As a child, I have always looked up to the young women who were in their twenties. They wore heels and mascara, had jobs, and went shopping. I could not wait for my time to come. I never knew why as little girls we liked to play with tea cups and baby dolls, and walked in our mothers’ heels. Now I do.
And as I came into womanhood, this carefree understanding of what it was like to be a woman continued to change. I saw the same women who were in their late twenties whine about the ephemeral race against time and against wrinkles. They stopped celebrating birthdays, believing in love, and lost their passion and appetite for life. They talked less about fun and more about marriage, and spent fortunes on age miracle night creams that fight wrinkles before they hit their perfectly glowing young skins.
My new understanding of that chapter was summed up in the following. If you are twenty five then you are not quite young anymore. If you are thirty then you are old. If you are anywhere near twenty eight then you should be very, very scared.
This new understanding made me realize that at some point during our journey in the path of womanhood, we get into a mindset that tells us to worry too much about the future. When I think of life, I see a train that is going at full speed. The train is packed with passengers all heading towards the same destination. No one knows where the train is going or when the next stop will be, who will get off, and who will stay on board.
When we are born we take the train at the very beginning of the trail. We get off at the first station, school. Those thirteen long years that seem like an hour in a hindsight. The next stops are less apart from each other; college, career, relationships, friends, lovers, husbands and wives, kids. Some stops will be good ones, and others will not be as good. People will come and go. You will face disappointments. There will be lessons learnt, bridges burnt, and tears shed. Some people stick with you all along, and some you leave behind. You may cross paths later, or you may not. But everyone eventually reaches their destination. The journey is inevitable. Some journeys take us places we haven’t thought of, yet to find that these places are where we needed to be. They complement the master plan.
This is how we go about in life. We go looking for the things we think we desire. The things we think will make us happy; the big house, the shiny car, the high end job. And yet on the way we find ourselves in other places, places we never thought we would be. And we find other things that interest us on the way, things that are important for the soul, things that make us stop and realize that this is what we really wanted. And most journeys end up taking us back where we originally started, yet as a more complete and appreciating version of ourselves.
Growing up is not easy. The days go by fast. We hold on to the things that were. We wonder what is to come. We all want things to stay the same. We’re hanging on the past – what we looked like, what we owned, the way we lived – because we’re afraid of change. We’re afraid that the future will not bring us as much happiness as we expect, and we forget that more often than not that we change, and so do our expectations of life.
The truth is, this is your life, right now. Life doesn’t wait for you to figure out what you want. Life goes on. You decide if you want to get on board. If you are not quite sure about what you want, you will figure it out on the way. Explore. Life is a journey of self discovery. Your path will change as many times as you need to become who you were meant to be. You will get on trains, and get off others. You will stop at stations, you will miss some, and regret others. Remember, it is the curve ball that makes life interesting. It shows us what we’re made of. If you think life is going too fast on you, stealing the time you’ve got, then go twice the speed of life. Live, make memories, and rejoice in every second.
Care more about feeling good than looking good. Don’t waste your energy thinking about how the lines will show if you laugh your face off, just laugh and enjoy it. I spent twenty eight years worrying about how I looked in pictures when I was laughing my face off. As a result I have hundreds of pictures where I look constipated and the fake smile still did not look good.
Grow mentally and spiritually into a much bigger and more mature version of yourself. You only think you want to go back to the days you were twenty one but the truth is you don’t. You also want the full, blossoming, brilliant successful woman you are today. Life doesn’t give you everything. If you go dwelling over the past, you will let the past steal your present. You are a beautiful outstanding positive woman who enjoys life and enjoys herself. There is nothing sexier to a man than this. Not even a 23 year old bimbo who puts him on a rollercoaster. A quality man wants a quality woman, period. Learn how to cherish the memories you have made, instead of crying over them. There is a way to feel good about anything in life, and it’s you who decides.
Thirty is a great place to be. The years give you this awareness of yourself and the world around you; what you like, what you don’t like, who you are and what you want from life, an understanding and appreciation of yourself and the universe embracing you. So feel good! Celebrate the years, the triumphs, the mistakes, the lessons learned, the bridges burned, and the regrets.
So here’s to good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day. Here’s to life, and the wondrous adventurous journey awaiting us. Here’s to our victories, our regrets, and our mistakes. No matter how old you are, here’s to the years that we have seized, the years that we have wasted, and the ones to come where we will still be alive.