I turned 35 this year, which means I am 5 years away from 40.
10 years ago this notion scared the hell out of me, but it felt so far away it never bothered me that much. Man, how time flies eh?
I have been so much happier, content and confident since turning 30. As each year has passed, my identity has become clearer while both my mental and physical health have reached an all time high. I am just so happy in my own skin now.
While my teens and 20’s were filled with partying, music, nights out, college, crap jobs, shit boyfriends and experimentation, it was also when I felt the most anxious and lost. My 30’s have been the diluted version. I know my limits now, and I also know my worth.
Here’s why my 30’s have been better than my 20’s:
- I am a mother. This is a pretty obvious one, but it has had such a profound effect on my life as a whole. Motherhood has given me new goals and aspirations, a deeper understanding of love, and has given me strength I never knew I had. There is no way I could have had a baby in my 20’s, I was nowhere near ready.
- I am calmer. I am proud to say that anxiety no longer controls me, I control anxiety. My panic attacks started 11 years ago, and at the time I thought that I would feel that way forever. Fast forward to the present day and they don’t affect me that much at all. I think this is partly due to the fact that my brain has been exposed to more stressful situations, so that nothing much scares me anymore. I still get anxious, that will always be with me, I have just accepted it. The difference now though is that I know how to manage it, and I know what triggers it.
- I am physically fit. I am in better shape now than I have ever been. When I look back at photos from years ago there were times when I was really overweight. I ate and drank too much, and never exercised. I always had cold sores as I was so run down. I never thought it mattered. I love exercising now though, it’s just a part of my daily routine. Nothing compares to the feeling you get after a massive cardio blast! I feel so much healthier, and hardly ever get ill.
- I eat well. Following on from the last point, I have now realised the life changing benefits of a healthy, balanced diet. My 20 year old self would laugh at such a boring statement (whilst shoving a pizza in her face), but I am so passionate about eating good food, especially now I have a child to nurture. I love cooking and trying out new recipes. All my cookbooks get used, none of them gather dust on the shelf. Over the years I have tried (and failed) at so many fad diets, my weight has gone up and down, but now I know what works for me, how to lose weight, and what foods to avoid.
- I have unleashed my creative side. I never knew how happy having a creative outlet could make me. I am a massive reader and have always loved writing, but never had the confidence to do it. It took me ages to get round to starting my blog, but now I have I can’t believe I never started it sooner. There is something so therapeutic about tapping away on the keys, and watching your thoughts pouring out onto a blank page. I have even got some ideas for writing a book.
- I am a better partner. I’ve had my fair share of shit boyfriends, but I wasn’t exactly a perfect girlfriend either. I was selfish, moody and demanding, and could lose my temper over the slightest thing. Whilst I still have all those traits, I keep them on a tight leash and I think before I speak now. I understand that relationships are a two-way street, and you have to work at them, which means accepting all the other person’s little foibles. Saying that, I also won’t be a pushover….
- I am less likely to take any shit. I used to be ever so shy, and hated saying no to anyone, friends and family included. I hardly ever gave my opinion, and just went along with things, even if I didn’t really want to. All that has changed. I say what I think now, and have no problem with voicing my opinion or disagreeing with something. In the last couple of years this has upset a few people and has ruined a friendship, but I have stood up for what I believed in, and defended myself when I was being bullied, so there is no love lost at all.
- I am more ambitious. In the last 6 months I have started my own business, and also started this blog. Part of this is down to my daughter and trying to find something flexible that fits around her, but if you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be running my own business I would have laughed in your face! I just wish I was this driven when I was at school, I would have achieved much better grades (I actually failed my Business Studies GCSE)!
- I don’t need alcohol to have a good time. Again this seems really boring, but the days of downing shots, taking god knows what and puking my guts up in the street are over. I’ve been there, got the t-shirt and had the comedown. It just doesn’t appeal to me anymore, and I’ve realised that I don’t need to get completely wasted to enjoy myself. Saying that, when I do have a few drinks, I seem to handle the hangover better!
- I know what really matters. I have never been materialistic. Yeah I loved buying new clothes/make-up etc, but none of that shit matters. All I care about is my daughter, my partner, my family, my friends and their health & happiness. I live in a crappy rented house and drive an old banger of a car, and I have never been so content in my entire life. I take nothing for granted, and am grateful every single day…bring on the 40’s!!