What’s this big deal about turning 30?

Oh wow! I never knew turning 30 was such a big deal.

While reading an article online, I came across mention of 33 things to quit doing when one hits the 30s. Finding it quite interesting and funny, I googled it to get the full and original post. And boy, did I find it!

Turning 30 is apparently such a momentous milestone that everyone has something to say about it. I found many versions of the 33 things to quit doing……and many, many more. I found blogs dedicated to the 30-year turning point, numerous articles giving advice about turning 30, dealing with fears of turning 30, the things that one should do before turning 30, personal stories and thoughts on turning 30 and so on and on and on………

I crossed the 30 year mark many moons ago and honestly cannot recall it as an occasion I gave much thought to. It was just another birthday, another year older. Reading some of these blogs and articles where the writers talk of their fears about turning 30, I find myself thinking ‘oh please, get over yourself’.

I get that society creates pressure by laying down all these unwritten rules about when one should be married, have children, be settled in a preferably permanent 9 to 5 job and so on. So, by the time you turn 30 you’re supposed to be all set to step into serious adulthood and to shoulder the mundane responsibilities that come with it. But why be so bothered about what other people think rather than living life at your own pace? There’s not much to life if you’re going to live it on someone else’s terms.

Some wrote about how depressed and terrified they were because they were not where they thought they’d be by 30. Well, I’ve got news for you. Life doesn’t always pan out the way you plan it. In fact, quite rarely does it go the way you think it should. But you know what? That is a GOOD thing.

When I was young, oh so very young, I dreamt of being swept off my feet by my knight in shining armour, have a beautiful fairytale white wedding, possibly in a garden setting, and live happily ever after with at least two children. But this was supposed to happen only after I’ve satisfied some of my travelling lust and was well into my writing career. Oh yes, I had a clear defined route that I wanted my life to take.

Well, it didn’t go as I planned – not even remotely close. I became a single mother at 23, had to get a job, any job, and shelf everything I had in mind for a future date. But did that turn out to be the best thing that happened to me!

Life certainly didn’t go as I had envisioned – it went better. Looking at where I am today and my son who’s now a fine young man and standing up tall to meet his own life’s challenges (I’m so proud of him), I’m so glad that my life took the turn that it did and not as I wanted it too.

Joseph Campbell once said, We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” How true is that!

Anyway, whether you’re turning 20, 30, 40 or whatever, a quote attributed to Norman Vincent Peale is good advice…..“Live your life and forget your age!”