Are your thirties too early for a mid-life crisis and too late to start again?

I went to the great mecca of ideas, Pinterest, to gather some information and resources for making this blog bigger and better and in the search box I typed: “blogs for women”. The results came back, consistently, with the finished phrase “blogs for women in their twenties.”

Briefly taken aback, I cleared my throat and adjusted my search: “blogs for women in their thirties”. Ha! I got em now, right? Nope. You know what came up? Fashion from the 1930’s. I kid you not. It made me feel old and obsolete. Here I was staring at dated, albeit classic, images of women who would surely be nonagenarians by now. Was this my new category?

Under the first search the only pin that mentioned an age range that wasn’t twenties said “blogs for older women.”

Is that me? An older woman? At 32?

Of course not. I am not a bopping teenager or a colorful twenty-something but I am by no means old.

So I had to understand why this made me feel like I was. And I understood immediately. My problem wasn’t my actual age but what I feel is the lack of accomplishment by this age on my end. I read books by women younger than I am. I am a god-mother to a child whose mother is a decade younger than I am. Hell, I even have former students that are now married and making twice what I make now. And here I am: unpublished, single (by tax standards) and childless. Moreover, I am taking steps to completely change my career path making me a beginner when I have put near a decade’s worth of work into my current career. It is scary.

It makes me feel as if I have wasted time. As if starting again, right now, is foolhardy and laughable.

But, I want to let both myself and you become comfortable with the truth that any single moment is a good time to start again. At any age. Just ask J.K. Rowling, Alan Rickman, Samuel L. Jackson or Viola Davis. At a very basic level, our cells are always changing and each moment we are not bio-chemically the same as we were the moment before. This is psychological, as well. Every bit of exposure and experience we encounter fosters change. And with each change, big and small, we are reprogrammed and updated, like software. So who you were at twenty-one isn’t exactly who you are at thirty-six. That’s a beautiful thing. It is also quite useful. When you make these life altering moves, you are backed with all of those experiences. You’re also more sure of who you are and what you want. And even better? You’re likely hungrier for the success than you were when you were eighteen. Take that hunger and let it push you.

Recently, on one of those random images and videos that Instagram puts on my explore page I came across the quote, “One Day, or Day One?” And I thought: Well damn. That’s good. I have always been a “one day” person. I slacked on writing, saying “this summer I will write more.” and when I didn’t produce as much as I had planned I would wallow in self-doubt and tell myself, it’s ok, Marquita. Next summer you’ll write more. But I don’t want any more summers to pass. There is no more “one day”, no more “I will just let these things happen in their own time” nor even a “God has a plan”. If we want to be really real, God helps those who help themselves. The Universe is trying to send you what you need and want, and you have to be willing to go out and grab it. Work for it, work for it, work for it.

Don’t fret because people you watched grow up are hitting milestones you wanted to achieve yourself. Mind you, we are all living our own tales. And no time is ever wasted, is it? Every single step you’ve taken, every decision you’ve made has made you who you are. Life isn’t a race and it isn’t a competition. This is your story and it can be amazing, if you let it.

So, if you are like me, always planning, always Pinteresting, always making lists. Stop procrastinating. Get off the page and make it happen. Small steps are fine. But make today day one of your “one day” plan. However many days you’ve had up until now, don’t see them as practice. See them as training. Take your time and do this the right way.

Besides, in the wise words of Jay-Z, 30’s the new 20. You’re on fire still.

-em.

 

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