Today is my 30th birthday, and I have officially said goodbye to my twenties. Looking back, it is safe to say it was quite the decade, wrought with universities, curveballs, and ultimately rediscovery and acceptance. Isn’t it hilarious how we can hold an image in our heads growing up of how turning 30 is going to look. But let’s face it, reality rarely aligns. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’m grateful there were detours and readjustments in my twenties because without them, I’d never have arrived at where I am today.
Last year I talked about age and turning 29 years old, but rather go on another spiel on why age is just a number, I’m going to take a walk down memory lane and share some of the ups and downs, and the lessons they taught me in my last year of being 29 years old.
1. Travel Soulfully
I have always loved to travel. It was always a big part of what we did as a family growing up, whether it was driving down to Baja California or taking a road trip all around the U.S. And so without me knowing, I began to see destinations as checkboxes in some big imaginary checklist that I just needed to constantly be checking off. I was no longer fully immersing myself in the actual moment of being in these amazing, exotic locations. Instead, I had one hand on my suitcase more than prepared for the next trip even before the current one had just begun. Now there is nothing wrong with traveling wide and extensive. In fact, I encourage anyone who hasn’t traveled outside of the country to do so. It’s life changing. But travel with a fully immersive approach.
Last year I took a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii and was just blown away with the realization that I didn’t know how to fully enjoy myself on vacation. So many times, I was forced to stand still and absorb the amazing sights, sounds, and smells on my trip. And I was just awed by the sheer joy of finally taking it one moment at a time.
2. Ever Evolving Relationships
Relationships take a lot of work and commitment. And I mean so with any kind of relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic. In one year, I have lost friendships, made new ones, and strengthened old ones. Now life has a funny way of giving you a valuable lesson when you least expect or want it. It took a complete disintegration of an eight year friendship with a close friend to give me one hell of a reality check. And that reality check was this: Don’t take anything for granted.
It doesn’t matter the years you share with someone. If both parties stop trying to nourish the friendship than it will wither. It took a hard fall to realize how to look for the right friendships and to be a good friend myself. To surround myself with people who push came to shove would be there by my side. And also, to be there for them too.
3. Career Milestones
Towards the last three months of last year, I was deep in design work for an annual design competition I was competing in. Part of me was absolutely thrilled to start this amazing new project, but on the other hand, I was nervous to be on a solo project of this scale. And boy did it claim many sleepless nights. If that wasn’t enough, I also developed bronchitis just before I was due to flight out to Sydney for the final presentation and the competition.
But all the hard work and sacrifice paid off because I won the design competition. It’s incredible what we can achieve when we don’t stop trying to hustle for what we want, even when giving up looks easy.
4. Self-actualization Full Circle
Even as I look forward to another year of experiencing and discovering new things about myself and the world around me, I know it’s important to look back our journey. I spent a good portion of my younger years trying to mold myself into some vision thrust upon me by another person. However, with a very good dose of self love throughout the years, I’m no longer governed by anything but to be the best version of who I want to be, to be good to people, and to help leave the world better than before.
I want to say thank you for taking a moment of your day to read this. Here’s to many more years of living our best life.