I've kept this post in my draft box for a while now...I went back and forth about posting it because I don't usually talk about thoughtful stuff...but here it is.
So since the last time I posted here, I turned 30! I've repeated "I am 30" a couple dozen of times to myself" since then, but every time I hear that, I still am slightly shocked. Three decades, what?!!! Then my brain churns and I think: Where did the time go?? What have I accomplished? What have I learned, lost, gained? Has life turned out the way I imagined??? Wait, I can't be the only one asking these questions, right?? Make no mistake..I am not unhappy about turning a year older. Actually, I am quite excited because 30 already seems to be a lot better than being 20. My friend, Sarvy, once told me that turning 30 is awesome - you kind of pay your dues in terms of making mistakes and being insecure in your 20s...in return, you live your 30s the way YOU want it, the way it makes you happy. And because I am not self destructive, I was really really looking forward to that. And I think I am really lucky because I am extremely happy right now and I am able to agree with Sarvy.
On the day of my actual birthday, ICM made me a wonderful breakfast in the morning. Best banana pancakes ever with my favorite earl grey tea courtesy of Ying Ying. As I rode the bus to work that day, fulfilled and well-fed, my head went through all the questions I listed above and more. I thought about the things that were important to me when I was younger, some of the mistakes and some of the good decisions I had made the last ten or so years, the promises I had made to myself when I was a kid, and then I thought about how certain things turned out and why they did or did not. And as I reflected on the bus and crammed my head full of thoughts, I told myself that I would jot it all down - My own thoughts on being 30. Please don't expect it to be tooo insightful, I don't want to disappoint you.
On being 30.
I am happy to report that I know what I want in life and how I want to live my life a lot better than I did when I was a 20 year old. Are there still tons of uncertainty? Yes, definitely...but I more or less know what kind of lifestyle I'd like to lead and what I like and not like to do. And yeah, that took a long time to figure out!
I now get that I can't have everything all the time and at the same time...that sometimes, I have to give up something or WAIT, which is hard for an impatient person like me. I dream and think big still...but I am more realistic now (without being that sad can't-do person). Nothing in life is for free (famous words by my friend Shack), nor does it just fall in your lap- it all requires effort and hard work. Whoever wants it most and works the hardest usually gets it.
All relationships require work, including friendships and family-relationships. Small gestures go a long way and most of the time, it is all it takes to make someone you care about feel special and to let them know that you are thinking about them! I have been extremely lucky so far in my life to have met a lot of wonderful wonderful people. Many have helped me become a better person, made me feel loved, and led by example what true friends are really like. Even though I have been able to keep in touch with a good amount of my close friends, I've also lost many friendships that I wish I could have maintained. The last ten years have taught me that all relationships require honesty, communication, and effort. We all know how little time there is to dedicate to keeping in touch and sometimes we even assume that people know that life is busy but really...if you care, you need to let them know (we are humans and we need to stay connected to feel close), so pick up the phone, send an email, send a letter, send a text...whatever communicates that you care. I swear it only takes a second :).
I am still extremely risk-averse BUT I also know that sometimes I need to encourage (hmm. push, force) myself to take that leap of faith to accomplish bigger things, seek happiness, to not be scared, and to trust that maybe (just maybe) sometimes I can do more than I think I can.
I believe more than before that "no man is an island." Even as much as I enjoy my freedom and independence, I cherish every second with family and friends. I recognize more so than before that they are my support group and the reason why I am able to make tough decisions and never feel too lost/alone...all because I know they are always there for me.
And finally, on love. I still believe in love and you should too. In my 20s, like many others, I'd say I managed my romantic relationships immaturely and illogically. A lot of the very bad decisions I made were influenced by my own insecurity...sometimes it was almost as if I didn't love myself enough. Why else would I stay in a bad relationship, right? While in relationships I made tons of mistakes too, all caused by insecurity, lack of confidence, lack of faith in my partner, too much stubbornness, too little of thinking where the other person was coming from. Then I think back and remember the times when I thought that life was dramatically hopeless because I lost someone that I had put my faith in. It is only through all this and seeing what has happened (or continuing to happen) to others around me that has made me see that if you are a good person, you live your life and continue to grow, you seek happiness and am open to love, it will come. Will it come at the time you want it to come, i.e. now? No, not always, and you know, the relationship gods are just out to get you! But will it come? Yes, I truly truly believe in that. And when it comes, are you always going to do everything right? No, but if you treat yourself right, treat your partner right, understand that we all have bad moments once in a while, have fun, forgive, laugh about it...then it should all come out alright!
Have a wonderful weekend!