Sunday, February 6, 2011
Life After 30
Photo: A little birthday gift from Anthropologie. The text on the envelope says "What's in the stars for you, Capricorn?"
A little over a month ago I turned 30. I don't usually make much of milestone birthdays, but I must admit I've been feeling a bit out of sorts ever since I hit that big 3-0. When I look at my life and the path that I'm on, it's just not where I thought I'd be at this age. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot that's good in my life and a lot to be thankful for, but I still feel a bit rudderless, constantly waiting for something to knock me back on course. But time is moving quickly, and the years keep ticking by. Time to stop waiting for some external something to swoop in and make everything exactly as it should be. I've got to stop running from the work I know has to be done. I think for me, right now, it boils down to two things:
1. Get my financial house in order. It's really time to stop playing. I'm pretty sure that just about everything in my life would be more enjoyable if I had a better relationship with money. My goal is not a giant house or a lot of extravagant things; quite the opposite actually. I'm just tired of money being an anxiety, a worry, an obstacle to just about everything I want to do. And it's not that I don't have enough of it; I just don't use it wisely. Time to fix that.
2. Enjoy life for what it is right now, not just for what it can be. I think part of the reason this birthday was so hard for me was because when things were at their worst in my late teens and 20s, I looked to the later years for the dream, the fantasy of what my life could be. I basically set myself up to be disappointed when I got here. But honestly, looking back at those dreams, I'm not sure I want that life. I'm a different person now and I like this me. But I don't want to just start projecting into the future, dreaming of what this new me could be in her late 30s, her 40s, etc, without paying any attention to who I am right now. Made that mistake already. And they are only dreams after all, golden nuggets completely devoid of the mundane, the bad times, the disappointments, the stuff of everyday life; how can putting total faith in them not set you up for some sort of letdown?! Not to say that dreams and goals aren't important, but I truly believe that a life spent looking entirely forward, always outward from the present moment, isn't much of a life. You have to find some joy and some purpose in what your life is right now, even if it's not exactly what you want or exactly what you thought it would be.
Whew! That was longer than I expected, but there it is. I know this post is out of the ordinary for this space, but feeling the way I do right now, I think it's important for me to move forward with an intention and this is it.