Inspiration: When You Arise in the Morning…

Marcus Aurelius Quote

Today is my birthday.

And not just any birthday but my 30th birthday!

I’m entering my 30s with a mix of feelings. On one hand, I wished I had accomplished a lot more. You know how you always envisioned that by 30, you would have achieved the career you wanted, owned a house, married and had at least two kids? So did I. At age 12, 14, 16, being 30 seemed so far away and certainly seemed like there would be more than sufficient time in which to achieve everything I wanted to.

That would have been the conventional route. On the other hand, I should have known that conventionality never suited me. The whole own a house and get married thing had never really appealed all that much to me. What I really wanted to do was travel and I certainly have done that. I moved to a whole new country (Australia) and made a life for myself here. Along the way, I also salted money aside to… well, not buy a house as my mother would have loved for me to have done but instead to travel.

I’ve wandered through the British Museum in London, strolled along the Seine in Paris, sipped beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, climbed Mt Kinabalu in Borneo and driven along the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway. I’ve been transported back to a veritable ‘land before time’ at Iguazu Falls in Argentina, traversed the mist-filled ruins of Machu Picchu and climbed the Empire State Building in New York. I’ve gone running along the Hudson River in New York, with the Statue of Liberty visible in the distance, and alongside Tiber River in Rome, past ancient statues and the Castel Sant’ Angelo. I’ve sky dived twice over Jurien Bay in Western Australia and bungeed jumped (and sprained an ankle) in Peru.

And I’ve never regretted any of it. Perhaps I have not progressed as far along my career path as I’ve hoped to, but I believe I’ve travelled at the pace that I was meant to and gathered much wisdom and many lessons along the way. I’m still learning and progressing and making new plans for the future. And I am very much excited about what my 30s hold for me!

Several older acquaintances of mine have told me that they’ve enjoyed their 30s far more than they had their 20s. They spoke of being more confident and at ease with themselves, equipped with a certain maturity and sophistication that comes with age and experience, yet still filled with that youthful élan that keeps life worth living and exciting, still wondering what the next corner holds for them. After all, the 30s are my Sex and the City years!

What my acquaintances have said are already proving to be true. My 20s was a haphazard decade filled with riotous partying, travelling and experiences. It was the decade in which I graduated from university and began a new chapter in my life, applying for jobs and experiencing corporate life. It was also a decade of much soul-searching, of finding out just who I am and what I’m made of, of learning to accept and love myself, flaws and all. Certainly, as I prepare to enter my 30s, I find myself less concerned about what others think of me and more interested in fulfilling my visions and dreams and speaking out for the issues I believe in. I am more self-assured, relaxed and better understanding the meaning of the phrase ‘being comfortable in her own skin.’ Thanks to my 20s, I am far worldlier, wiser, happier and prepared to live and celebrate my 30s.


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