Birthday Musings of a 30-something

Holy Crap.

Today I turn 31.

No but seriously. When did I get to be 31? (today). How is it that each year we get older, the time seems to fly by quicker and quicker? I swear I was just writing my 30th birthday blog post..

Turning 31 is a funny thing. When you turn 20, you’re finally in your twenties (woo!), and then 21 is amazing just because.. well… I won’t share any stories from my 21st birthday. Then you sail through your 20s, and finally hit the big 3-0. 30 hits hard for some folks (me), but eventually you just get used to it. Although I do still sometimes start to say “twenty–” when people ask me how old I am. I swear I forget. But anyway, then you hit 31, and all of a sudden the novelty of turning 30 has disappeared. You’re actually in your 30s. You’re dangerously close to being middle aged.

 No, I know that 31 is still very young. I know that. But I also know that working with people in their late teens and early twenties every day really puts 30 in perspective. It’s funny because I’m still close enough to my early 20s that I remember exactly what it was like, yet I’m far enough removed to realize how much of an idiot I was.

30

Maybe I’m still an idiot. I don’t know. Ask me when I’m 40.

So hmm… what have I learned over the past year as I’ve officially commenced (somewhat reluctantly) into my 30s? Well, for one, that I apparently need to live in a bubble. I’ve had more injuries in the past year than I’ve ever had in my life (most of which were documented here on the blog). I’m not sure if this is because I’m just getting old and falling apart, or because I’m actually becoming klutzier over time. I’m leaning towards the latter, considering the fact that I fell down a flight of stairs yesterday. In the rain. (I’m fine, and really it was probably a hilarious fall).

Don’t think this is going to stop me from training like a beast, running stadiums, or running obstacle course races just yet, though. Despite these injuries, my 30s have been a time to thrive in terms of training. I’m stronger than ever (if you account for the injury setbacks), I’ve found an amazing group of people to train with in the November Project (Can’t wait to get back out to that stadium once this ankle heals up!), and I feel that I’ve only just begun to test my limits on what I can do with my training. Will I take after Tara and try to find a strongwoman competition during my 30s? I’d love to, so we’ll see. Will I run a Tough Mudder, and up the ante a little bit on my OCR resume? Maybe if I have two properly functioning ankles I’ll consider it.

I also have learned throughout the past year that I’m not pushing myself enough. Sure, I have a great job that I do well, but I know that I have more to offer in terms of this blog and other opportunities that I’ve been considering lately. I want to take my writing to another level, and I want to start making a difference for more people. I have ideas about how I’m going to do this, and it’s not going to happen overnight, but I’d say my 30s are a damn good time to really get my ass in gear and make things happen.

I think the biggest realization that I’ve come to since my last birthday is that the future is coming a lot faster than I expected it to. I’m getting married next July (Wee!), and I’m pretty sure that means that real life is actually here. There is no more “Oh, I’ll worry about that when I need to”. “When I need to” has suddenly turned into “now”, and I find that  equally terrifying and exciting. Sure, I’ve got a retirement account and some money saved, but it’s always been for the hypothetical future. Obviously I’m not retiring (or having babies) just yet, but things like that are slowly becoming realistic pieces of my future, instead of vague ideas that live in the land of make believe.

 For all of my readers who are still in college or still in your early twenties, realize that your future will be on you before you know it, so be ready. Your twenties are a heck of a ride, but despite all of my kicking and screaming about crossing over to the other side, I’m starting to think that maybe heading deeper into my 30’s won’t be so bad after all. Real life has it’s perks too 🙂

birthday dog

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23 thoughts on “Birthday Musings of a 30-something

  1. Happy Birthday! I turned 32 about 6 months ago, and I still find myself thinking I’m 31, so you can get away with the “20-er-30” for a while (I think of it this way: people always think I’m at least 5 years younger than the calendar says, so I guess I’m doing okay). You’re right, though – time does start moving faster than you would ever imagine. I feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up with where I “should” be, and feeling like I’m never going to get there.
    And no kidding on the injuries – I swear, I hit 30 and things started falling apart. But, much like you, I’m probably the strongest I’ve been in my life, so I guess the two could be related …
    Enjoy 31!

  2. Happy birthday Stephanie!!! I find that I’m definitely getting better with age. Once I turned 25 I found that I had a mind shift. I started focusing on my future, what I wanted, what wasn’t important anymore. I liked my early twenties, but 25 has been really good to me so far. Enjoy!

  3. Welcome to 31, girl!!! I just turned 31 earlier this month and agree with a lot of the points above. Like when people ask how old I am, I think I’m 27 or 29 or something.. like I have to stop to think how old I am. When did that happen?! lol

    Also think that this past year has been the best as far as strength gains and personal growth; it’s funny how much wiser you get as you get older.. 😉

    Keep up the awesome training and the inspiring posts, and have an amazing birthday month!!

  4. Happy Birthday!!!

    Regarding you’re thoughts towards those of us in our 20s, I just finished a book by Meg Jay about just that, and a friend of mine (and AT) who is older just related to me about some of the same thoughts. Cool to hear it in a real life perspective opposed to just a book! I may not know you personally, but it’s great to be able to read through your stuff, and compare it where I’m going with my goals as I make my way through the 20s.

    Hope you have an awesome day!!

      • “The Defining Decade” by Meg Jay. She has an amazing ted talk, that pretty much summarizes the book. I believe it’s called “Why 30s are not the new 20s”. Look it up if you have time, it’s a great watch no matter what age you are!

  5. Happy birthday!!!

    You know what’s crazy? I didn’t realize you were 30 until I read this post. When I started reading your blog and met you at HLS, I thought you were like 27 or 28. So even though you’re now 31, you definitely don’t look it! 😉

  6. Sorry, day late! Happy Birthday 🙂 I don’t want to scare you but if there is anything you really want to do, i.e. take a year out and travel the world, then start planning to do it now. The next few years will FLY by and suddenly you will be thinking babies etc (if you want children that is).
    I am 37 and just don’t know when there last 7 years have gone.

    Oh and it’s never too late to do new things, as I said I’m 37 and competing in my first strongwoman this year.

    • AAH! Babies! You’ve just given me a little bit of a panic 🙂 No but seriously, I know what you’re saying, and it’s already starting to happen. I think it’s SO awesome that you are competing this year, I really need think about finding one of those to look into!

  7. Happy Birthday crazy lady! LOL I’m 41 looking at 42 it just keeps rolling like a speed train and you hold on and enjoy every crazy moment. I’m better than I was at 20 and 30 so life just keeps getting better and the people I choose to share it with …. well they are the drama free kind 😉 so that’s better too.

  8. Happy belated birthday!! You should *definitely* do a strongwoman comp! If the UK has this many competitions, you will definitely able to find some nearby. I’m glad I’m starting early so I have a lifetime ahead of me to compete. It is so, so much fun! I just finished up an epic 3 hour training session and I’m absolutely buzzing – there’s no way I’m going to bed, hence I’m keeping busy with blog reading 😉

      • I think it could be done, but you might want to wait until after the wedding so you are not covered in bruises in your wedding pics! Ha 🙂

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