Almost Thirty: Turning My Back on Insecurities

A mentor of mine once told me that the best thing to happen to her was turning 40; suddenly she couldn't see the point in living any truth other than her own. She finally reached the Eff You Forties and she wasn't about to turn back.

I remember being envious of that feeling. At 25 I was confused and insecure -  I'd been floating; going through the motions of every day. I'd been doing what I was told and not questioning it. At 25, I couldn't wait to turn 40.

Now, only 5 months away from my 30th birthday, the thought of being in my thirties fills me with dread. I'm still as confused and insecure as I was when I was 25 and I'm constantly wondering if I'll have to wait until I hit 40 to feel as free and confident as my mentor.

I woke up a few weeks ago to news of a sudden death in the family. After the initial shock wore off and I snapped back to reality, all I could think about was how delicate and precious life is. That morning I decided that my Eff You Forties would begin about 10 years early. I decided that my feelings matter, my opinions matter, and if I'm only given this life, it needs to be lived my way.

So, I wrote a list of all the places, moments, and people I'm thankful for. I allowed myself to be completely honest when writing this list. I wrote down my goals and dreams for the next five years. I wrote down the baby steps I could take to make these goals a reality. Then I wrote a list of all the things that have been bothering me and things that I don't have time for.

After I wrote the list, I began practicing what I wrote.  I cut out anything (or anyone) who doesn't add value, support or happiness in my life. I deleted Twitter, muted people on Instagram and put time limits on all of my social media apps.

I now consciously practice honesty; say no to anything I don't want to do or any place I don't want to go. I put more energy into things that are important to me and my marriage.  I am selfish but have more room to love the people in my life as hard as they should be loved.

Here are a few things I’ve decided to turn my back on at almost thirty (and I hope you will too):

  • Other People’s Drama - it’s so easy to get sucked into other people’s problems and gossip. While I advocate doing your best to help others, I strongly believe that you can help someone without letting their problems affect your own life, morals and views.

  • Comparisons - Instagram makes it easier than ever to compare your looks, weight, life, success and happiness to others’. Every time I start comparing my life to someone else’s, I take a step back and remind myself that every life is different. My path will never be the same as their’s and that doesn’t mean it’s better or worse - It just is.

  • Having to Justify my Feelings/Choices to Anyone - your choices are your own. You shouldn’t have to justify what you do or what you don’t - ever. Stop trying to please others with your justifications.

**Photo by Steven.Palumbo.Hair**