Saturday, July 12, 2014

Once You Turn 30, They All Blend Together

I have to laugh at my title for this blog post because it's both funny & oh so true.  When someone asks me my age, I often have to pause and think a minute... 32? 31? No wait, 32.  But in a few days (Monday to be exact) I can say 33!  For some reason I like the sound to this age.  Maybe it's the cohesiveness of the two numbers (easier to remember?), or the possibilities I know this new age will bring me.  Regardless, it is just a number, and I will always remember that.

I've been reflecting a lot on the path I've chosen, mainly because it's about to hit a pretty major intersection in this life of mine.  Here I am (almost) to my mid 30s, single without kids, and just now starting my "career".  Sounds like I'm about a decade late, huh?  But this goes back to my age is just a number thing.  I'm not late, by any means, I'm in fact lucky and humbled to even show up here at all.

Society has put this label on all of us, stating that we should have this, achieve that, be here, by a certain age.  I fell victim to this mentality too many times to count.  But you know what it did? Only made me more depressed because I never seemed to fit that "just right size" of where someone my age should be.  But who set that standard?!  Did I sign something a long time ago stating I'd be there by this time and if not, I fail?!  Goodness, no.

I encountered a few detours, made some wrong turns, took the scenic route -- that's what I did!  Am I done with this journey?  Not even close.  Am I happy with the path I've found myself on?  Absolutely!  I know it's not society's norm, but what is normal anyway?!  If it's making choices that create your own happiness, then I have far exceeded that plan.

So the next time you feel as though you're not on the right path, rethink what the RIGHT PATH FOR YOU is.  If you have the power to change it, then change it.  But don't ever feel less than because you aren't doing what everyone else is doing.  You are you, and they are they.  The past 33 years have been... something I can't even sum up in a sentence or two on this blog.  But they've been SOMETHING and will continue to be many things.


  1. Wow, Ginger, this is really what I needed to hear. I just turned 31, and am in a similar boat. I do have my career, but I am also single without kids. It's scary sometimes. Especially turning 31. That was more difficult than 30. And even though I know it's just a number (and even when I was younger I always said I didn't want to get married young) now that I am 31, with no future husbands in sight, I get a little depressed.

    But I shouldn't be! I honestly do love my life. It's not perfect, but I like where I am. Thanks so much for posting this and a happy early birthday! Also, you look super pretty in your picture. :)

  2. Great post, and the title cracked me up (almost 36 over here) :)

  3. You have no idea how much I needed to read this post today, Ginger. I know I'm 'only' twenty-six but the amount of guilt and pressure I struggle with to keep up with my peers and match their success overwhelming and an everyday occurrence. I have friends who have had children, gotten married, and are already nearing the top of their careers. Meanwhile I'm still living at home and working in a full-time job that is not remotely related to my field of interest. I'm immensely grateful to my parents for allowing me to live at home so that I might save money for the future and in this economy I know I should be grateful for the job I have as well. That said, it's extremely difficult not to feel that I've failed or fallen behind. I would love to have the independence of owning my own home and working in publishing as I've always dreamt but I'm not there yet, and maybe that's okay. I think I need to learn to be a little more forgiving of myself. I've always wanted to be perfect, to hit those 'milestones' and do everything 'right'. But as you said: Who makes these rules? Who determines what we have to accomplish and by what point in time? While it might not be what I envisioned for my life at this point when I was a child, I am happy. I have a family who loves and supports me unconditionally and I'm free of debt and saving money for my future. No-one knows what the future might hold. Maybe I'll land that job in publishing tomorrow. Maybe I'll move out in a year. Who knows? For now, I'm doing what is best for me, and I'm trying my best to change what I can and make plans for my future. Thank you for reminding me that the only person I have to honour and be true to is myself. This is my life. This is my journey. I'm so grateful you've helped me to remember (and embrace) that fact.

