Sitting in the refectory of LSTC eating a glorious omelet from Pedro and enjoying the early fall weather here in Chicago and reflecting on the last 30 years.
As this milestone birthday has rapidly approached the question I kept getting was, “How do you feel about this one?” As if turning 30 was something to dread or feel bad about. I know, that especially for women, turning 30 is a huge benchmark… if you are single and childless the thought “time is running out” crosses many people’s minds… well. I’m 30 now and I call bullshit on that. Honestly I remember having a much harder time turning 20 then I am having turning 30 haha… turning 20 was terrifying! I wasn’t a teenager anymore, felt like I had to become something else, to become and adult somehow. I wasn’t ready. Turning 30 though, that isn’t scary… I’m ready for my 30s.
My 20s were something else… I feel like I lived about 8 lifetimes in that crazy decade. I grew (I shrank haha), I loved, I lost, I broke down, I built up, I messed up, I lucked out… you get it. The past decade of my life felt like a whirlwind of change and expectation, beauty, and pain. It is hard to even start to reflect on my 20s and what I learned, what I did, and who I’ve become. That could take me all of my 30s haha but I don't want to dwell, I just want to take the good and make it better.... This is why I am so excited about turning 30, so that I can take the things I’ve learned and the people I love into this next part of life that has so much potential!
Whenever you stand on the edge of the next step the possibilities are both exhilarating and terrifying. I know that my 30s could bring with them many challenges and possible heartbreak, but I can’t help but feel really optimistic about what this next part of my life will hold. I think it is because I am going into them with knowledge and wisdom that I fought for and with people in my life who have loved me through it all. With all that I have going for me and all that I have to gain, how can I not be excited about this refresh button that we all get every 10 years??
I have thought about goals I’d like to have for my 30s; things I’d like to do and experience. But I have learned the hard way that quantitative goals are all well and good when it comes to life but really horrible if you only meet them halfway or don’t meet them at all. Suddenly this missed mark eclipses what is actually amazing and good in your life! But, because it wasn’t on a “to-do” list, what you do have actually doesn’t matter. I don't want to live like that.
In the last year I have grown to really love the mentality of self-improvement while AT THE SAME TIME self-realization of what you do have and what you are good at. So, when I think about being 30 and what I would like to achieve in this next decade, this is what I’m thinking…
Take better care of myself physically…. On previous birthdays (or just any day, lets be real) I have always associated this with a number on a scale. I will never be completely free of this mentality because I will always associate my personal health with my weight. But, in the last few years I have been able to push my body across the finish line of (almost) 30 long distance races, up some killer mountains, through tough workouts, and challenging situations. So, what would I do differently? What is my goal for this next phase? Well, I want to branch out… try new types of workouts, be intense in other ways besides just distance running. Maybe try out a triathlon… or start doing what my friend Caroline does and has recommended to me and become a race guide. I also need to stop kidding myself about how well I eat. Overall I do pretty good, but if I was doing that great I wouldn’t have weight problems, would I? I mean as we speak I’m eating peanut butter M&Ms (its my birthday though!). I just know that so much of my self worth and confidence is wrapped up in how I feel about my body, and mixing it up athletically and eating cleaner is the way to keep pushing towards that feel good feeling.
Take better care of myself mentally… I do this in many ways already but the change I need to make is to drop the judgments. I feel like I’ve always been a pretty positive person but the second a situation or even a person lets me down I automatically make the judgment that it will remain negative… NOT anymore kids! I truly have seen that every situation has a silver lining, some times you don’t see it until you’re out of the situation, and that’s ok! So I will try to look on the good side of as much as I can (except Donald Trump… there is no silver lining in Donald Trump).
Be more open to relationships… I mean this in a romantic sense. I have some serious walls when it comes to opening up to men I date (sorry… all like… 3 of you haha). So while I need to protect my heart, I probably shouldn’t hoard it anymore haha
Never forget that my friends and family come first.
Be better with money… like seriously Elise… get your shit together.
Overall I just want to be happy… consistently happy. Not naively where I think everyday will be sunshine and roses but just happy. I also want to help in any way I can to make sure the people I love are happy. So with my lessons learned, excited determination, and new gray hairs its time to charge into this new phase!