This week I hit what apparently is a milestone birthday. The big 3-0, the end of my twenties, the “old age”. And I don’t care at all.
I’ve never been one to fixate on age or the importance of the year of my birth. I tend not to quantify maturity, intelligence, compassion or ability based on the number of years one has been walking this earth. I’ve met a lot of mature and bright 17 year olds and I’ve met a lot of immature and ignorant 47 year olds. Age to me is simply a number. It seems as though, becoming older is something that is supposed to be feared or dreaded. When I tell people that I’m 29 years old, their first reaction is something along the lines of “oooooooh the big 3-0, are you scared?” Scared of what? Of reaching a milestone in life? Of starting a new chapter? Of walking into the next decade of my life with a new energy and open heart? Not at all! I say bring it on!
I lived my life in fear for a long time, I was fearful of other people, I was afraid of myself and being by myself, and I was scared that I didn’t know how to be alive. Living in that darkness and that fear was tough, it was like a fog that got heavier and heavier the more I tried to find my way out of it. After I eventually found my internal light and was able to live without fear, I tried as hard as I could to live life with an open heart and mind. There’s no need to be afraid of a number, an age, or the idea of getting older. It’s nothing to fear, it’s an opportunity to own your life!
Being on the cusp of 30 is an interesting experience. Like how we tend to reflect on the past year as the clock nears midnight on New Years Eve, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection over the last month as my 20’s become filed into their chapter in my life story. Without a doubt I was able to fill my last year of my 20’s with as much happiness, excitement, passion and hard work as I could. I spent my 29th year visiting the entire world, living in a van with my best friends, swimming with sea turtles, working with incredible companies and carving a career for myself all at the same time. Was it 100% the easiest year of my life, not at all. I ended a relationship that I thought would be one I would be in for the rest of my life, I moved out of my home, I got rid of almost all my belongings and I took the leap and became my own boss. But those risks have made this the most exciting transition in my life. Now, when I wake up on the morning of August 3rd I’m going to wake up knowing that I’ve filled my 20’s with as much as I possibly could have and I have a new “segment” of time to fill with amazing memories.
We are only guaranteed this one life, maybe there’s more after this but nobody knows for certain. Live this life, breathe the air in other places, hug your friends and your family and forgive those who you hold grudges against. Laugh at yourself and accept the little things not as flaws but as those tiny puzzle pieces that fit together to make the wonderful person that is you. Age isn’t a definition of who you are, your outlook on life is. I feel happier, younger, and more excited about my life now than I did when I was 19 and that’s because I’ve had the fortune to be around the right people, learn the right lessons and grow each day.
If I could have one birthday wish I’d ask this, go out and do something for yourself and someone else today. Go for a run, go buy yourself a book or a fancy coffee and then do the same for someone else. Treat a friend to lunch, suprise your mom with a hug, or take your kids to the park. Let this day be a brighter one, not just for those celebrating a birthday 🙂
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday for tomorrow Joel, have a wonderful day…and a wonderful new decade! 🙂
Happy Birthday, Joel! It’s nice to see you have the peace to reflect on turning 30. All the dreams I had for my 30th birthday evaporated when 9-11 happened a week before my birthday. I had a happy 40th, and an even happier 42, but I still mourn the loss of my 30th. Grab onto yours with both hands!
Happy Birthday Joel! Enjoy your special day. I hope the next 30 years are as creative, happy and filled with adventure and LOVE as the first 30! Blessings.
Oh I always forget we have the same birthday, Joel! Happy birthday to you! I love that you’re facing your 30’s with such levelheadedness and grace 🙂 Age is indeed just a number! I’m sure this next decade will be nothing but wonderful new opportunities for you, full of love and light!!
Happy 30th birthday!! I just turned thirty a week ago, and I can empathize! Life experiences are diverse at any age. An individual cannot be categorized by their age! I liked reading your reflection. I don’t know exactly what you have been up to, but I look at your photos from time to time, and they are stunning!! I love the aurora borealis photo in this reflection! Where are you now, then??? I’m happy you are living life fully!! Take care!!!!!
What a brilliant birthday wish and a lovely post. Thank you.
[…] This post was partly inspired by Joel’s 30th birthday blog post. His writing is inspiring and I hope to be like him when I’m […]