    I also wanted to say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! No matter how difficult or time-consuming book blogging might sometimes prove to be, I will always be happy I decided to do it because it allowed me to meet you. You have been endlessly kind, supportive and generous and I'll always be grateful for your friendship. I feel extremely blessed to be able to call you a friend. Happy birthday, Hun. Whatever you choose to do with your life or whatever your future might hold, I know it will be great. You never fail to better the lives of those around you and I know you will touch an innumerable number of new lives as a teacher. :) *Hugs*

  4. "The past 33 years have been... something I can't even sum up in a sentence or two on this blog. But they've been SOMETHING and will continue to be many things." These lines struck a chord with me. It's sometimes hard for me to be okay with where I am in life since there are so many people who are saving lives or doing something incredible but at the end of the day, life is about living for myself, not others. I think America has a go-go-go culture and it's non-stop, and sometimes we have to take a step back and evaluate ourselves and be at peace. Europeans take long vacations and it's rare for Americans to do so but I think Europeans have satisfied lives, too. Their "laid-back" lifestyles may be criticized but what matters at the end of day (for them as well as us) is that they're content. Being on track is nice, but the stories about taking the long route or doing something unexpected are the ones we remember and the ones we enjoy.

    Anyway, I hope you had an amazing and wonderful birthday! I hope you had a great day and I'm so excited for what the future holds for you!

  5. There are just no words for how adequately I feel you've captured a particular feeling in your post. Even though it'll be a while for me until I hit the big 3-0, I can really relate to the feelings you've expressed about your path! I think, in many ways, I too have taken the scenic route. Sometimes, I think about what it would be like if I hadn't, and in the end, I just realize that, in spite of all the bad stuff that might have occurred, there was good stuff too! Thanks for sharing and getting so personal in this post, Ginger. Happiest of birthdays!

  6. A thousand times this! I'm so in awe of you for your attitude towards life and need to take some of your advice with regards to finding the right path... What's the point in wanting to do something and then being too scared to take the first step? I'm nearing the big 3-0, same as you single no kids, so what's stopping me from doing whatever I like? Me, that's who, but hopefully not for very much longer...

    Happy birthday!!!

  7. Love this post - so many people I know (including myself) fall victim to the "by the time I'm I have to have/do/be" etc. and it can be really inspirational when someone breaks that mold! Well done you! And Happy Birthday!

  8. This post really moved me. I'm struggling with this same feeling and am warning you right now I'm going to get a little personal here! ;-)

    I met and fell in love with a guy when I was 20 years old. We had a long distance relationship until I was 23 and then I moved cross country to live with him. We got married a little over a year later when I was 24. I was divorced shortly before I turned 30. I was young and made some bad decisions, one of which was to marry someone who I really didn't know all that well and give up EVERYTHING for him.

    Thankfully, I'm now re-married to the most amazing man who I took the time to get to know and who has not once ever asked me to give up anything for him. So, in that sense, I can look back and be thankful for where life took me because I never would have met my husband if I had been on any other path.

    What I am facing now is being 37 and struggling to have a baby. We've been trying for 2 years now and it's been a sad, frustrating and painful journey. Not one day goes by that I don't get upset, stressed or worried about the fact that I'm getting older and still don't have a baby. I listen to my friends talk about their children's milestones and silly moments. I get the photos and the updates. I feel like I get a new pregnancy announcement at least once a month. It's tough, it's depressing and it's a fight to try and stay positive when something I want so badly is out of reach.

    So, all that is to say that I know exactly what you're going through in feeling like you're running behind the pack. I still haven't figured out a way to shake off the bad feelings that come with that, so if you find a way let me know!

  9. I'm with you girly. I will be 33 in September. Hard to believe. I'm married with no kids and taking a break from my career to figure out what I actually want to do. Kind of an odd point in my life.

  10. This is SO true! I might have done some things the "normal" way, but other things I'm "way behind" on in society's (and my family's) eyes. You just have to take a deep breath, smile, and bear it, all while screaming "EFF YOU" in your head ;) You're rocking it out and I'm so excited for the things happening in your life in the next year!


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