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On Turning 30…and Remembering my 20s.

This year my Birthday came and went with little fanfare.  And that was OK.  I mean I didn’t wake up with any more grey hairs, aches and pains or wrinkles that weren’t there the day before so that’s a plus in my books!!!

Because my Birthday lands over the Christmas Holidays, I’ve always struggled to get together with friends close to the actual date.  Christmas Eve is typically filled with family and frantic last minute gift wrapping.

And this year was no different.  Despite, ya know, the whole turning 30 aspect of it.

The week or so before my Birthday I was kinda stressing about the whole post-fire/lack of apartment/living with my parents/milestone birthday thing.  But by the time it rolled around, I decided to just embrace it.

My 20s are officially over and now that I think of it.   THANK GOD.

No joke.  Your 20s aren’t all that awesome when you really think about it.  I mean yeah, there’s partying and staying up late without feeling like death the next day but does that really matter?

Here’s a few reasons why your 20s can be a challenge:

COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY AND THE WORK FORCE

You start out your 20s probably in College or University.  Which is not only expensive and will lead to the next decade being filled with debt, but stressful.  All those exams and essays and crazy 8am lectures.

By the time you graduate you’re ready to start BEING AN ADULT but generally nobody wants to hire you because you’re young and inexperienced.  And if they DO hire you, the pay is probably shit which doesn’t help you deal with the whole debt thing which is hilarious when you consider you go into debt to get a job but can’t get a job to pay your debt because you have no experience and nobody is willing to GIVE you the experience.  It’s a vicious cycle.  And it sucks.

Speaking of getting a job.  When you’re in your early 20s, fresh out of school, going on job interviews sucks.  You haven’t grown into your work skills yet and more often than not, you’re going on interviews for jobs you’re probably not qualified for.  And guess what, the person interviewing you?  They know you’re not qualified.  But if you’re lucky they’ll take a chance on a kid with no job experience who has a surplus of education and enthusiasm.  If not?  Congratulations, you’re sticking with your job at the mall for a while.

PARENTS, FRIENDS and LOVERS

When you’re in your 20s your relationships tend to change.  Your relationship with your parents can be tricky at this stage in your life because you’re no longer a kid.  But unless you’re living on your own and financially self-sufficient, you’re still being treated like a kid.  It sucks.

Relationships with friends also starts to change at this point in your life.  Some of your friends may already be getting married and God forbid, having children.  If that’s not you, you’ll possibly lose contact with some of these people as their lives take them in drastically different directions.   It’s normal.  It can be sad but at this stage in your life, you’re maybe outgrown school yard friends.

Speaking of outgrowing school yard friends, if you’ve had the same boyfriend or girlfriend since High School or even the early years of College, this is typically the time when you either split up, or get engaged.  More often than not, it’s split up.  Like with your childhood friends, you’ve probably outgrown each other and are starting to look for different things.

YOU

All of this is happening because you are ultimately becoming a different person.  Your self-esteem is growing, you know what you want and don’t want.  Or you have no idea what the hell you want and your self-esteem is in progress because you’re on your own for the first time, getting chewed up and spit out by the adult world and are riddled with debt.  Welcome to being an adult!

Your 20s is a time to experiment.  It’s a time to meet new people, try new jobs, live in new places and not worry so much about long term commitments.  It’s the time to travel.  It’s the time to learn and it’s the time to make mistakes.  It’s also the time to eat that cupcake if you want to because trust me, by the time you hit 30 you’re going to think and over think every single calorie because gone are the days where you can skip lunch a few days in a row and drop the 5 pounds you put on over Christmas.

So while I mourn the ending of an important decade in my life, I’m excited to begin a new one.  One where I’m more sure of myself then ever before.  One where I KNOW things will be better because I refuse to accept anything less.

Cheers,

Ash

Some of the cool and not-so-cool things I did in my 20s:

Graduated from University
Graduated from College
Got “Engaged” and pretty quickly got “Un-engaged”.
Survived 3 major relationships that lasted 5 years, 2 years and 1.5 years respectively.
Moved out on my own.
Got my first “real” adult office job.
Traveled to: England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, New York, Las Vegas, New Orleans and a few places in between.
Got 4 tattoo’s.
Pierced my Tongue and a few other things.
Adopted my Furbaby Jasper.
Went to a bunch of Concerts: Pearl Jam, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith, Three Day’s Grace, The Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones….to name a few.
Broke my wrist, a few toes, a few ribs and a finger.
Met new people.
Started a Blog!
Taught myself how to Knit.
Suffered from Depression and self-medicated for a while.
Went into Therapy.
Fired my Therapist.
Speaking of Fire….my Apartment building practically burned down.
I moved back IN with my Parents.
I payed off about 90% of my Student Debt!!
I realized that no matter how bad you think things are, not only can they get worse, but there is nothing you can’t survive if you set your mind to it.

So here’s to turning 30 and may the next decade be filled with buckets of Awesome.

9 thoughts on “On Turning 30…and Remembering my 20s.

  1. Yep. There’s so much more I could add to this list like the idea of impermanence – and most things in life are. even the things you think aren’t – especially those things – but you don’t figure that out until later in life. That and the whole idea of you better start to learn to like yourself – a lot – because of my aforementioned point. If you don’t, you’re life is going to be extremely difficult in your 20s or otherwise.

    The debt is huge. Good work, Ash :)

    1. Good point. So much is in flux at that stage in your life that it’s really hard to pin down what is long term and what isn’t. Not to mention the fact that things that have previously been in your life may all of a sudden NOT be. Not to mention the belief that everything at that stage seems like the end of the world. Usually, it’s not.

  2. Happy birthday! You really summed up the changes nicely. I think the 30s are your best decade. Although I loved a lot of the freedom of my 20s, that new-found feeling of liberty, my confidence and self-awareness have increased significantly in the last decade.

    You went through a lot in your 20s, Ash! I hope 30 and beyond brings you more joy and excitement.

    1. I’m hoping my 30s are the best. I’ve always felt you have more freedom in your 30s because you’re more financially stable and honestly, away from your parents. Add on the confidence and general sense that you actually know who you are and it’s a great thing.

      Thank you!!!!

  3. You are amazing. I’m nearly a year into my 30s and it’s been going pretty well. It’s kind of nice to have left a little bit of that super youthful self doubt behind. I mean, I’m still kind of a mess, but a more collected mess. So. Progress, right? Happy (belated) Birthday, doll.

    1. No you’re amazing. You rock. It is nice to still feel young but leave the self doubt behind. That and now when I do things I can be all, eff you, I’m 30 you can’t tell me what to do ;)

      All progress is good! xoxox

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