I’m coming off the high of celebrating my birthday earlier this week. In the interest of full disclosure, I have had mixed feelings about this birthday for a while. I think it’s a combination of turning another year older (although I’m grateful) combined with everything that is going on with my grandmother, and then having the holiday season approaching. Everything feels so different this year, and I am trying to adjust.
The one big thing I’ve noticed lately is how much I’ve changed in my 30s. At the beginning of this decade, I was going through a divorce, pivoting in my career, and moving. Things felt as unsettled on the inside as they were on the outside. I was coming to terms with living on my own (really, for the first time) and navigating a new job and my health (I was going through radioactive iodine scans as a thyroid cancer survivor) by myself. Eventually, I made new friends at work, embraced a daily routine that worked for me, and settled into my new place. Then, times changed again—the pandemic arrived, I went through a few jobs, and friends circled in and out.
One major change for me in this decade has been how I view friendships. In my 20s, I was reluctant to let go of friends. I tried hard to keep certain relationships going well past their expiration date. But by the time I reached my 30s, I realized it was okay to let friendships fade when they had run their course. And by my mid-30s, I’m at a place where I am more comfortable with myself, and also, I don’t have the time and the flexibility in my days that I used to have when I was younger. I value my time, not only from a self-care perspective but also as someone trying to get a business off the ground. It’s not to say that I am careless about my friendships, but as you get older, you realize that long-term friends adapt to where you are in your life.
This past week, I’ve spent some time reflecting on how far I’ve come, both personally and professionally, as I’ve entered this decade. I have grown more confident in myself, and about what I want life to look like moving forward. I’m excited about this next year and continuing to build the life I want to live.