning 30

This Friday, I do something that most people generally loathe – I turn 30.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why humanity is usually at unease with this milestone and I think I’ve boiled it down to a few things: the end of one’s wasted youth…the impending doom of real adulthood and responsibility…the brink of middle age, complete with hair loss, belly expansion and gray hair….

But I’m going to say something that generally shocks people – prepare for your jaw to drop – I’m actually excited to turn 30. In fact, I’ve been telling random people I meet that I’m 30 for the past few months now.

My friend Anna thinks that it is because I have an “old soul age” – that my soul is actually like 45, so it becomes more content as I age. Notttttttttttt sure I buy it (sorry Anna), but I like to think it’s probably because my 20s were a really good run. Like, reallllyyyyyy good. If I look back at all I’ve accomplished in the last decade, I’m a little impressed (I promise, I’m really not an egotistical maniac. Really.). I completed a university degree, travelled the world (school in Europe, eastern Canada and quit my job at 26 to travel Southeast Asia), dated around, met my best friend & married him, built the beginning of what I hope will be a successful career, presented at conferences, published in a peer reviewed journal and other publications, moved to a new country and industry, made, kept and continue to build meaningful relationships…

But most importantly of all, I’ve fallen in love with myself, and with life. I’ve gained confidence, I’ve come to terms with my body, with my personality, and what I contribute to the situations I find myself in. I’m actually excited for more – for this journey to continue into my 30s. I’m excited to learn new things, taste new food, meet new people, and discover new places and things…and I’m excited at the prospect of the opportunities and challenges I will face and what I will come up against.

Yeah, I have some gray hairs now, and yeah, I have a few wrinkles under my eyes, but I feel as  vibrant and alive as I did at the ripe old age of 20; the world still feels as exciting and new as it did to me back then.

I really do hope I never lose this outlook. Maybe I have rose-colored glasses, but the world looks so much better with them. I hope I feel just as excited about turning 40 and 50 and 60 – because life is fun like that and things change and you move into different phases…and while I’m leaving some pretty cool stuff behind, I know that some really amazing stuff is waiting for me ahead too.

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