30, adulthood, age, change of prefix, consequences, drama, exercising, intentional, lazy, problems, rite of passage, solutions, strike a chord, taking responsibility, this is 30, writing, writing regularly
My online reading this week included oodles of articles touching on what it means to be 30, how (and if) one’s life actually goes through transformation when hitting the big three-zero mark (thank you, elle.com for the This is 30 series). I’ve still got half a weekend to dedicate my attention to this topic, but so far the answer is on the ambivalent side: it’s engrained in our collective psychology that turning 30 is indisputably a rite of passage of some sort – just as turning 18 is (in my country, the age when you legally become an adult and! are legally allowed to drink), just as crossing the 20-year old or 40-year old mark is – so ignoring it won’t do you any good. However, approaching this change of prefix with a tragic face on won’t either.
Being 29 myself this year, the topic stroke a chord. It led me to discover wonderfully smart and accomplished women who view adulthood as a matter of attitude, not of age. Their stories made me understand that being fulfilled does not equal having it all figured out or pulled together. It just means being intentional about your life and the choices you make and taking responsibility for the consequences of those choices, however unpleasant they may be. It translates into acknowledging the problems you may be facing, but not giving in to the sense of drama that a lot of us tend to surround them with, and instead focusing on finding solutions. It’s life, it gets messy. Deal with it!
You still don’t know what this being intentional I’m talking about refers to? In short, it means giving up on whining and complaining and instead embracing the art of doing. Yes, I know it’s infinitely easier to just say you have a problem or that an aspect of your life needs to be improved, and expect the solution to magically present itself to you, with no effort whatsoever on your part – if possible, in a kind of prophetic dream. That’s the convenient attitude, because if the solution turns out not to be the right one, you can simply blame destiny, or the universe or anybody else except for yourself for your failures. I hate to tell you this, but that’s not being unlucky, it being lazy, plain and simple.
So this is what I’m trying my very best to do each day (and naturally failing at every so often, but picking myself up and then trying again) – to be intentional in my actions. Although, I’m not quite there yet with things like exercising at least a couple of times a week, or paying attention to what I eat (still not enough veggies and fruits!), or writing on the regular. But writing is a whole subject on its own, we’ll talk about it some other day.