Today is my birthday. The big 3-0. And while I greatly appreciate everyone’s well wishes, this has been, in fact, a day that has carried tremendous negative weight over me for quite some time.
It’s not that I’m afraid of 30, or that I feel old, in fact feel quite young. 30 is just a time in life where you stop and reflect where you are.
If you had asked me when I was 17 what my life would look like at 30, I probably would have said, I’d be living in my dream house, in a really happy and loving marriage, maybe with a kid or two, climbing the corporate ladder and making a ton of money in the process. You know, successful.
So where am I actually?
I’m living at home in the suburbs. I left the corporate world and haven’t made a dime in over 6 months. No girlfriend, not sure which city I belong in, changing friendships, and a seemingly never-ending tango with my emotional pain and overwhelming mood swings. Not exactly Facebook worthy.
This is why I have been dreading turning 30. Because I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be.
But a few days ago, while talking to my brother and sister-in-law, I suddenly remembered an intention I had set when I turned 29.
A little background: for the past several years, each year in my life has seemingly been defined by a single word.
26 was the year of Mindfulness, when I learned how to meditate to cope with a life altering summer. 27 was definitely the year of Money, where I completely turned around my financial situation, got my CFP designation, and started the blog. 28 was the year of Health after vastly expanding my knowledge about nutrition and transforming my lifestyle for the better.
And just before turning 29, I had a strong feeling that year would be the year of Courage.
So what has happened since my last birthday?
I left my job and near six figure salary despite strong resistance from concerned friends and family members. I completed a very turbulent 10-day silent meditation retreat. I moved to Aspen with 3 bags to my name and unexpectedly stayed for only 10 weeks. I couch surfed and then moved back in with my dad (which was my worst case scenario), but it has given me a secure place to land.
I am 9 months through an extremely confronting, challenging, immersive, and transformational life coach training program. I am learning how to coach people to greatly improve their lives and realizing I am damn good at it. I started my business, Big Believer Coaching and made a baller website for it. I have practiced living on very little without a reliable income.
My emotions have completely kicked my ass but I am learning how to relate to them differently and simultaneously heal my past. I have read several books that have positively altered my belief systems. I tried psychedelics for the first time. I watched both my dad and one of my oldest friends get married to spectacular women.
I said “that was the most powerful experience of my life” on four separate occasions.
I am becoming more authentic and vulnerable in my interactions with people which will lead to better and more meaningful relationships. I finally embraced seeing a therapist.
Yes, I’d say 29 was definitely the year of courage.
And looking back on my 29th year, there are three important lessons that stand out to me.
Taking action to improve your life, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, results in growth, not regret.
I never expected this year to be as turbulent and difficult as it has been. Things have gone pretty much the opposite of how I had hoped. But I do not have one ounce of regret in me. I am so proud for getting out of my comfort zone in search of a more authentic life and I feel that I am a better version of me than I was a year ago.
The journey is what makes life meaningful, not the destination.
Looking back on everything I did this year has completely changed the narrative in my head from hopelessness to empowerment. Take the time to reflect on and celebrate your own progress. There is gold to be found.
Just because we are not where we expected to be in life, doesn’t mean that it’s a failure. To me, it means we are making room for something even bigger to materialize.
I am setting myself up for a life that is much greater than my 17 year old self could have possibly imagined. Thanks kid, I’ll take it from here.
So no, I’m not anywhere near where I thought I would be at this point. But as I reflect back on my journey, I am so glad I’m not.
And as I turn 30, my intuition tells me that this year will be the year of Love, in whatever form that takes.
Okay 30, I’m ready for you now.
2 thoughts on “Today Is My 30th Birthday”
Really wonderful, honest and exceedingly transparent post. Not sure I know too many 30 year olds’ who would be strong enough to share these thoughts. Nice job Dustin.