The rumors are true: tomorrow I will celebrate 30 years on this planet. I shall leave behind the uncertainty, recklessness, and excitement of my 20s and enter into a new era. Over the past year, I’ve been feeling decidedly anxious about the idea of turning 30. I can’t really figure out why, other than it makes me feel “officially” old. No matter what section of your 20s you are in, most people (except little kids, as I’ve learned) will consider you pretty young. It’s that TWO in front of the 2nd number that really solidifies your youth. But now I will be a three, a thirty-year-old, a thirty-something, and it’s had me feeling…strange. I’m in a new age bracket. I have to check a different box when filling out forms. I have to start getting new and different kinds of checkups at the doctor. I have to watch my cholesterol. I have to use under eye cream (actually, I already do. Being preventative helps!). I have to think about a 401k. I have to exercise more. I have to think about THE FUTURE. These are all things grown up women do, not Sarah Doyle’s. Not me, no way.
I think one of the reasons getting older has been difficult for me is because there isn’t anything I can do about it – Time marches on regardless of how you feel. I find that comforting and unsettling at the same time. Rich, poor, black, white, male, female…we all age. It unifies us, in a way.
If I’m being honest, what I’ve struggled with the most the past year is feeling like I haven’t done enough in 30 years. Like, 30 years! That’s a lot! I know, the first 5-10 are really out of your hands, accomplishment-wise, but it still feels like a heavy amount of time. And while I don’t have any regrets about how I’ve lived my life up until this point, I can’t help but feel (sometimes) that I should have done more, or should be doing more. It’s pointless and silly to compare your life to others, but it’s also hard not to. When you’re the same age as (or older than) people with families, babies, houses, cars, vacations, wardrobes, and successful careers, but none of that matches up with your life, it can make you feel behind. Everybody has their own timeline, but we all also live in the same society, and society can force you to feel like you are “supposed” to be at certain place at a certain age. I’ve accepted that its ok and totally normal to feel that way from time to time, but to not let it consume you to the point of feeling sad or regretful. Regret is a terribly pointless emotion.
So in the spirit of celebrating where I am in my life at 30 years old and getting excited about the years to come, I’m doing two lists (I love lists): My 15 moments or accomplishments I’m most proud of, and 15 things I still want to do in life.
I have accomplished a lot and I’m proud of that! (a list in 15 parts)
1. Moving to Chicago
I decided to move to Chicago for a pretty classic reason: I needed a change. I was bouncing around from Jr. College to Jr. College and didn’t really know what I wanted to “do” with my life. I had only been to Chicago twice, but the first time I was there, I felt like it was where I belonged. I felt at home. I really only had one friend there, no job prospects, and moved in the dead of winter. But it ended up being the best adventure I could’ve gone on. I met SO many amazing people, got to attend a great college, and learned a lot about myself. I miss living there a lot, but even if I never move back, I’ll always be proud of myself for taking a chance.