It was in September of 2010 I set myself a Thirty before Thirty challenge and I guess in a way I have "failed" because I have not completed everything, but I decided a couple of months ago that I did not need that pressure when I have been crazy busy trying to establish Butterfly Crafts and so I altered it to "within my thirtieth year" - hey my challenge, my prerogative.
But it is not just that making me think, I asked my parents earlier if I am in the place they envisioned me being in when I turned thirty, they both said they cant say they really had a "vision" but I am clearly happy and that's what matters to them.....and mum added my hair is straighter than she had imagined since I was born with a mop of curls.
Am I where I thought I would be? Am I in the place I dreamt of being in? Yes and No. If I were to talk to my 15 year old self then no, like many youngsters I thought at 30 I would be "old", married, probably with children and in a good job working in something to do with travel.
Fast forward to my 25 year old self and am I where I thought I would be in five years time? Well still not married or with children and still not in that great job with an established career but I also have done something I hadn't expected to do back when I was fifteen, I graduated with a Distinction in my MA from Greenwich and had a career path change to work in heritage and cultural industries. At 25 I also had my first DVT which wasn't the most pleasant of experiences I have to say and that, along with the second one, has made me think a little differently about what is important about my future and things that may or may not happen for me in it.
Move on four more years and we get to me turning 29 last Summer and I will confess last Summer I was not really in a good place. I was feeling pretty down and a bit sorry for myself, here I was single, in a relatively new job I still wasn't sure about not really feeling like I was living up to expectations or anywhere in comparison to my friends who were mostly (but not all) married, with children and good career paths infront and behind them.
But what I realised, and still feel today, is that everyone is different, there is no point looking at your peers or close friends and feeling inadequate (easier said than done I know, and I still feel inadequate in comparison to some of my friends) because you have to make your life out of the chances you have and the opportunities that lay before you. I would like to go back and tell my fifteen year old self to stop focusing on what society and "traditions" say you should be and to really think about what you want to get out of life. I would like to tell my 28 year old self that you will get over heartbreak, just to give it time, and I would like to tell my 29 year old self to keep an open mind because you never know what possibilities and excitement lay around the corner.
Maybe it's something about the turn of a decade, but I do feel at 30-1day, that I know who I am now, I know that I will never be a skinny minny or the fittest of the pack, I will not be the centre of a big social circle and I will not be the high flier in my career because its not what I want to be doing.
So, what does the thirty year old me look like? Happy, head over heels in love, content and excited with what the next decade will bring and that is something I think the fifteen year old me will be pleased with.