So here’s the deal. I have NEVER been one to look at ages and think things should be a certain way by a certain time. At 18 years old I moved to a city I didn’t know, where I didn’t know anyone and found my way. At 22, I started college while working a full time job. I made a move to Chicago at 23 with no job. I managed close to 100 people at 25 before having a degree. I finally graduated a few months before my 28th birthday. I have never done things a traditional way. I have challenged many ideas and even done things ways that I look at now and am like, SERIOUSLY?!
But here I am, less than a month from turning 30 and y’all I can’t feel anything but slightly weird and anxious and honestly, I wake up in the middle of the night most night for a couple hours at a time thinking about things I should have done or would have done differently. Things I want to do and accomplish and mantras I want to live by. How I want to be the best partner, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher, and friend that I can be. How I could be better. How I want to do even more. I play through in my head all the things I stand for now, the things I say and voice, and question if people will be offended, but also telling myself that this is part of me living a healthier, happier life. For me to respect myself. To be kind, but truthful.
And all of a sudden there it is, I realize that I’ve put expectations on myself for that 30 year mark(& I hate expectations of this sort, for the record, but here it is)….
“To have it together.”
That having it together means being calm, cool, on top of everything. Health, career, relationships, self care, home. But as I feel the encroaching 30 coming, which I know isn’t old, I feel anxious. I want to take all that I’ve learned and make these the best years. I want to influence the world for the better(maybe lofty ideas and maybe self righteous, but I certainly want to put good in this world rather than bad). But I look back at all these years and just like so many in this world, I’ve been through some stuff. Because I have so much to be grateful for and because I am fortunate I often say “I shouldn’t complain.” And y’all. I don’t need to complain, but I also respect myself enough to say, you’ve been through the crap and you’ve gotten here. You’ve climbed out. The self doubt or internal dialogue I have over and over when people don’t like what I say (was I too harsh? Too emotional? Too stuck in my own head?) serves no purpose, the anxiety about what might happen serves no purpose(will I be a good mom someday? Will my dog someday run in the street? What if i step off a curb wrong and break my ankle? Horrible i know but these things go through my head!) But what I do know is that I have been through enough, seen enough for myself and I KNOW, that I DO try to do most things with love, learning, and passion. That I try to treat others with respect and I deserve it too. To believe in what I do each day. I deserve to forgive myself for what I have done in the past that I didn’t like. How I treat others. How I pray I make others feel in the future. Most importantly, I pray for how I make myself and my family feel.
So I say this, 30. I’m letting go of this anxiety. I’m letting go of this expectation. Excuse my French, but I’m gonna do this shit my way. The past is the past, the lessons are the lessons, and this is now. 30s….. here we go!