There are 16 weeks left of my 20’s. Is it weird that I know that?
It’s weird. I know. You don’t have to be nice.
I’m not usually this crazy about birthdays, I actually love them. This one though, has bought about a sort of ‘little bit past quarter but not quite mid’ life crisis.
Some highlights of said crisis 👇
How do I dress now? I don’t want to look like I’m trying to hold onto my teen years, but I’m not quite ready for the matching purple track suit that 80 year old me is totally going to rock.
Is it still ok to say totally? What do 30 year olds replace it with?!
Am I going to be the adultier adult that people look to in stressful situations? Because I definitely still feel like I’m 17 and someone is surely going to realise soon that I’m not a real grown up? (I mean until I hang out with 17 year olds. Then I feel about 85. But still. Not a real grown up 85 year old.)
Did I sleep through the day that we wake up suddenly knowing the secret to life-ing successfully?
Should I start drinking tea? (Heh just jokes tea drinkers, I know tea is cool………..)
Should my career be more in order? Should I worry about this more? Is it possible to worry about this more??
Have I achieved enough in life so far?
Told you. It’s bad.
This crisis, and my recent slump has meant that my head is everywhere. I have about 27 half written drafts in about as many new Word documents in open tabs on my laptop. (Sometimes opening a new blank, fresh page helps. The last 27 times, it has not.)
My twenties have been a crazy mix of amazing ups and the lowest of downs. Google says your 30’s could be the best years of your life. (Yea, I googled it. I’M IN CRISIS PEOPLE!)
I want to believe them, but even my skin has started to betray me and I’m not even there yet.
After years of an agreement to be low maintenance it suddenly started breaking out in weird dry flaky patches in some areas, while somehow being outrageously oily in others. Honestly, it was a disaster and I had started to wonder if grey was just my new skin tone. (Don’t even get me started on the forehead pimples.)
Turns out, after some productive (and unproductive because Jenna Marbles) YouTube research, washing your face with whatever soap is in the bathroom and hoping for the best is Not a long term solution.
Who knew? 💁
I went out and read the back of about eleven hundred products before investing in a proper face wash, a day cream and a night cream and I could almost hear my skin sighing in relief.
As repayment for my efforts, my skin has settled and I swear those grumpy lines on my forehead are fading. (They probably weren’t age lines, they were just my skins way of screaming out for help. I DIDN’T KNOW!)
What the heck else don’t I know that I should by now?!
Seriously though, I think the crisis has come down to not really having a clear vision for the future.
When I was younger, I had my whole life mapped out. When the life-ing actually happened, it did so in exactly the opposite way that I had planned.
I’m happier than I have ever been, even with the struggles of the past few months, but it feels like there is still so much left to figure out. Mostly when it comes to my career.
I’ve had some amazing jobs, in some amazing industries, but which do I go back to when it’s time? When is the right time? Can I bear to begin at the bottom again and try something new?
I have promised not to spend the right now stressing about it, but with 30 16 weeks away, my mind can’t help but play the comparison game whenever I look around and see people much younger than me, figuring out their directions and heading off successfully.
I had a difficult relationship with my father, and I saw so much of myself in him that I vowed that children would never be part of the plan. I’m more grateful than I could ever put into words that life threw that plan out the window. Being a mother has been the best thing to ever have happened to me.
But what else am I?
Who am I when I’m not making lunch boxes and giving pep talks about independence or cleaning up poo explosions or working out how to contain a far too adventurous 10 month old?
Is it normal to feel so lost?
I’ve never been very good at the long game. An unfortunate side effect of the generation that I’m part of is that I want everything, now. Understanding that good things take time and that everything works out exactly as it is supposed to, when it’s supposed to is something that is taking some training.
When I woke at 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep this morning, I remembered having felt this kind of lost before.
I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 3 years. Our whole lives were intertwined – I had become so focussed on his dreams and his goals that I had lost track of all of mine. Given the whole, ‘life happening out of order’ thing, I think I let it happen too easily because it was a relief to feel direction. Even if it wasn’t my own.
I remember being so afraid of what was to come. Of having to focus on just me again. I looked back at the ‘plan’ and I was so far away from it and I remember panicking.
And then I remember giving myself permission to let go of the plan and live without one for a while.
I did, and after that, I moved cities, found a perfect new job where I made the most amazing friends, I fell in love, was brave enough to take exciting opportunities when they came up, and (this one was planned) had another baby!
Somewhere along the way, I’ve fallen off the ‘let life happen/everything will work out exactly the way it’s meant to’ wagon.
I like myself a lot more now than I did at 21. When I look back at all the lessons I’ve learnt, all the changes I’ve navigated, all the discoveries I’ve made about myself over the course of my 20’s, I am excited to see whats to come.
Maybe I don’t have a perfectly mapped out plan for the future – what I do have is an amazing family, four beautiful children (some birthed, some inherited), a beautiful home so full of love and laughter, two semi trained puppies that drive me crazy as much as bring me joy and a life full of adventure that I fall in love with a little more each day.
Maybe I don’t have a career figured out yet, but I follow an amazing woman on Instagram who had the office job she always wanted and had worked so hard to get to, everything in her life on track and found herself miserable at 28. She stopped everything, went to hairdressing school and is more successful than even she could have imagined. Her work has a following of hundreds of thousands and she is living her dream every day.
She is undeniable proof that it’s ok to start again, as many times as you need to to find the thing that sets your soul on fire.
Not having a career sorted out by 30 isn’t the end of the world.
I need to get back to not comparing my journey to everyone else’s completely different ones and remember that it’s ok to be on a different track. To give myself permission (again) to let go of the plan and just wait to see what life has in store instead. To take this time that I’m so lucky to have to find the passion I’d like to base my career on. To enjoy the lunch box making, and the morning pep talks while I have the chance to make/have them – it goes by so fast.
Google says that people over 100 years old, in ‘overwhelming’ numbers regard their 30s as being the best decade of their lives.
You CANNOT argue with 100 year olds, especially not overwhelming numbers of them.
30 is going to exactly as great as I allow it to be ❤
(Wait. Can I still buy a convertible even though the crisis is passing??)