It is often said that your twenties are for making mistakes and having fun, your thirties are for figuring out who you are or who you want to strive to be. By the time you hit your forties, you are supposed to not only have a newfound love for yourself but also no longer give a damn what other people think. Despite being only 3 years into my thirties, I think the last year, for sure, has brought some clarity for me.
I used to be afraid of posting a Facebook status because I was scared/worried/nervous about what others would think. Now, I spill my thoughts, worries, and feelings onto the screen regularly, and don’t give it much of a second thought. I used to be so worried what other people would think of me, convinced my outfit, hairstyle/makeup and most importantly, weight/body type was being judged by others, as walked into a room. While I am not yet able to say I am in love with the way I look, I definitely do not care as much. Now, you’re lucky if I even wear makeup daily and, more often than not, you’re likely to find me answering the front door in my pajamas at 5pm.
It is like a whole new paradigm. Becoming a mother has made me stronger, braver and more confident than I could have ever imagined. Yet, it has also made me vulnerable, insecure and more sensitive too. I’ve become a better, new and improved version of myself. I am still the old sarcastic, anxiety-ridden, chocolate-loving, shy, idealist I have always been but now I am much more than just that. My son has taught me so many things in the three and a half short years he has been in my life, among them: patience, gratitude, strength, true love and what happiness really means. I have become a better person, a person I actually like, and am proud to be. Yes, age has some to do with that, but I attribute the majority of that growth to becoming a mother.
In my 20’s I was insecure, yes, but for the wrong reasons. I second-guessed my abilities, my importance and even my self-worth. I was oversensitive and under-confident. I was scared of failure, and of disappointing others, almost obsessed with the idea that life had to play out a certain way. I was terrified of offending or upsetting people, even if they deserved to be upset and offended. I rarely stood up for myself or my views, afraid I would get hurt if I spoke my mind, and yet more often than not, remaining silent would result in just that.
So far, my 30’s has also taught me not to settle for mediocrity – friends, job, relationships, and just in life, generally. I have had to witness the pain of friends losing their parents far too young, and despite being extremely grateful for the life I have, it is true what they say, life is short. Life is so short that it is not fair to yourself, or those you love, to not live the best one you can. I was lying in bed the other night, fighting anxiety induced insomnia and it hit me: Don’t we deserve to be as happy and satisfied as possible until the very end?
I never really thought about that when I was younger. Maybe this sudden realization has come to me due to the birth of my son, or perhaps it is just true that with age comes wisdom; I do not know. What I do know is that I am not going to spend the somewhat abundant (yet surprisingly, too short) years I do have left on this planet being miserable any longer than I have to. When I was younger, as most do, there were times I felt invincible but now, in my 30’s, and more importantly, as a mother, I feel unstoppable.
Of course, bad things may happen, people may pass away, tragedies may occur; I cannot avoid nor prevent the bad/sad/inconvenient things life may throw at us entirely, nor should I try. But I can make the choice to be happy nonetheless. I can make the choice to show my son (and myself) that just because crappy things doesn’t mean you have a crappy life. A bad day does not equal a bad life, and putting out positivity and kindness and generally not caring what others think of you, really does make life that much better. Life really is what you make it, and I want to make mine worth living until the very end. ❤