Listen. We’re getting older. And with it – with the big 3-0 getting ever closer on the horizon – this sense of uncomfortable deadline-ness is engulfing our days. It feels like the grains of sand through the hourglass, the ones that add up to the days of our lives, are about to get counted up and assessed on a scale of one to shit-you’re-killing-it the moment we hit that milestone birthday. And GODDAMMIT! We want to make sure that we get a grade mamma will be proud of.
Which is bollocks, really, isn’t it?
Because, nobody cares.
We care, but nobody else does.
There is no scorecard for life – let alone turning 30. And that’s what we have to remember. Let’s remember that nobody knows if they made the right choice. There’s no control group to asses whether you should’ve stayed with the girl, or refused the promotion, or gone to grad school after all. Would you be happier if you’d stuck with the start-up instead of leaving for bigger paycheck? Would you be financially better off if you’d married already, doubling your household income and halving your household expenses? Would you be stronger/more qualified/less burdened/freer/more settled/etc. etc. etc. if you shoulda, or woulda, or coulda?
Who. The fuck. Knows.
What matters is this: that what you are doing is the right thing, now, in this moment, by the simple fact that it is what you’re doing.
If you are single, this is your blessing. Your becoming. Your making. And if you’re married? This is your blessing. Your becoming. Your making. Divorced? Widowed? Actively looking? Delete as appropriate. It’s all you.
The building blocks of your life do not have an expiry date. Simon Rich was hired as one of the youngest ever writers on SNL at about 23-years old, and Alexander McCall Smith published his first book at 50. My mother gave birth at 28, and her sister became a mother at 19. I am older than both of them were when they became mothers, and childless. There are 4 CEO’s who are over 80 on Wall Street. Research suggests 33 is the “best” age to be, and retired baby boomers are travelling the world more than ever before. Millennials have the paradox of choice, pensioners have the gift of unscheduled time, your baby has a future as yet totally unwritten and as full as possibility as the rest of us.
Life is not linear. We do not build a life by placing the parts of our selves we work for in a neat row, one after the other. We build our lives with solid foundations that are based on authenticity and truth. About who we really are. What we really want. And as we seek those things, we acquire window frames for parts of our soul, and furniture for the bedroom of our mind, once there’s a roof on it – but who knows when that will be.
Does that make sense? That we’re making a life until the day we die, and it’s simply not our business to decide whether the lawn gets laid or the gate gets built first. It happens when it happens, and sometimes it seemingly doesn’t make sense.
But it will.
If not now, one day. It isn’t the tangible sense we must chase – the pursuit is the answer.
Lean into the things that “make sense” for your soul. Your imagination. Your happiness and wholeness. Your only job – before you’re 30, after you’re 30, until the very end of all of your days, is to create somebody you’re happy to spend those days with.