Then and now: Turning thirty and being okay with it

If there was one memory that freaked me out growing up it was those that told me our schooldays are the best days of our lives. I mean if there was one thing that would make me anxious at the thought of another birthday it would be the idea that staring everything is downhill 16+. And it is a great motivator to make sure this isn’t true. Undoubtedly for some it is true, but we should all have an aim of ensuring we keep living the best life possible instead of investing energy into fond yet distant memories.

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It is easy to look back on life with rose tinted glasses and feel like everything was great. That the ‘good old days’ were nothing but that, filled with laughter and good times. However I have made a conscious effort to remember the not so great, using it to remind myself that youth doesn’t equal happiness. Effort equals happiness.

I remember the moment in school when we found out that London won the bid for the 2012 Olympic games. And I remember thinking ‘Shit! I am going to be 23!’. And now I look back envious that at one point I was 23. But when I think of reasons why I would be envious, I struggle. I mean if I am fortunate to live to 100, I was further away from it back then. But this isn’t a guarantee. Picturing life as a long road has it’s problems because some leave that road much sooner than others. Why be happy at the beginning of the journey when then end could be around the next turn?

Instead I am trying to find joy in the fact that I am still on it. Age isn’t as important as knowing we are making the most of this current moment. Instead of thinking that our best days are behind us, it is much better to think of how to make our tomorrow better than yesterday.

One reason I came to Australia in my late twenties was that I struggled to find the motivation beforehand. When I was 24 my dad died and it hit me hard. I was numb and travel was the last of my priorities. A couple of years flew by and I finally felt it was time to make the most of life whilst I could. So, I packed my bags and here I am.

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So why would I want to go back to my mid twenties? I was younger, but younger and needing therapy. I feel youth and happiness is often an illusion. Like when we think that old music was better than it is today. It wasn’t. We only remember the classics because the shit stuff wasn’t worth remembering. This is like our memories.

Also, back to freaking out about turning 23 around the London Olympics. It is pretty strange to think I looked ahead with dread, and now look back at that age as a seemingly distant memory. What I thought was only age was not, the same when I am 50 looking back at 30 I am sure. It is all relative, and I need to learn how to embrace the fact that I will never be this young again instead of reminding myself that I am the oldest I have ever been.

This helps me to have a little more urgency to do the things I can whilst I can. It is true that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. Don’t ever regret not doing things sooner, it is better than the regret of not doing it at all.

So this is why I am happy turning 30. I feel good, I am excited about my plans and realise that this is a decade in which I could achieve so much more than I did in my twenties, if I choose to. And I aim to say yes much more than no and see where it takes me.

Keep living!

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Also, thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. It really means a lot and I appreciate every single one of you. As I have said previously your kindness really helps me to keep coming back here!

 


 

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Cheers!

Sam

When you start to feel old

I found this card whilst looking for a birthday card for someone else. I was born in 1989, and I remember how I tried to boast that I was born in the late eighties to my friends that were born 1990+. I tried to convince them that I was an eighties kid and they all told me I was just as much of a nineties one as they were. Now, I try to hide the fact that I was born in the eighties as there are now people in work that were born after 2000. I work with someone that has been in the company for 18 years. There are people that work with us that haven’t been alive as long. This is hard for me to grasp.

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Most of us here on WordPress were born in the 1900’s. That to me already sounds so old, I mean it is the century that the first flight took place. I look at the above picture and feel old. The gadgets are nothing in comparison to the technology of today, who knew when that first chunky phone was put on the market that we would eventually laugh and take pictures of it on our sleek, tiny smartphones with incredible camera quality . The instant shots we take now are much better than the ones professionals had back then, meaning I only have a handful of baby pictures. Then I remember that many of you reading this were my age when the Berlin Wall came down and my old age turns to youth. It is all relative really.

Is anyone alive today really old? I mean we are the youngest group of people to have ever lived, in a way. We are at the very end of history’s timeline, carving out the future. If we are alive today we are in the present moment and the present moment is the youngest we will ever be. When historians look back at this New Elizabethan era, the babies born tomorrow will be in the same category as the proud grandmothers cradling them.

And how young is our youth? In 100 years from now, the kids of the year 2118 will look back at the ‘oldies’ born in 2018. Children today teaching the new generation about how hard life was with limited WiFi and not being able to make phone calls on airplanes. Talking of a time when space travel to the moon and Mars was only in the planning stage and cancer meant much more than just walking to the chemist and getting a cure over the counter. I like to spend my time looking around at what people of the future will consider old, although I can have no realistic idea.

So, when I freak out about how fast time is going, I try to remember that this is the youngest I will ever be. I need to make the most of this fact. If we are alive we are young, the only people in the history of mankind to be able to witness the present moment. Whether you are 16 or 116, it won’t matter in a couple hundred years. The main thing to remember is that we are the youngest civilisation, the one that ancient civilisations could only predict and fantasise about, the one they were too old to experience themselves. Let’s make the most of this youth.