Dirty 30

Someone posted on Instagram recently about turning 30. It got me thinking about my own experiences as a 34 year old (midlife thanks to my kids #momlife).

My 30’s have been the best years of my life. I know studies show that women generally feel more settled and happy in their 30’s. We have gotten through school, we have careers, heathens, houses. My 20’s were full of relationship challenges I had to navigate-which taught me some ugly, hard truths about myself. I did the majority of my drinking in my late 20’s (now I hardly drink at all- don’t judge me). My silly, pre child self that was testing boundaries is someone I am glad to leave in the past decade of my life.

My 30’s have been filled with so much personal growth, largely due to my struggles with mental health. For me, my anxiety and depression have helped me find out who I truly am. I have seen how strong and resilient I can be, and I have tried new things, and let some of those things go, in the name of being happy. Would I get rid of my mental health issues if I could? A year ago, before being diagnosed with depression, I would have said no. It makes me who I am. Having gone through some dark times since, I am not sure how I feel now. I worry that if mental health wasn’t part of my story I would not be the same person I am now. That I would lose that part of me that helps me connect with other people going through the same struggle. Maybe I wouldn’t be as grateful as I am now, with what I have.

Having to face the darkest parts of yourself is the best life lesson money can’t buy. I have finally been able to face the demons that have eluded me for so long, and being able to face them is helping me in so many ways. Hitting rock bottom means the only way to go is up. This year I choose happiness over everything else.

24 year old me knew nothing about the world. I was a sheltered, inexperienced girl who found out the hard way that life tests you, and sometimes you don’t like the grade that you get. Now, at 34, my life feels fulfilled. I know who I am, even if I know I am still a work in progress. I have a family, a house and a career. I have a relationship that has been through the ringer, but because we always chose each other, is rock solid and steady. I have found friendships this year that are becoming something I hold close to my heart.

If this is 34, imagine what the next few years will bring. Have your 30’s been your best years?

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