Thursday, January 26, 2012

Big 3-Oh Thoughts (or What I Learned From My 20s)

What I like about turning 30 is that I'm starting to let go of the neurotic urge to be liked by everyone. More and more, I am finding my voice and I speak my mind with more conviction. I have grown comfortable in my own skin and I know what fits, what looks good, what makes me glow.

I remember being angsty as a kid, not in an angry, screw-you-world kind of way but in an existential crisis kind of way - always searching, always asking : Who am I? Where am I going? I seemed to be in a constant state of identity crisis from the time I was 14 until all the way through my early to mid-20s.

I owe a lot to my 20's. I think it is my experiences as a twenty-something that have shaped most of who I am today. I played that decade with a bit of recklessness and lowered inhibitions especially when it came to men I was attracted to. (The 'a bit' part may be subject to debate, but I digress.) Three jobs in eight years have led me to places and people and have cosmically steered me to certain directions, both professional and personal. I developed wanderlust as I took quite a number of trips in and out of the country and saw for myself how truly awesome the world is. It was in my 20's when I learned to like my looks and get over certain physical insecurities. I stretched my body, mind and soul as I explored surfing, scuba diving, running, mountain biking, yoga - which eventually led me to consciously pursue physical fitness. I said goodbye to cigarettes forever a few months shy of my 30th birthday.

In my 20's I learned that life is a cycle of introspection and action. I learned that there is a time to love, to lose, to gain, to give away, to grieve, to surrender, to accept, to speak up, to be silent, to move, to be still.

It's not only the experiences which have molded me, but the people who make up my circle of support and unconditional love - namely, my family and my core group of fantastic female friends. This journey is a joy because of them.

Needless to say, one of the greatest gifts of my 20's is meeting G.A. It's funny how you're fine and fabulous one day, and then one person comes along and suddenly, you can't imagine life without him. He is my partner, my riding buddy and coach, my confidante, my comic relief, my breathing space, and my best friend.

Turning 30 does feel like a milestone. It's not the age, per se, that makes it so, but the celebration of a decade that has crystallized my identity as an adult. Not to say that I have it all figured out. The wisdom I've gained from my 20's is that I don't need to know all the answers. But from here I can see the dots of my life connecting and that it is still unfolding. It's going to be beautiful. It already is.

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