So today I turn 30 years old.
No offence to anybody over thirty. I’m well aware that this doesn’t mean my life is over, but as Bo Burnham expresses in the excellent song above, it’s a lot to take in. For some reason, probably to do with the rotation of the earth and the adoption of the metric system, thirty feels like a big deal. I thought by this point I would at least have some things figured out and my life would feel somewhat “together” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Towards the start of my twenties, I created a bucket list of things I wanted to achieve by the time I turned 30. I’m not going to share it in full here, because frankly, that’s embarrassing, to say the least. But it is interesting to see how much in my life has shifted in the years since I made that list. Out of the 27 things I had listed (I think I was going for “30 things I want to do by the time I’m 30”, clearly I did as well at finishing the list as I did at keeping to it! 😂) I’ve managed to tick off a grand total of three. Which is pretty disappointing, but I’ll take it! The first was drinking a Guinness in Ireland, which I achieved in Belfast (I know it’s not technically the same Ireland but give me it this once please!) The second was getting a bullseye in darts, which I am damn proud of. And finally, I moved out of my parent’s house.
One could argue that I’ve failed. I set myself some goals for where I saw my life and did a pretty shoddy job at achieving them. However, as I read through my failures, I’m reminded of a lot to celebrate. I didn’t move to California, visit the seven wonders of the world or set foot in every continent. But I have visited some incredible places, seen cultures I haven’t dreamed of and have managed to visit five out of the seven continents, with plans to tick off South America in the next couple of years (the final one, Antarctica is still a dream, but visiting there is no easy feat so I’m allowing myself a bit more time on that one). I may not have visited all of the places I wanted to back then, but I have learnt the importance of visiting different cultures and learning from them.
Life is unpredictable, and while setting goals and making plans is helpful, it can never be relied on. I know that the lessons I’ve learned over my twenties, while they may not have been enjoyable, and I may have needed to be told some things too many times than is acceptable before they sunk in, they’ve made me who I am today. So today, as I look forwards to the next thirty years of my life, I’m holding any plans I make lightly.
One of the practices I’ve gotten into recently is tarot reading. Don’t ask me how it works, but I find the practice of drawing cards to be a fantastic way of connecting to my intuition, or spirit. I decided to draw some cards today looking towards the years ahead, using a “self-care” spread as a way to check through my emotions and see whether there are any ways I can best look after myself in the next chapter of my life.
The first card I drew was for the prompt “your feelings now” and I got the 8 of wands, which makes a lot of sense. I’m in the middle of a lot of changes in my life, I’m buying a house, applying for a new role at work and trying to set up some other creative side projects. The 8 of wands represent sudden movement and turbulence in life which is certainly how I’m feeling.
The next card was for the prompt “soothe” and I got the Justice card. When life screws you over it can sometimes feel like there isn’t any justice in the world, and I can certainly relate to that feeling with the way the 2020s have treated me so far. But with this card coming up for a prompt asking me what I can do to take care of myself, I’m taking it as a message to not be so hard on myself, and give myself a break. I know I am someone who often sets unfair expectations on myself that I would never expect of other people. So this is a reminder for me to not do that.
I then pulled The World for the prompt “accept”. The world is the card of fulfilment, the closing of a chapter. I think this is telling me that I need to move forwards, and stop wallowing in the past. This message is reinforced by card 4 being “The Sun” for a prompt asking me what I need to change about my life, the Sun is the card of happiness, acceptance, light. So self-love is definitely gonna be a theme for me this year.
The next card is for the “Withdraw” prompt, what do I need to retreat from. And I got the Queen of Pentacles, which is material comfort. This card worried me at first, given that I’m buying a house, but the next card gave it some context. For the question of what do I need to embrace, I got the 7 of Pentacles, which is all about hard work and long term rewards. I’m taking this to mean that sacrifices need to be made if I want to do what I love.
The final card I pulled was for the prompt “celebrate”. What do I need to be grateful for, and the card I got here was the 6 of swords. This card represents change and transition, so certainly fits with the theme here. The next year of my life will continue to be turbulent, but if I can trust that things will work out, allow myself to be happy and focus on honing my skills into something I care about, then the transition will be something to celebrate, not fear. As Bimini Bon Boulash says, you gotta have a PMA! (positive mental attitude)
My twenties had some incredible ups and some major lows. To think about how much has changed, and how far I have come in such a relatively short time, surprises me even now. Here’s hoping the next thirty years are just as interesting (but hopefully more ups than downs from now on ok?)