• mr. ikigai

THIRTY-HOOD



Never have I ever thought that I would be so shy to tell people about my current age, lately, I have been so inconsistent about it. Sometimes I am 30, other times I am 29, then a nerve-wracking 21. Modesty aside, my age doesn’t reflect yet to my face, skin, nor hair. Thank God for the good genes He have given me (lols). And so now, perhaps because I know that I am lacking the courage to accept this new reality, I get easily irritated about things, especially people that remind me about my age. In my heart, I’d like to take pride of being 31 and still looking and feeling young because I am. But, I also couldn’t explain why I feel shy about it while I thought I shouldn’t. Even now, I am still searching for at least an answer and as I look around for possible responses, I’ve seen and gave a serious thought about “thirty-hood”.


Looking into various sources like TED Talks, blogs, books and the bible, I have had different thoughts about being thirty. For one, I know for a fact that I am not the only one experiencing the changes and veracities of “thirty-hood”, my friends, former classmates, and so many other people probably born the same year as I am or those a year or two ahead of me. We may be in the same boat but may have also been rowing the water entirely different from each other. I must admit that I am not exactly prepared for this day to come but who does?! It just feels good that I have good friends to call whenever I am in limbo for being “thirty-ish”. For instance, I found myself getting seriously annoyed by the people surrounding me, especially the nosy people prying on the things I lack in my life while I am already 30 years old. For them, I should have been married by now, I should be living independently away from my parents (in my case from my mother), or at the very least I should be in a romantic relationship (a potential partner). And of course, it goes well with other possible issues in my life that they love digging into. I couldn’t simply dissolve to the bitterness of being seen as unaccomplished and incomplete by the people around you, most specially when I am perfectly fine yet they persist to disturb my peace. I don’t feel obligated to explain why, but I also don’t skip it when there is ever a chance. Yet, truth to be told, it doesn’t matter to most people. It is why I have decided that maybe it is something that many others can relate to, most importantly the breakthroughs I have uncovered in my thirties:


SEIZE EACH DAY, BRAVE THE NEGATIVITIES


I thought that I couldn’t complain enough as much as I have nothing worth complaining to. Not that I belittle my own hurts but I also don’t think it was ever, or is beneficial now. It helps that we discuss our feelings to trusted people in our lives, after all, they are our support group. Yet don’t fall for allowing the negativities to be at the centre of your day-to-day life. One, problems won’t go away that easily; and, two, you don’t want to end up for people to be privy of your personal life. I thought that being in my thirties, already gave me the clearance to take negative things lightly as it should, I couldn’t bear the same for the next ten to twenty years of my life. I also have to be kind to myself.


CRITICAL TIME, CRUCIAL PRIORITIZATION


The community and the people have their expectations, most critically the closest people around you also have their own sets of expectations from you. But you must be keen to understand that your thirties is also a very critical time to listen to the whining of people that are so unrelated to your personal life. Remember that while they may be upfront with saying the things you wouldn’t want to hear, you are never so sure if you’ll see these people when you needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to depend on as need arises. That is why, it is also a very high time that you set your important priorities straight ahead. Or shouldn’t you know where to yet, have at least a perspective of what you wanted to be in the distant future. While it is never too late for anybody to reinvent oneself, it is important that we know that is no longer a time for playing games or fooling around because you think it is "YOLO" (You Only Live Once). While it may be true at certain angle but it is also true for certain that you can’t live life merrily all the time. It is human nature to aspire for things we couldn’t instantly get and in return get frustrated about it. Be wary for these moments, you’ve got to be strong, and by choosing to just go on, you sure can.


At thirty, you can somehow enjoy the ‘trust’ that is given you on jobs, projects, and so much more. You are now seen as someone who has the maturity to handle bigger responsibilities compared to how you used to be. I say grab it!!! Be sure to be able to take a lot from the attention and the so called ’trust’ given you today. For some of us, the older millennials, it is already a good time to get solid investments. Things of which value appreciates through time. Otherwise, time is passing you by without you realising it. Let’s face it, we wouldn’t be as physically strong, as young, as interesting as we were in our twenties. Today is a crucial day not only for a change in perspective but also for acceptance to emancipate to your way forward. Take serious consideration not only of your physical appearance but also of your body and health as a whole. If you wish to avoid getting hospitalisation at an early age be sure to also pay attention on how to become healthy. You owe it to yourself to take good care of your body. You may not be able to avoid getting diseases entirely but at least you know that you’ve done a good part to delay it, so to speak. In general, the better your health is, the quicker it may seem to achieve your goals and aspirations. Although, if you are already at it, take heart, nothing is impossible in this world, nothing is impossible with our creator.


The thought of retirement is also getting really really close, so therefore, preparation is of utmost importance. Looking at the closest elderly people in my life, I sure wouldn’t want to be dependent with anybody for the food, clothes, and day-to-day needs all because I wasn’t able to save anything for myself. One of the most horrifying thought I guess is being taken for granted, most specially by the people we love, because our value to them have also had depreciated. I ain’t talking about ‘ungratefulness’ here. We may have been able to help people from before but they also expect us to first help ourselves. Once again, you owe it to yourself to protect your security as an individual. You are your own protector. It is not getting selfish, God himself said be wise. And so, be sure to be one. The people we love and who may love us in return are all part of our foundation or the thrust to keep ourselves afloat above all the veracities of life.


Decision-making is getting tighter and tighter e.g. changing jobs, changing careers, choosing a lifetime partner (or not), pursuing dreams, changing plans, the list can go on, but the bottom-line is that things are changing or may have already changed. It is a must for us to stretch our flexibility. Slacking off is never an option. While this is our reality today, we all can only do so much, this is where faith shakes our foundation making us all stronger, braver, and fiercer. It’s important to also accept the reality surrounding you; the quicker you move on with things that hinder you, the quicker that you will be able to find new opportunities; it is also important to be able to quickly discern when is the right time to drop things, situations, and sometimes people.


FIND/CREATE AND ADD VALUE TO WHO YOU ARE


I used to think that leaving a legacy behind is not that important. I thought I would only want to be a passing soul in this world leaving no traces. I thought I am unnecessary after all. But that thought was ‘self-centred’. I was only thinking about how simply I could exit from this lifetime like a real thief. I wasn’t thinking that as descendant of Christ, we were commanded to leave a mark. An indelible one not for ourselves but for His. Compared to before, I came to a realisation that we all should be able to find/create and add value to who we are not for ourselves but for the sake of people around us, and those ahead of us. Everyone of us should be able to return to the world a meaningful existence.


Search for causes that has impact on you, it is sure to have also affected others tremendously with some of them realising it for the first time through you. Let yourself to be God’s voice and hands in this deafening world we live in, and reach out to people. We were made as rational mammals for a reason. Invest in you that you and many others will be able to benefit from the things that you know. Yourself is worth an investment. Remember that you are God’s vessel, an instrument for His purposes. Let your divinity overflow.


Most importantly, never be afraid. It is yet God’s command to each and everyone of us, but is also a critical time to just become a folded leaf in the fall. Be brave and always choose to take the high road, be above life’s circumstances. It is in your DNA to fight and be triumphant with life’s great battles. God said, “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:8

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