I had to laugh when at When Pens Collide, I said to Yetti of Yetti Says that I was looking forward to my thirties and she replied, “Why do people keep saying that?” It was hilarious. Like who is really looking forward to their thirties right? Well, maybe I am a freak of nature but I am. Don’t get me wrong, being young and bright and all that good stuff has been amazing! I’ve learned a lot, been through some ish and have come out a pretty awesome woman if I do say so myself. But like every good book, there is just as much of a great story left to be told in the next chapter of this life.
I guess we live in a culture that really worships youth and being young. But there is definitely something to be said for the wisdom that you gain the longer you’ve been living on this Earth. Just like most of you, I thought I knew it all at 21 only to realize I knew nothing at all. All I knew at that time was that I wanted to be in the music industry and I was going to do whatever I needed to get there. And so I worked two years after graduation at a restaurant so that I could spend weekdays in the studio. I worked with amazing producers and eventually found a full-time job in the industry. I thought to myself, this is the best. I can get paid to be around all these music people and develop relationships and get my songwriting career popping.
Well, people change and things change. Since then I spent time realizing music wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I ended up losing my grandmother somewhere in that time. My long term relationship ended. A newfound relationship with Christ was formed. My father suffered health trouble and a lot more of life in between. These things really help you sort it all out. It helps you to identify the BS from what’s real. It helps you know what you really want out of life and what really makes you happy. And it took me until 29 to really understand all that.
The thing is, we think that somehow we are supposed to have it all together in our twenties when our frontal lobes haven’t even fully developed yet. Shout out to Tayyib Smith for actually telling me that at a lunch meeting one time. LOL. I probably didn’t get it all the way then, but I get it NOW! My mindset is completely different now. I crave genuine experiences, I don’t have time to be fake with anyone and I am more determined now than ever not to waste any more time. Let me yell this, “STOP THINKING YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER IN YOUR TWENTIES.” We won’t all be Mark Zuckerberg creating multi-million dollar businesses before we finish school and it’s OKAY!
Click to Tweet/// We think we're supposed to have it all together in our twenties when our frontal lobes haven't fully developed.
Most often the only reason we are dreading our thirties is because we’re in the rat race of what everyone else is doing and it’s stupid. There is no expiration date on our dreams. We are all walking out the path that was laid before us and most often doing the best that we can to make it into something. Just because your friends are getting married and having children and you’re looking at your poodle like “what is life?” doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you. Great, that’s their life. But there is something spectacular about yours. I have to say that I am pretty thrilled currently that I don’t need a baby sitter to make a move. Doesn’t mean I won’t ever be there, but I am enjoying this time before it all changes for me.
I spent so much time wishing I was 21. Then wishing I was 25 so I could rent a car cheap, then wishing for something else and something else and FINALLY I am just freaking enjoying being me. Me. Ashley Coleman who is 29 and living in Philadelphia. Engaged to the love of her life and working desperately to propel herself into a purpose-filled and profitable life. I am 5’2, I’ll never be a model, but I am beautiful. I’m smart and intelligent and I know that I have what it takes to live the life I want. I am a writer. I love words. I geek out about paper textures, laugh really hard at slap stick comedy, and I read books like they’re feature films. Why has it taken me so DAMN long to like me?
And so in this moment, it’s not that I am rushing thirty or wishing for it, but it is the INEVITABLE and so I am just letting it happen. There’s nothing I can do about it. I refuse to drive myself nuts because someone, somewhere thinks that maybe I should be in some type of different place by this age. And I hope that you find that freedom too. I always tell people, my best friend died at 17 years old. 17. She had her whole life ahead of her. You think that if she had the chance to see 30 that she wouldn’t have opted for it? How dare I be afraid? How dare I turn my nose up at 30? I would give anything for her to be here. To see me. To see the woman that I’m becoming. So I’m thankful. I am SOOOOO thankful for every single day that the Lord allows me to see. How dare we take that for granted!
The twenties were the warm-up. Good times were had. Lessons were learned. But I feel like thirty is where it’s about to get REALLY, really good.
Tell me, have you ever feared getting older? Are you tripping over 25? Or 30? What are you afraid of? Let’s talk about it in the comments.