Today I turn 33. That may seem depressing to some but I can assure you that turning 33 is one of the best feelings I’ve had in a while. Besides getting smarter about asking for the things that really matter for my birthday (like my car cleaned because it is a train wreck), I’ve learned that the following reasons are why my 30s will still continue to be infinitely better than my 20s.
I enjoy continual learning. I always thought that when my higher education was done, that I would be so informed and would be able to make good decisions. While that may be a fraction of the truth, the other fraction is that I continue to love learning about all different things like places, history, science, and personal development. I enjoyed going to school my whole life, but I really didn’t invest into what I was learning, rather, I would complete the assignment and retain the information just long enough to collect the grade and move on. Now, I find myself wanting to dig deeper and really be in the know of what I am studying.
I have a much better sense of my career. Being a young mom, my 20s were focused on finishing college, getting off the system and making money to support myself and my daughter, with a whole bunch of mistakes and life lessons mixed in. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I took a chance on the staffing industry and while that came with trials and errors of its own, I do truly feel like I can make sound decisions that are best for my family and for myself. I enjoy the company I am with and the decisions that they allow me to make. It has been the best blessing to be able to help a company thrive while they give so much back to me. And that rolls right into….
I have more money. Spending that time in my 20s, a lot of it was being a mom, going to college, working 3 jobs at minimum wage. I lived at poverty level. Without the state and my family from time to time, I would not have survived. There were days that I would hope the electric company wouldn’t come the next day to shut me off and nights where the stove gave my daughter and I heat. I. Was. Just. Trying. To. Make. It. With a better sense of direction and making decisions that impacted more than just me, I have reached a point in my life where my hard work is starting to pay off. No, I won’t be running out to buy a Bentley anytime soon, but I have way more money at 33, than I certainly had at 23 with a 3 year old baby girl.
I care a whole lot less. I always cared about what my family, friends, and almost anyone thought about the choices I made, what I wore, what I looked like and really let them have a handle on my life. That hardly happens anymore. And when I say hardly, as if it still continues to happen, that is a no. My husband’s opinion matters when it comes to household life decisions but other than that, no one else’s opinion on my life holds a wick to the candle I’m burning. As Rachel Hollis says “if those people are buying the cheap seats in your life, they don’t get to have an opinion on what kind of show you’re putting on.” I just care a whole lot less if people think I am too large or too loud or too sensitive or anything anymore. This is my life and I was given it by God and no one else. He is the only one I answer to. “Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business.”-Rachel Hollis
I do self-care better. My 20s “self-care” included going out at 10pm and drinking until 4am in the morning. “Oh no! Someone made me feel bad about myself, I’m going to go do self-care by drinking all night. Party on!” Um, what?! Self-care at 33 is finding the BEST facial mask, Lush bath bomb, a real good book, and a glass of wine when no one is home to ask to use the bathroom. Self-care is now leaving the dishes in the sink, like the savage I am, and finishing the book that I can’t put down. Self-care is not answering the phone or texts, unless it is an emergency after 8pm. Self-care is doing the things I want to do that promote self-love, unity in my soul, and fulfill happiness. Sis, if you aren’t doing those things now, we better talk about this.
I am a better mom. I made the commitment to myself that I would always be consciously aware of the human I was raising, what her specific needs are, and parent better than I was raised. No, that’s not a dig at my mother. However, it is to raise awareness to those who fall into the trap of parenting like you were raised because that is all you know. Humans are all unique and you cannot raise every child the same or even raise them how you were raised because again, we are humans. Not robots. In my 20s, I can tell you that I was hyper focused on getting us out of a rut that I probably missed a few things. I yelled a little too much and expected my daughter to be perfect. In my 30s and the tween years, I speak a little softer and allow a little more grace. Y’all! Being a tween girl with your body changing and emotions flowing that you don’t know is hard! Can I get an Amen?! We hug a lot more and we have hard conversations. I listen a little more because listening matters. I don’t try and fix things but rather provide the path for what she thinks she should do right and let the conclusions come naturally to her. I let her have a messy room because she can find the things she needs and cleans it when it’s enough for her. I let her be a human and she lets me be a better mom.
I have much better friends. Quality over quantity. As soon as I realized that I would be doing my whole life a disservice by spending my “self-care” at the bar and starting loving on myself, I also realized that those friends I thought existed and really care about me, disappeared. I thank them! I have a tribe, and my tribe knows me and they know me well. They exist all over but they are few and they are mighty. In my 30s, I really found people who care about where I am going and support me, they don’t opinionate or try to fix it. They simply allow me to be who I show up as.
At the end of it all, we are all going to have different experiences as we grow through our ages. I never bought into the whole “these are the best years of your life” when I was in my 20s. Not at all. The best years of my life is when I feel better, loved, confident, and secure with who I am. For me, those years are happening now and each day that passes, I know that I will learn more, do more and be more. I will continue to have “the best years of my life” because I create them.
Here is to 33. But also, here is to ageing with grace and dignity and sarcasm…..because that is getting better too.