There is not much time until my 30th birthday. Granted I’m already 31 years old in Korea, but that’s a story for another day. Lately, I have been stressing myself to the point of tears thinking about turning thirty. It is just a number. Even though I know that, I can’t seem to get it out of my head that I’ve somehow failed at life. I haven’t reached my expectations of myself or of what I think society thinks I should be doing. So I wanted to let people know that it’s okay not to be okay.
I thought I’d be married and have kids by 25. I at least thought I’d be a mom by thirty. I thought I’d be healthier. I thought that when I turned and looked in the mirror, I’d love the person staring back at me. Some of these goals aren’t that big or might not seem like a big deal to others. When your only dream is to be a young mom and it turns out differently, it stings. Not to say I haven’t had other opportunities, because of that. Honestly, I’m more scared of nothing happening in the future, than the fact the past isn’t what I wanted. I’ve been struggling to find the words for days on why I feel this way. Why won’t it just go away?
The answer is simple, it’s a number. However, in my head it’s a number that I should have something to show about my life. Whether it’s a car, a house, no debt, a husband or boyfriend, a kid, or an amazing physique, something should be present. And when I look at that mini list I reflect and think:
No car. The house isn’t mine. The debts got a few more years to go. I’m single. No kids to be seen. And I’m less than satisfied with the body I have. So thirty to me seems like a number, I’ve met and have nothing to show. Though I know it is not true and that I’m probably overthinking things like I always do. I really felt like this time I had to say something. Everyone posts about how wonderfully fucking perfect their lives are and sometimes I just wish people would be honest. Today sucks. I don’t want to be near people. Something like that, it might make others feel like they are a bit normal. But really what is normal?
But really, me, taking a moment to reflect is a way of teaching others its okay. Hopefully, by seeing me someone can realize that a bit earlier than I did. A fear of change and acceptance is really what holds me back. The fear that if I change people will treat me differently. Its a silly fear, but its very scary to think that people might radically change how they interact with you. Change is scary.
I want to say that when I look in the mirror, and I do, its okay to not have anything to say to yourself. Or not feel quite satisfied. Sometimes the journey for some of us is longer than for others. And that is okay, too. That I’m not okay with me. Although that kind of thinking may be viewed negatively, I think its better to be honest. We all have days like that and its okay.
Though I find it hard to express positive things about myself I will try to do it more often. I’ll try to change the way I think and realize its okay that everything isn’t the way I want. Maybe that is a blessing in disguise or a lesson I still have to learn. But it isn’t too late. A friend told me the other day that, “Thirty isn’t over yet.”
My life isn’t picture perfect and there is no need to flaunt it to others. However, I figured I’d try to write a few things I am thankful for as I enter a new decade of life. A way to try to put a positive spin on things so I can realize what I do have in my life.
- I have an amazingly loving family. All of you are a blessing.
- My mom is my rock, I don’t know where I would be without her and though I don’t say it often, “I love and miss you a lot.”
- I have a new dad and his words to me were, “There is no such thing as a step-kid in this family.” Thank you for loving me like your own.
- I have two beautiful, strong, independent younger sisters. They may drive me crazy and we are half the world apart, but I love them a lot. They definitely helped to shape my character for better or worse.
- I have some amazing grandparents. That have figured out how to navigate the internet and comment on my blog from time to time. They even know how to work skype and occasionally send me care packages. I’m pretty blessed to have grandparents that love me so much at this age.
- I have great extended family as well. There are way too many of you to mention, but thank you for all the love and packages. When at home or abroad you know how to make a person feel loved.
- My best friend, Rachel. She’s been there since the beginning and we are like two peas in a pod. I couldn’t ask for a more understanding, thoughtful, beautiful friend. Worlds apart, but as close as ever. I love and miss you.
- My first friend in Korea, Kerri. I met her before I even landed here and we’ve been close ever since. Thanks for being there for me and listening to my nonsense. Almost three years later and we are still by each others side.
- Thanks to all the friends I’ve made along the way in Korea, there are so many of you. Each of you have affected me in some way, thanks for all the memories.
- My other close friend, Kristen. It’s like acquiring a baby sister, who also mothers you. Thanks for always being there and barging in my apartment to cheer me up, I appreciate it.
- I’m thankful for my amazing co-teacher Rami, from my first year in Korea. To this day she still keeps in touch with me.
- I’m really thankful for my current co-teacher, Bomi. Thank you for being my friend at school and for caring about me. It means a lot to me that you are by my side cheering me on.
- I’m really lucky to be able to choose to live and work in a foreign country.
- I might not have traveled as much as I like, but I have still traveled more than others.
- I’m thankful for all of my Tibetan friends back home. Though we aren’t as close as we used to be I still think about all of you and surprisingly, because I miss home from time to time I travel all the way to Seoul to eat at the only Tibetan restaurant. It reminds me of my second family.
- I’m thankful for a driver’s license. I can rent a car whenever I want if I feel like getting away. I usually forget I even possess the power to do so.
- I’m really thankful to my friend, Eunye, for answering all of my Korean questions and helping me study the language. You are one of my first Korean friends.
- I’m really glad I am able to participate in the government’s Korean Integration and Immigration Program to learn Korean. I have met some amazing people from all over the world.
- I’m thankful for snowy days. I really like the snow and I feel a sense of peace when I’m able to look out the window at it.
- I’m thankful for my cats, Byuli and Dali. They sometimes drive me insane, but they make excellent cuddle buddies when I feel lonely.
- I’m thankful for living in a house where I only pay for the maintenance fees and gas. I might not like it, but it doesn’t cost me much to live there.
- I’m thankful for blue skies. Living in Korea a real blue sky is hard to see most of the time. The days it shines through I gaze out at it and realize what a blessing it is to be able to see that everyday.
- I have a job that I love doing, even when the students drive me crazy.
- I’m thankful for coffee. It starts every day and gives me a slice of peace every morning.
- I’m thankful that I didn’t inherit my mother’s cooking skills. Luckily, I ended up well-rounded in cooking and baking.
- I’m thankful for having a bit of artistic talent. It gives me the chance to be crafty with my students and have fun.
- I’m thankful to have a body that can get me through each and every day without any problems even though I under appreciate it on a daily basis.
- I’m thankful for online shopping so that I can buy bras and shoes in my size to have shipped when needed.
- I’m thankful for technology that keeps me connected to the world, and everyone I love. Without it being a part would be a lot harder.
- I’m thankful to be alive.
Whether its a good list or a bad list who knows. I’ve been thinking about thirty things to write for a long time. Originally it was supposed to be thirty things I like about myself. But that was too fucking hard to write. I think settling for thirty things I’m thankful is more fitting for the season.