I remember first moving to the city ten years ago and never thinking that I would still be here when I turned 30. Yet, here I am.
This city captivated me and my heart from the get go and it was exciting to celebrate my 30th birthday here.
A couple of friends and I went out for drinks. We pondered about the our world as it stands now, and what the third decade in life has in store for us. The one thing that we came upon again and again was this question of whether we had learned anything in our twenties.
So, do I have nuggets of good advice to impart now that I have entered the third decade of life?
I am not sure.
Although there has been a lot of growth in my twenties, I don’t know that I have it all (or mostly) figured it out yet.
I am completely ok with this.
Still not knowing made me reflect on the things that I have learned while living here. Maybe this is what part of turning older is. Perhaps, reflection can bring on change and more self-awareness.
So, the question changes a bit and remains…
What have I learned prior to entering the third decade of life while living in this city?
For me the journey of the past ten years here (albeit NY and I broke up and got back together a few times during my early twenties), has been one of learning that being insecure about the life decisions that I am making is completely normal. Ultimately, this brought a lot of independence, self love, compassion, and a more stable ground to stand upon.
Overall, my twenties were a mixed bag of things.
On the one hand, there were so many new adventures happening….
- Falling in love for the first time.
- Moving out of my parents’ place.
- Deciding that I wanted to pursue such a challenging career.
- Making new friends. Reconnecting with old ones.
- Finding out that this city had more to offer than I thought it did.
On the other hand, there were many learning experiences to be had that left me thinking…
- Working too much. Working too little. Finding balance.
- Taking myself too serious. Not taking myself seriously enough. Does this matter?
- Learning how to deal with heartbreak. This was particularly hard.
- Learning how to fall in love with myself. Accomplishing this. Then, relearning how to love myself as new things happened in life.
- Learning how to be disappointed with work and grad school. Remaining positive through all of this…even when shit hit the fan.
- Learning to be disappointed at people, all the while still remaining kind, because we are all human.
I guess this mixed bag of things is what you call life. I am so thankful for all of the experiences. I am so thankful for having had to go through them with this city as my backdrop, with wonderful friends, with this blog and its followers.
So, I leave my twenties being more intelligent, focused, self aware, and career-oriented. I leave them being softer because every experience that happened during this past decade made me realize a lot about human nature and that people ultimately want to feel connected. I leave them feeling more compassion for myself and hoping that I will be kinder towards myself despite my type-A personality. I leave them knowing that there are so many adventures to be had and that no matter what challenges comes next, I have a tool box of experiences, friends, advice, that will ultimately lead me to where I need to go. Finally, I leave them being open to whatever comes next in my life and career, without having to know what the next step is all the time.
Let’s hope that my thirties bring along with them a Ph.D….and my return to medical school. If all goes well, I will be a doctor in a few months!!!
Anyway, I hope all of you are enjoying this lovely weekend.
Here, in the city, it has been a bit warmer, but rainy at the same time. This weather just keeps on getting better and better ;). It even snowed on my birthday which was a quick reminder that I have spent of my birthdays in the cold weather…but it was also comforting.