4.0

The Wild & Tender ways we Change in our 30s.

Okay, so this weird thing has been happening lately where I feel kind of…confident.

It’s the kind of confidence that comes, perhaps, as I greet the cusp of 30.

Maybe in the past, I would have been terrified by this number with its intimidating three-zero, and the thudding sound of my own, unkept promise that I should have started using anti-wrinkle creams two and a half years ago—and yet, I feel at peace.

It is a luxury to get older.

I love it.

I love the ways we learn, the ways we settle into our skin, the sh*t we face, the sh*t we try out and never do again, and all the beautiful ways that we begin to refine our visions of what a fulfilling life means.

It’s simple. It’s delightful and no-frills at the same time.

It’s taking things less personally, letting some annoying things or smart-ass remarks just roll off our shoulders, because sometimes, it’s just not about us, at all.

It’s like knowing that I don’t really care if deep wrinkles emerge around my eyes. I hope they do—as walking, breathing evidence that I have laughed and lived and cried and been so vividly alive.

That’s what I wish for, more than anything. I hope I have good stories to tell my grandkids, that I have wisdom to grace them with, tales of when I messed up and how I rose from the ashes, and how I found balance in it all.

But I no longer wish to be reckless like I once was—to run around aimlessly without a clear path. That felt exhausting, to be honest. And I love being wild, but in a different way now—in a heartfelt and vulnerable way, in a way where I can serve others, be grounded and real.

In a way where I can be in the world—in reality—which as it turns out, is not such a bad place to be. It’s pretty wonderful, actually.

And yes, oh yes, this comes as quite a surprise to my tender heart and often overthinking mind that always thought the world was too harsh, too much to bear.

But I don’t feel that way anymore.

I like all the ways I feel different now—things are more….settled. I’m less afraid. I don’t have so much to prove.

And I’m not ashamed to admit I’d rather spend a night alone writing, drinking peppermint tea, watering my plants, and falling asleep well before the stroke of midnight beneath my flannel sheets—than out drinking and staying up too late because that’s what I think I “should” do.

I’d rather be with my sweet, steady man instead of chasing a flash in the pain, intense as all, getup romance. Nah, I move now instead toward something that’s long-lasting and sustains me.

So, I take all of this seriously—the fact that I am different now, as I stare 30 in the sweet, brilliant face.

A page turns, an entire book closes. Boom—dust ignites in the winter sunlight to form tiny particles of the past. I look at them, admire, and appreciate all the ways they kicked my ass.

But I am silent and still, as the past particles are gently carried away by the fragments of hope and time and the knowing that I am ready.

The journey only ever continues. But I love the feeling of a fresh page. A new, empty book to splash and spill and take great pleasure in, as I write the next story.

The past recedes, the present is here, I greet the future with open arms.

And there is mystery, there is uncertainty—and yet, there is all the certainty I need.

As I sit,

Feel my feet on the floor,

Feel these roots I’ve cultivated,

Feel the container of my body, flesh, and bone.

And close my eyes.

Letting every pore, every cell take in the soft beams of the sunlight.

It’s so soft. It’s powerful.

I am different now—and it’s a bit awkward, too, it’s gonna take some time to get used to.

I am not small anymore. I feel bigger. Fuller.

I am my right size.

I am different now, after the trauma, after the drama, after all the highs and lows, and all the messy upheavals that come with the territory when we are finding ourselves.

I am relating to my power in a brand-new way. And it’s not that I wish to be extra special or have power over others—no thanks, that sounds awful.

But it’s about a healthy, enduring relationship with my power, my voice, and all the opportunities that come when we stand a little taller, sit a little more deeply.

And do things with intention—with the knowing that we matter. That we can make an impact, speak up, rise, transform, love freaking hard, go for our goals, and achieve beautiful things.

I am different now.

I love getting older. It’s so sweet.

It’s all the ways we become more responsible—like paying our bills on time, folding our laundry somewhat neatly, enjoying our work, and not always running away when the sh*t hits the fan.

It’s all the ways we are no longer blind to the things that truly matter—like quality time with our friends, our families, ourselves.

I love the gripping authenticity of getting older. I find it so moving. It’s engraved in all that we know now that we didn’t before—the simplicity, the clarity. The truth:

The knowing that boundaries are a really good thing. The realization that sometimes, limits can actually make things feel juicy and magical. Structure can be freeing. Commitment isn’t a drag. Responsibility is sexy. Our excuses really do suck.

Old beliefs blow up as we exhale the smoke and see in a new way—with softer, more mature eyes.

We get wiser. More patient. More aware.

Calmer.

And within this, there is such an opportunity for enjoyment, for freedom, for brand-new adventure.

For us to really own our sh*t, to not be victims, to be strong and soft and real—more ourselves than ever.

I love getting older.

I think it’s exciting.

I know our culture seems near obsessed with the fresh sparkle of youth—but there is such depth and beauty in aging—in the stories, the wrinkles, the grey hairs, and truths of our elders and ancestors.

It would be amazing to ask them to grace us with their wisdom.

And actually listen.

It would be amazing if we looked up close at all we’ve learned through the years and saw our lessons, scars, wrinkles, and so-called mistakes as gems.

I love getting older.

I love the growing sense that there is not so much to prove.

I love this feeling of confidence that is subtle—and just right.

~

author: Sarah Harvey

Image: Soletron/Flickr

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Naomi Boshari

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Read The Best Articles of March
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.
CLICK TO SEE WHO WON

Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey resides in the mysterious mountains of western North Carolina. Through the journey of healing her own trauma and pain, she has found power in poetic expression, art, and dance. She loves supporting people to step into their power, find their voices, and flourish. She believes in resilience. She believes that sometimes, our darkest days lead to the most unexpected, breathless joy. She currently offers life coaching sessions and is pursuing her Masters in Counseling. She feels most passionate about supporting those healing from trauma with a creative, heartfelt, and gentle approach.  Follow Sarah on Facebook and her website!