The sun is setting on my 20’s and this Sunday I will enter my 30’s. It’s easy to slip into the mindset of not being far enough along for my age, especially when there’s post after post about “the youngest person to ever [insert achievement here]” or “the top people under [insert decade here]”. I’ve also watched a fair number of YouTube videos about the things I should have in order by the time I’m 30 or what I should do once I reach my 30’s. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve even felt “too late to the game” when I see kids and teens making a regular habit of what I’ve only recently begun to educate myself about.
While being inspired by and gaining knowledge from the journeys of others, I shouldn’t downplay my own. In striving for the levels I’ve yet to reach, I shouldn’t overlook the levels I’ve already cleared in my 20’s:
- I got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees
- I achieved my dreams of moving to Japan and teaching at a university
- I got my first apartment (in a different country!)
- I got to dabble in a little voice acting in a proper recording studio
- I’ve presented at teacher conferences in 3 countries
- I fell back in love with and have a greater sense of purpose for writing
- I’ve invested in my mental as well as physical health
- I’ve been on a podcast episode for my church
- I met the love of my life
- I’ve gained a greater understanding of what is truly fulfilling in life
- I got to briefly speak at a live storytelling event in my hometown held by the Moth
- I’m growing my connection with and understanding of God
Of course there were failures and opportunities unrealized, but actually listing out these opportunities I’ve had does not make me feel as if I’ve missed out at all. What is also amazing is that these are just highlights. There’s so many other things, including the everyday little joys, that I did not mention. I still have more levels to clear, but I’ve already set a precedent for myself: what comes so naturally to me now, what is a daily occurrence for me now, what no longer intimidates or paralyzes me now, was inconceivable when I entered my 20’s. Yes, those people are amazing, but so am I. So are you.
Here’s to level 30 and the next precedent to come.