“Everything I know I learned after I was thirty”.

Georges Clemenceau

My Last Decade in bullet points (30 before 30):

  • Finding a lifelong partner
  • Visiting a Caribbean island
  • Cooking a 4-course meal
  • Snorkeling
  • Owning a decent camera and learning photography
  • Binge-watching a TV show
  • Landing in Armenia and seeing Mt. Ararat
  • Obtaining a Master’s degree in psychology
  • Catching a fish
  • Watching a sunset over the ocean
  • Meeting people outside of my comfort zone
  • Learning self-respect
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Petting a shark
  • Voting, twice
  • Redecorating my home
  • Doing my own therapy hours
  • Going on a road trip
  • Standing up for myself
  • Learning to meditate
  • Going back to France for over 6 months
  • Planning for the future
  • Making time for friends
  • Finding my own “style”
  • Getting a temporary tattoo
  • Creating new traditions
  • Loving endlessly
  • Watching a thunderstorm from above the clouds
  • Finding my favorite book
  • Forgiving

Ironically, none of these things were planned in advance. I never had a “map” of how things should have been for me, or a list of things to do before 30. Thankfully so, because it wouldn’t have gone as planned anyway and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Today, I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Although I am still working on the person I want to become, overtime, I have reached a new level of compassion, love and understanding that I started continually nurturing. Here are a few things that I’ve learned in my short journey on this earth (yes, before 30!) that I wanted to share with you.

 Life has a mind of its own.

Very little things in life go as planned. The probability of all the factors outside of our control aligning to satisfy our needs and wills is not always as high as we attribute it to be. Keeping that in mind, we are left with dreams, hopes and a determination to move forward with our goals. When obstacles appear, what has always helped me was time. Time to breathe, to rethink ideas through, and find alternative ways. The only thing that we need to develop when life gets in the way is patience. Thankfully, things will get in the way of every plan, every idea and every “perfect” solution. After all, that’s one of the ways to get creative and get out of our comfort zone.

Age is just a number – How do you really feel?

We don’t deeply change physically or mentally overnight. We don’t wake up one day feeling “20” or “50”. Numbers are just a way to measure our developmental growth. For me, birthdays have become a way to celebrate milestones, new experiences acquired throughout the year. It’s also a way to plan new goals, to create new relationships and become a better self. So at the end of my birthday, I always ask myself how I feel and what I want the upcoming year to look. If I’m sad or anxious, I ask myself why and what can I do to change?

Always push yourself towards growth.

Growing older is the perfect example of the glass half-full half-empty. We could focus on the negative, as we age and experience anxiety regarding the cycle of life slowly ending or we could look at it as one of the best way of experiencing growth. Aging also means accumulating experience, knowledge and possibilities. Every day that goes by is full of new potential. As we age, our knowledge can lead us to wiser decisions, deeper self- understanding and a greater sense of connection with others. It’s during the process of aging that we understand how important it is to be connected to family members, friends and community. There is always room to grow, no matter how old we become. As of right now, I won’t be planning much. I will live in the present and enjoy my cake, blow my candles and make a wish, hoping that next year, I’ll be a little bit wiser!

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