30I’ve entered a new decade.

Does it feel decadent? Time to reflect.

REFLECTIONSomehow as the number 2 grows an extra curve and morphs into a 3, I start to feel bottom heavy, like I’m sagging. Oh no, what else is starting to sag? What is this extra extension growing off my 2? Get off!

Reality sets in. My 2 is elongated. Can I just say I’m in my elongated twenties? Extended twenties? Oh forget it.

I’m in my thirties.

I don’t like the way that sounds and I also don’t know why a word or number should feel so daunting. Perhaps it’s because I, like many I presume, suffer from the ‘By The Time I’m 30’ syndrome. Ailments include the following expectations:

 - success (What does that even mean?)

- a solid career

- marriage to presumably the perfect person

- kids

- owning a home

- unbridled happiness

- peace of mind

- white picket fence

You get where I’m going. For some reason, in my twenties, I assumed that once I hit 30, all of these expectations would have already neatly shown up on my doorstep (to the house or apartment I don’t own). The irony is, some of these possibilities did show up, and I promptly walked away from them. I had somehow created all these ideals that for me, weren’t actually ideal.

Was I suffering from expecting expectations that I, in the end, didn’t even really want? Just striving for social constructs because it’s ‘what you are supposed to do?’

Oh I get it now. It was just my twenties. The decade of figuring yourself out. I was trying to swim upstream with everyone else, only to realize there are all these other side streams to explore. For me, the forks in the river proved to feed my appetite, a meal of my own making. Curiosity tastes good.

Now that I’m in my thirties and have none of those things on that list of mine, I can free myself from all those ambivalent wants that I didn’t seem to really want in my twenties. Phew. Suddenly that 3 doesn’t feel so heavy. Here’s to unburdening myself! Now that’s a birthday gift.

And besides, I am seeing the world, living life, and choosing my own destiny. Sounds pretty fantastic to me! I am elongating my 2 on a remote island in Thailand and cannot think of a better way to send my twenties out to sea.