My birthday is July 19 and, yes, I'll be 30. Age has never really been a big thing for me; if people ask me how old I am I'm glad to tell them. As my dad says "it's better than the alternative." True. I mean ... the reality is I'm 29 and I'll be 30 in July.
The thing is, however, that turning 30 is a big deal even if I don't have a "problem" with it. It seems that with those two numbers in that order comes the absolute fact that I'm not a kid anymore or even a "young adult." Seriously, these surveys cut you off at being young after 29. Sheesh! If you would have asked me 10 years ago where I thought I'd be when I was 30, the life I'm living now looks absolutely nothing like that picture would. Not. at. all. And with that comes a little bit of grief I think. There might always be some grieving for the life you thought you'd have, but the important thing is not to grieve eternally, but to realize what is awesome about the life you do have. And I have a lot of things about which to feel awesome.
|Jennifer Garner made it look so easy.|
But what if we did listen?
I happened to catch a blog post tonight on Facebook that cemented my idea about doing a series of posts on Turning 30. It's called "10 Life Lessons to Excel in your 30s." Pretty straightforward and has my name allllll over it. The author asked previously on his blog for his readers 37 and older to email him with the advice they'd give their 30-year-old selves. He says he received over 600 responses, but was floored with how consistent the themes of the advice were. So similar, in fact, that he was able to take those 600 responses and turn them into 10 pieces of advice. Pretty amazing and sounds like something that's probably worth taking another look at. (I know, I know, don't end a sentence with a preposition, but this one baffled me. "... sounds like something at which it's probably worth taking another look" just sounds pompous and lame.)
They are all really good pieces of advice, but my favorite is perhaps number 6:
6. Don't be afraid of taking risks. You can still change.
Multiple readers related making major career changes in their 30s and being better off for doing so. One left a lucrative job as a military engineer to become a teacher. Twenty years later, he called it one of the best decisions of his life.
“While by age 30 most feel they should have their career dialed in, it is never too late to reset. The individuals that I have seen with the biggest regrets during this decade are those that stay in something that they know is not right. It is such an easy decade to have the days turn to weeks to years, only to wake up at 40 with a mid-life crisis for not taking action on a problem they were aware of 10 years prior but failed to act.”
I've said this on my blog before, and I actually said it to someone again today -- I'm scared of a lot of things and definitely anxious about change. But the only thing that scares me more is the thought that I'll wake up when I'm 40 and wish I had done something I hadn't.
Even if you're not turning 30, I think that is still good advice for everyone -- you can still change.
This post is the first in a series on Turning 30. To read some previous posts that also go along with this topic, visit here, here and here. Look for upcoming posts in the series.