It’s 11:21PM, September 9th, 2016, and I am about to turn 30. Days, weeks, and a few months back, I have been thinking about this moment. I am very ceremonial when new things come, when new beginnings are at bay. I just want to make it special much like staring at sunsets, taking pictures of the last days before the new phase in my life, and making the most out of the days remaining hours.
This feeling of wanting to be alone to look back at how have my 20s been is probably brought about by the social construct that turning 30 is a crucial point in anyone’s life. Women are often pressed to getting married before turning 30. Most people are expected to have turned out successful by this same age. All these narratives and social expectations built this notion of scare and worry once 30 is nearing.
In my 29 years of trying to figure things out with my career, aspirations, and life, everything has been quite a journey. I kept going back and forth, but I am clearly moving forward. I have progressed since the time I decided to become an adult, to live in my own terms, and to work in order to live. But more than just living this way, I have realized that there has been so much that I have gone through. And turning 30 isn’t that scary because, I guess, like everyone else is, I will live and continue to see life with my own eyes amidst everything. It’s just going to be fine.
Here are a few things I can point out of what I have gone through in my 20s that will, somehow, reinforce me in my 30s:
- Romance – This, I thought, was impossible. But I just came to realize that this did happen to me. For almost 2 years of living that puppy-kind-of-love life, with just living every minute with so much pleasure and ease, I have come to know that I am capable of loving, romantically, that emotions don’t necessarily run dry in me. In fact, I am more overflowing than I thought. What ended was definitely hurting, but today, I still think that there is no reason to regret it happened because I have realized so much of myself, of how I love, of how I understand romance and intimacy, and of how I see people more differently.
- Trying out things – It felt so free to have the available time to try things out. It scared me a little, but looking back, geez, I seriously tried things. Eating different kinds of food, going to different places, locally and abroad, pushing myself to writing online, never settling for a job that has dreaded me for quite a while, discovering myself in a new and different role at work, dealing with different kinds of people, standing up against people on opinion and ideas, discovering my art in the form of photography, studying in graduate school, and now nearing graduation, never giving up on my blog, meeting other people, going on a fun run, working out and getting scared of going to the gym, buying things like a laptop or a new phone without feeling guilty about it, jumping off a cliff, learning to swim in the sea, staying up for 24 hours, doing 3 jobs for a year, meeting people from different countries because of work, and pushing myself more to manly possibilities in life.
- Sorting out friends – I have realized that there will only be a few left in end. I can only count a few with my fingers, but these few people have proven themselves steadfast in friendship.
- I am all the possibilities – I just realized in my 20s that I can actually be who I want to become. Dreams can always come true if one believes them, and if resources are available, and circumstances allow. Once I envision one thing, and I take action on it, it happens.
- I am beautiful beyond the standards – I am not typically attractive to most, but I have more to share. I am more than just what standard impose, but through my experiences, the person that I am is a whole masterpiece driven to inspire people, to make things happen, to lead for the right, to teach for the sake of teaching and helping, to express because I am human, and to show what I can do.
It’s 11:51, and I am almost 30. I thought it would be sad to leave my 20s behind. But I don’t regret any single thing. I am living this life with much more to look forward, to try out, to discover, to realize, to romantically get engaged with, to write, to sing, to dance, to teach, to take photos, to eat, to drink, to learn, to travel, to see so many things in the eyes of other people, in their stories, to continue to aspire to live a secure life, to never so much because there is more life, and life can short, and just to engage in living my life.
I was born on September 10, 1986. I will be 30 in a few minutes. And I am definitely living this!