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.
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.
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.
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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