When I turned 28 it occured to me for the first time that 30 was about to happen. The thought of that stressed me out for a minute. Had I done everything I needed to do in my 20s? Was I ready for whatever being in my 30s means? Am I getting old?
My 20s were, taken as a whole, great. Sure, I had some difficult years, but I pushed through a lot of internal struggles, I figured out and became confident in who I am, I realized what my priorities currently are in life, I learned from many failures and successes, I made the best group of friends who support me and hold me accountable, and I built a solid career foundation.
After giving it more thought, I realized that turning 30 would give me a chance to focus in on what’s important to me.
And 30 isn’t old.
I became content with turning 30. Excited, even. And then I decided to take an entire year off to make sure that my 30s begin strong and that I have the time to reflect on where I’ve been, take the lessons I’ve learned from my journey so far, and set myself on a path to make the first few years of my 30s fruitful (I would say all of my 30s but I have a hard time planning more than a few years ahead, if I can even decide what to do tomorrow or next week.)
My 20s were more or less doing the ‘usual’: go to college, figure out a career, figure out how to be an adult and on my own. Thirty is a blank canvas to paint, a new chapter to write, new problems to solve.
Today is my 30th birthday. I’m spending it on the beautiful island of Kefalonia, Greece, on a secluded beach, under the sun, looking out at the blue and green water that you can see right through. Which is exactly where I wanted to be today.
I’ve given myself a giant birthday present in this trip around Europe and this year off in general. I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision. Who knows what the next few years will look like, but I’m excited about what I’ve taken away from the thinking and reflecting that I’ve done during the last six months of not working.