Welcome back to my ongoing series where I give advice to my former self. This week I’m speaking to the 30-something version of me. Life at 30… the years where I was raising 3 young boys, volunteering everywhere I could AND running a small business with my husband. Suffice to say, this time flew by.
Oh, dear. You are putting SO much energy into trying to prove your worth! You are so convinced that you need to outshine, outperform, outwork, outrun everyone else. Why? To prove you deserve a seat at the table but you’re missing two critical pieces of the puzzle.
Not all the tables you’re trying to get a seat at deserve your time or attention. Just because people who “seem” important are sitting at those tables, just because it “seems” society identifies these circles of people as important because of whatever arbitrary token of significance they’ve deemed relevant in this moment, doesn’t mean YOU need to agree. Or comply. Or participate. “No” is a complete sentence and often the right one.
Second and most importantly… You mistakenly think you need to convince all these people of your worth when the only person needing convincing, my darling, is YOU. In your life at 30 you think that because you don’t have the letters behind your name boasting the multiple degrees you’ve attained that you are somehow less worthy. Or that because you have spent more time learning how to raise your children than following any academic pursuit that your intelligence is inferior.
I’m sorry to say, until you accept the intrinsic gifts you have been given and how they can benefit your community, your home, your relationships, and your self you will be fighting a battle you cannot win. Those demons will mock you, belittle you, tease you and hurt you. Mostly because they are wholly of your own creation. Only you have the ability to silence them and it’s not by doing anything for anyone else other than yourself.
Take another look at your busy-ness
This busy-ness you immerse yourself in is a poorly veiled attempt to avoid being with yourself. Looking at yourself. Listening to yourself. And most important, loving your self for who you are. You so passionately espouse the ideals of self-care, self-appreciation to all those around you but ignore the importance for you. Try to direct some of that boundless empathy, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance that you so warmly and generously give everyone else, back inward. You’ll come to understand the need and the positive impact it has on your life in years to come. For now trust me on this one, the earlier you adopt this mindset for yourself, the better off you and everyone around you will be.
And one last thing… life at 30 is WILD. Try to embrace the chaos that is your life right now. It’s not going anywhere any time soon (and with three sons, two dogs and a husband, who would expect it to?). So if you can welcome it for what it is, divine, frenzied humour, you’ll do just fine.
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If you liked hearing about life at 30 and missed other “Wish I’d have known” posts, you can read them here: