Yesterday I celebrated my 29th birthday. The last birthday of my 20s!
The cliche is that most people (and women in particular) dread turning 30. It somehow means you're no longer young, or cool, or at an age where you can relate to anything relevant anymore. I try not to subscribe to these silly stereotypes, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a twinge of nervousness about getting older.
In my mind, what's most nerve racking is a lingering (but completely irrational) fear that getting older somehow means losing opportunity. Like you're running out of time. "I've always wanted to learn French.. but I'm too old now." "I always wanted to go to Sri Lanka, but it's too late now."
But let's be honest. You're never too old.. it's never too late.. to do anything! Or to at least TRY! You just have to be brave enough.
As Cindi Leive recently wrote, "We all get wherever we are in life through little acts of bravery. And we're all braver than we think." As I reflect on my early 20s, I'm amazed at the risks that I took - in school, in love, in traveling, and in starting over. With each risk came a new lesson - about failure, about patience, about the world, and about myself.
To think that this is just one chapter of an amazing life; I can't wait to see what the next one has to bring. So instead of prematurely crying about inevitable grey hairs, I'm celebrating the lead up to 30 and proving to myself that the best is yet to come -- with my #30by30 list!
Usually a "30 before 30" list has the underlying implication that 30 is somehow the "deadline". As if, once you hit that age, you'll never be able to do anything amazing again so you better do it all now! I'm rejecting that sub-context and reclaiming the list for what it means to me: a fun way to commemorate my wonderful 20s and welcome my 30s with open arms.
Over the course of the next 364 days, I will throw myself into life, doing things I've always wanted to do (and some that I've been dreading), as a reminder of how to live it to the fullest. By my next birthday I will have taken more risks, become a little braver, and (hopefully) learned more along the way. And the best part is that the best part is yet to come! HELLO 30!