The other day, when I was getting blood work done (routine, not something to worry about), the lady taking my blood asked me to confirm my birth date; standard procedure. When I did, she half-enthusiastically said, “Oh? Birthday coming up.”
She was probably just making conversation, but I still replied all frantic, “Yes, ahhhh, I’m almost thiiirrrttty!!”
She just gave me the stare-down like, ‘Child? Please.’
I wasn’t actually worried about turning thirty; it just sounded crazy coming out of my mouth. Thirty seems super old when you’re, like, sixteen. Then, suddenly one day you’re turning thirty for real and you’re all, “But I don’t feel thirty?!” (What does thirty feel like?) The truth is though, I’m actually very much looking forward to my thirties.
Those twenties can be a rough ten years! At least mine were at times. There’s a lot of soul searching and trying to find yourself in your twenties, especially fresh off those teen years. It turns out, I’ve discovered a lot about who I am over this past decade, and why I act the way I do. I don’t necessarily like all of it either, but I’m working on it.
I am truly thankful for the lessons my twenties have taught me.
Here’s a few of them:
- I’ve realized that I can be so stubborn to the point that it’s cost me some valuable friendships. (Good work, Taurus.)
- I’ve learned the hard way not to burn bridges. (Not literally. It’s not like I’m an arsonist.)
- I’ve noticed that I’m not always great at saying sorry. (Wow, I am just coming off as someone super easy to get along with, aren’t I?)
- Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that I’m a strong person who can get through more than I sometimes think I’m capable of.
I lost my Dad when I was 21. You know, right at the age where you finally started to become friends with your parents? Yeah, that’s when my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died less than five months later. So, while it wasn’t super sudden, it still felt like it was happening too quickly and it was devastating to watch him deteriorate then slip away right before my eyes.
In a major way, my entire twenties has been a combination of living to make him proud, but also feeling like he’s missed everything in my adult life. I’m guessing I’ll probably always feel that way.
I do have a lot to be proud of over these last ten years.
When I turned 20, I moved out for the first time by moving provinces. A year later, I moved again; starting my radio career by taking a job in a city where I didn’t know a single soul. I moved cities / provinces again two more times after that for my career. Suddenly having to pick up your life and start over somewhere else is never easy, let alone four times in six-and-a-half years. (Yep, I definitely cut a few leases short. Sorry, old landlords. See, I can say sorry!)
In each of those moves though, I had to step outside of my comfort zone to make friends and in doing so, I’ve made some lifelong friendships. Yes, I am proud of that. It’s not always easy making friends as an adult, and I don’t think I’ve ever been someone who has easily made friends. I realize that it sounds strange for someone who was an ‘on-air personality’ to admit this, but I struggle a bit with social anxiety at times. Not to mention, I have one of those ‘resting bitch faces’ and those never help.
I have a lot to be grateful for too.
So many new and amazing people entered my family in my twenties, starting when I opened my heart and met my husband. Nic took a risk with me at the beginning of our relationship and moved provinces with me during one of those four ‘fun’ moves I mentioned. Because of him, I gained a whole new wonderful family with my in-laws. I also became an auntie for the first time. (Now I have five precious nieces and nephews.) Plus, my mom remarried, so on top of everything, I even have bonus family members.
Then, sweetest of all, I got to grow life inside of me and took on the most rewarding yet challenging role of my life so far, motherhood. It’s also what I consider to be my greatest opportunity; one that I will never waste.
I started to build my life, my career, important friendships, and my family all in my twenties so it will always be a special time to me.
Now, as I approach 30 and I’ve officially been off maternity leave for five months, I feel so complete personally, but at the same, so lost professionally. It’s been weird and a bit scary knowing I don’t have a job waiting for me anymore since I decided not to return to work; which is why I felt the desire to put my thoughts into words with this blog. What a better time to take on a new direction than when I’m entering a new decade? At least, this is what I’m telling myself!
So, lady who poked me with a needle to take my blood and rolled her eyes at my, “ahh mah gahd, I’m almost thirty!” moment, I too roll my eyes. (At myself.) To her, I’m only 30, still considered young in life. But to me, I get to be 30. I have no choice but to leave my twenties behind, just as they were; all the highs, lows, and in-betweens. I do have the choice to take what I learned from them and hopefully become a better person for it.
I honestly wouldn’t want to be 20 again for anything anyway. Never! I truly believe when I’m 40, I’ll say the same thing about being 30, and so on, and so on. At least, that’s what Oprah says happens. So here we go, thirty!
One more thing, seriously, can my adult acne f*** off already? I’m thirty, not thirteen! Get lost, zits.
xo – Bri
[photo credits: stocksnap.io, Witzia Schafer]