Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Thoughts On Nearing The End Of My 30s

It's little surprise that my 30's seem to have been the decade of my life that's passed by in a flash.

I became pregnant with my first child at 30, and in the 3 years following that - I gave birth to two more. It's all been something of a blur of pregnancy, newborn months, toddler years and finding my feet as a mother of three.

I'm now 38 years old - in two years time, I'll be turning 40 and just a few years ago, the very thought of that terrified me to my core.

Because just like we're taught to fear being anything but thin - aren't we also taught that getting older is something to feel embarrassed about? Hide your greys! Don't talk about female incontinence! Don't mention the menopause! Etc etc etc.

But now? I'm not in the slightest bit scared of turning 40. Infact, if my 30's have been anything to go by then I'm actually really excited about my 40s.

I remember so clearly how sad I felt about leaving my 20s behind - so convinced was I that it was the death of my youth and therefore the end of my glory days.

30 sounded so a real grown up. And I felt like anything but.

I thought I'd spend my 30s worrying about wrinkles and my changing body, complaining about aches and pains, and feeling lost in motherhood.

Instead it's been the first time in my life that I've felt like I've finally got to know myself.

I've spent a lot of time working on bringing up all of my past traumas and healing through them, and I've focused my attention on unlearning a lot of the damaging messages about my own self-worth as a woman that society has put into me over the years in a myriad of subtle ways.

I've finally started to learn that my appearance is the least interesting thing about me. I spent my 20s so consumed with trying to look my best, trying to please other people with my appearance, trying to always be as thin as I could be, keeping up with fashion trends.

Always so insecure, so sure that others were judging me harshly, so convinced that I just couldn't measure up to other women I knew and wrapped up in the idea that every other female on the planet was some sort of competition - the bar I had to reach, that I somehow always fell short of in my own estimations.

In my 30's - I finally started to focus on the fact that the way I look doesn't mean anything, it doesn't change who I am as a person and - at the end of the day - it just doesn't matter.

 I allowed myself to learn how to be comfortable with the body I'm in rather than constantly trying to make it look the way I wanted it to. I started to wear things I liked and felt comfortable in without worrying about how on trend it was. And I started to feel what it was like to just be comfortable in my own skin, without the need to try to impress anybody else.

The changes weren't just physical either - I came to realise that I'd spent my 20s always feeling unsure of myself, scared to say what I felt incase it offended someone, always trying to fit myself into various boxes to suit other peoples expectations of who I should be. Always trying to tow the line and live the kind of life that society expected me to live.

In my 30's, I guess I've become a bit more rebellious - I decided I wanted to live life on my own terms. I stopped being so keen to tow the line, and stopped allowing people to mould me to be who they wanted me to be.

I made decisions because they suited me and my family, and if that meant we weren't living life the way other people thought we "should" - then fine. So be it. I finally realised that living life according to what other expect of me means I'm only half living - and I'll be damned if I'm going to waste my one life that way.

At 38, I finally feel that I truly know who I am. And -better still - I'm really happy with who I am.

And that's a priceless feeling.

I wouldn't even dream of swapping the confidence and self-assuredness of my 30s for the youth of my 20s - and I can only hope that my 40's will continue to bring more learning, more self confidence and less fucks to give about what anyone else thinks of me and the way I choose to live my life.

And I'm here for it!

I truly believe that there's a magic to getting older...and it's a privilege denied to so many people.

A friend of mine passed away last year, suddenly and unexpectedly. She wasn't even 37 years old. And she's gone...just like that.

She'll never have the honour of worrying about whether or not to cover up her grey hairs, whether she should or shouldn't talk about the menopause or any of those things that society tells us are "embarrassing side effects of ageing".

But right now...we have that privilege.

We are getting older every day - and that's nothing to be ashamed of. That's an incredible gift!

Bring. It. On

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