It was like life for them automatically made sense and they knew what their purpose in life was.
Before I turned 30, I was here, there, and everywhere. I was literally nonstop. I was traveling constantly and my possessions only amounted to what I could carry in a suitcase. Nothing more. I was thoroughly enjoying my life. So when I heard all of these stories about being able to figure out your life and discovering yourself the moment you turned 30, I waited in excitement. I waited in anticipation to turn 30 because I believed that would be my defining moment. In my twenties, I was chasing the next best exciting opportunity without an end goal so I thought that when I turned 30, I would have my life all figured out.
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When I turned 30, I thought I did. I moved out on my own, started to live the normal 8-4 Monday to Friday life and started to think about the possibility of a long-term career at my current place of work. I was looking to plant roots as I thought this was supposed to be my end goal; to work for a company that paid well so that I can have a beautifully decorated place, in a great neighbourhood.
In the process of all of this normalcy, I felt empty. I felt distant from my friends, I was losing my drive for the unknown, and losing my love for spontaneity...I felt like I was losing myself. I was losing what made me happy, losing what made me get up each day ready to conquer the world, losing what I yearned for the most and that was adventure. I was scared to take risks because I had bills to pay and could not dare to “throw away money”. I kept reasoning with myself saying, “Cimoan, you are not in your twenties anymore. You cannot afford to take risks.” I was miserable.
Each day I got up for work, counted down the hours until it was time to go home, counting down the days until the weekend, and counted down the days until the next holiday. All just to mope and sit in my empty house and wish I had something exciting to do. Do not get me wrong, when I first moved out officially on my own it was an exciting time for me. It was a decision that I made without thinking too much about. It was a risk that I was ready to take. It was time for me to have my own space to breathe and think. I was independent, living on my own, and it inspired me to be more accepting of my thoughts and myself. I had my first article published, collaborated and supported an Eczema community, and worked on figuring out how to make writing a part of my daily life.
However, after a while, it just became too normal; too predictable. I was in a funk for about three months. I found myself always reminiscing on my twenties and all the fun I had. I missed constantly pushing myself out to meet new people and experience new and exciting things. The funk scared me. I did not want to just exist - that is just to work to pay bills. I wanted to live! Live as I did when I was in my twenties. I wanted to write my own pages, design how I wanted to live my life. I wanted to be reckless again. Reckless with only chasing things that served my soul. Not just accepting things that people thought, or what I accepted for a moment, I should be doing “at my age”.
So what did I change?
My mindset is what I started with first. Although I would say that I was grateful that I had a job, made enough money to cover my necessities, and live a decent life with the money I had left over, I was not showing my gratitude. Once I truly learned how to show my gratitude by complaining less about my job and looking at the positives of having a job, I shed the weights of disappointment and selfishness.
Second, I started doing more and thinking less. In my twenties, I just did. No thinking was really involved. If I got excited about the opportunity at first thought, I went for it. No questions asked. As I turned thirty, I strangely developed the need to think, think, and think some more. Because of all of this thinking, I tended to talk myself out of doing things which resulted in me being stagnant for a while. I was not able to think past or over anything as I was too scared to think past the first “hurdle”. I learned how to get out of my own way and out of my head. In doing so, I made a list of projects and travel plans that I wanted to realize prior to the end of the year and started working on accomplishing them.
Finally, I started following my passion again. It is funny how everything always, I really mean always, works out. Writing has been my best friend, my true guide. Writing has helped me shed my insecurities up to this point and denying that it did not hold a priority in my life was hurting me more than it was helping me. When I moved out, I was so focused on making sure all my bills were paid and that I put enough in my savings for a “rainy day”. This is not to say that saving is not important because it definitely is. I was just so focused on living for “what ifs” that I forgot to live in the moment. In accepting my passions and making them a part of my every day, I learned how to compromise and prioritize.
Self-care is just as important as making sure bills are paid and getting to work on time. I made sure that my writing was my priority. If something was coming to mind that I had to get out on paper or on a computer screen, I made sure it got out. I walked with paper, had a notepad installed on my phone, and had a fresh word document opened on my computer screen at home and at work for when the calling to write came. I also started looking for and pursuing opportunities to share more of my writing because it has helped me so much that I want to extend the “olive branch” to connect with others and help someone in the process.
As I write this and get this all out of my system, I guess I did have that big “Voila!” moment that they said will come once I turned 30. It took me being in a funk to realize what I truly wanted for myself and to watch out for and eliminate the things that no longer and will never serve my soul. This is all to say that everyone’s “Voila” moment is different. You may not recognize it at first, as it most likely will not come when and how you expect it, but you will have it. It will come.
The most important thing to note is that you have to be honest with yourself. Think about what you really want. You may not know everything about what you want and admitting that is okay. Just start with what you do know. Your soul knows best and it will give you hints all the time. Once you realize and accept what your soul needs, it will be the greatest defining moment of your life.