Between my sister and me, I was always the more cautious one. At the playground, she’ll jump the monkey bars, do crazy stunts while I planted hands and feet steadily on the ladder before climbing up the slide for simple thrills. By the time I was 21, I thought, “Hey if it’s anytime to be less cautious it should be now!” Although I can hear my sister laughing at my version of jumping-two-feet-in, it was probably the most flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants time.
By the time I turned 30, it turned out to be a bigger thing for me than I had realised at the time which is 2 years ago now. It was a wonderful birthday, one that family and friends help make a big deal of, enough that I’ll never forget … till I have my 40th, I reckon
What I didn’t realise then was that my life was literally moving into a different stage. It was no conscious move on my part but just like with everything else in my life, it kinda just happened. I left a start-up that was a major part of my being, I moved out of my parents for real (my Mum packed ALL my stuff and had them transported to my place) and found out real adult friendships will last a lifetime.
So the thing I have to say about being 30something is that I’m A LOT more comfortable in my skin now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my 20s. It was a crazy time and I was the fortunate few whose parents didn’t mind that my first job in theatre paid me SGD1000 a month no CPF, no benefits. My Dad drove me to work and picked me up at crazy hours after rehearsals too. My Mum made sure I was fed well and enjoying myself. My sis was just sure she wasn’t going to take the path I was treading Partied hard with friends when I had the time, dated all the wrong people and learned enough to find the right guy to marry. Most of my 20s was spent working though, 20hour days either creating, writing, producing, directing and selling documentaries, drama, children’s TV, animation i.e. I had a ball There were really tough days but I’m so grateful for them because I don’t think I could have travelled as much with any other job or be given opportunities to make deals that most people only get to do in their late 30s or 40s. Granted most people thought I was kidding at the start of the meetings but we did pretty good, even if I have to say so myself
So unlike my parents who married and started young, I’m only beginning to ’settle down’ in my 30s. And all I can say is that my 20s happened so that I could enjoy my 30s, I started understanding more clearly that parents do know better but we have to live our mistakes only to learn from them (it ain’t going to happen any other way and am thankful my parents gave me the safety net to make them all ). And I’m hoping my 30s is as enlightening as my 20s so that my 40s would get even better but in a nutshell here’s life lessons from being 20something to enjoy 30something:-
- Toxic friends do exist, dump them … life’s too short
- Balance is key … absolutes are unnecessary
- All relationships (with family, friends, work, play even God) take time and the other party is always giving even/especially when we don’t see it
- The small stuff really don’t matter, no one remembers and if they do, go back to point 1
- It’s all about perspective, my favourite Persian proverb (probably the only one I know) – I complained about not having new shoes until I saw a man with no feet.
- So be grateful, everything can always be worse.