In Australia 12th graders get a personalized rugby sweater to walk around in during their last year of sheltered life. It’s the least the school can do to make us feel like we run the world for that much longer.
“A little Mor,” were the words we chose to have embroidered on my 12th grade sweater.
I say we, because like any teenager, decisions only came about via careful consultation with my peers. This one was a good group decision though, because not only was I physically small, but I really did always want more.
More awards, more of a tan, more of a good time, more religion, more g-d, more friends, more travel, more, more, more.
If I had to summarize turning 30 into one phase it would this: The chase is over, life begins.
But here’s the breakdown into 30 concise points.
“Success” is no longer measured by external achievements but rather by a person’s character traits.
You stop worrying so much about being perceived as affluent and start worrying more about perceived as good.
You no longer feel pressure to lose weight before visiting your home town.
Seeing someone hold back from sharing a really juicy piece of gossip becomes more impressive than a Rolex.
Many of the insecurities that plague your twenties don’t venture with you into the next decade. Instead they are replaced with an inner contentment that you are exactly where you need to be.
Rejecting burnt fish ordered at a restaurant stops being a daunting prospect.
Staying composed as you likewise ask for your dinner to be remade will not seem out of reach.
You still think the receptionist at the doctor’s office where you’ve been waiting for an hour is buying your dirty looks, but at the same time can acknowledge there’s need for improvement.
People’s opinions matter less.
Standing and praying in an airport doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
Walking around in gym clothes all day even if it does look a bit nerdy is not a big deal because it means you’ll actually get to exercise.
Being the best version of you, without overriding other people’s concerns, becomes an achievable balancing act.
The desperate need to change the world in a day is gone.
Perhaps its exhaustion, but you’ve realized solving all the world’s problems is not within an individual’s reach.
You become more in touch with reality.
Stability and fragility become feelings that can strangely be experienced in the same breath, a result of seeing tragedies and perhaps experiencing them too.
The world’s fragilities don’t make you bitter though, but more real.
You still care about the world at large, but appreciate the impact you can make on your immediate surroundings more.
Ensuring your inner circle has all their needs and some of their wants, becomes your daily challenge, and a passionate one at that.
Travelling to Kenya for aid work is still important and has not been crossed of the bucket list, to be visited at a later date.
You are ready to give away your size 0 wardrobe that has taken residence in your guestroom. Embracing the figure of someone that no longer lives off Bacardi Breezer’s and carrots is not painful.
Botox seems a bit less pretentious and a bit more exciting.
Who didn’t call you for your birthday matter less, and who did matters more.
You come to see that a slightly different shade of gray paint to the one envisioned won’t harm the inhabitants of the household, whilst a breakdown over it will. You do your best to avoid the latter.
You run from drama and flee to peace.
Friendships come to be based on a common set of values and can surprisingly become strong even at this ripe old age. Friendships that have prevailed the test of time, come to mean more.
Being perfect doesn’t seem so appealing, whilst being fulfilled does.
Parenting is no longer equated with martyrdom. Me time is no longer frowned upon.
You can recognize your parents did their best, and simultaneously accept you are flawed too.
You value every breath and endeavor to fill it with love, laughter and good deeds.