Why I Am Looking Forward To Turning 30
One day I was watching Living Single, a show that I grew up watching that resonates more with me now that I am an adult. On this particular episode, Kyle was upset about turning 30. Throughout the episode he studied his figure to ensure he wasn’t growing love handles, complained about not being where he wanted to be in his career and even stormed out of his birthday party when he fell and hurt his back, embarrassed that it was a sign of old age. As I watched, I noticed that I couldn’t relate to his dread. I’m in the last year of my twenties and I am actually looking forward to the big 3-0.
Throughout my twenties I have heard many older women say they wish they could be my age again. Now that I am exiting out I don’t quite understand why. The era of being in your twenties is glorified as if it is the stage in your life when you live your best years professionally and romantically. In my reality, my twenties have been an emotional rollercoaster filled with disappointments, financial woes, rejection and depression. Yes, I established my career as a psychotherapist and journalist and I achieved a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees by 25, but after that life continued to knock me down and I have had to learn to get up.
During this past decade, I went through my first real heartbreak, lost my father due to mistreatment by the NYPD, lost my best friend of 10 years to cancer and stayed by my mother’s side throughout her near death experience. To be honest, there was a time were I didn’t want to make it out of my twenties because the emotional pain was crippling. My 20’s has hit me with many left and right hooks and I couldn’t dodge any of them because I couldn’t see them coming.
My twenties have been dominated by me being safe. I have had different dreams that I have been scared to pursue because there is no conventional way to achieve them. Many of my decisions have been driven by fear but have left me with a level of security. I’ve paid the price of being unhappy to maintain stability and I am tired of it.
My twenties has been brutal but the experiences I survived have made me resilient. The pain I endured has not only given me a tough skin but I have become more self-assured. I’m not looking for validation from others (especially a man) anymore, I embrace using the word no and solo dates are a must. I am at a point where I like me and if you don’t like me I am fine with that. A stance I couldn’t take almost a decade ago.
As I approach 30, I am ready to take risks when it comes to my career as well. I went to college, got the jobs and did everything by the book. I have been living by a script and now I have the courage to throw it away and I have my twenties to thank for that.