Thoughts on turning 30

The commencement of an ‘entire’ decade is a significant marker in terms of life events, personal values and intrinsic changes to an individual. As I’m rapidly approaching my 30th birthday (October 28th) I’m currently sitting down in my new apartment in Incheon, South Korea – after a long jog with the AC blasted on full – pondering how I’ve changed as an individual (the most) over the past 10 years.

 

A lot has happened.

 

I’ve graduated from the University of Alberta, travelled to 30 countries & taught English overseas in South Korea for three years. I’ve spent more of my 20’s in areas outside of Canada and met ‘incredible people’ from all over the world doing crazy, amazing & unfathomable things (in a positive way) with their lives. I’m in a much better place both mentally and physically at the age of 30 (2 months away) than I was at 20; however, with all the positive change in my life, nothing I’ve mentioned above really signifies what ‘I feel’ is the ‘biggest’ change in my life. If I had to boil it all down to just one particular point it would be this:

 

The ability to say…

 

FUCK YOU!!!*

Let me explain a little further…

 

Fuck you to man

Fuck you to the plan

Fuck you to the plate full of spam

Fuck you to the brat

Fuck you to the cat – even the one wearing ‘the hat’ 😛

Fuck you to the jerk

Fuck you to the obnoxious clerk

 

* ‘Fuck you’ not meaning actually necessarily saying ‘that’ – or any other profanity – but instead, expecting a certain level of behaviour & respect from others in terms of day to day interactions *

Living a self directed life, in my opinion, is one in which you’re ‘okay’ with not fitting in, saying ‘no’ sometimes & not caring one iota if you’re keeping up with the Joneses. It’s a life where you teach others with your posture and words what is & isn’t acceptable in terms of how one behaves towards you. It’s about saying ‘fuck you’ every once in a while and not feeling guilty about it afterwards. It’s what my life is more about ‘now’ than it was ten years ago when I was a lot more shy, less confident and unsure about where I was going at that particular point in time. I’m now more excited about my life and plans than I’ve ever been at any point in my life, feeling big things are around just about every corner.

 

I’m wondering what has been the biggest change for you in the past 10 years? I’d love if you shared some thoughts in the comments below.

24 Comments

  • Sherry says:

    Well, congratulations! Getting through your 20s is a big deal. You will no longer be in an awkward decade stuck in the middle of youth and maturity. I think your 30s is always far better than your 20s because you have a better understanding about life and yourself. For me the biggest change in my life in the pasts 10 years is that now I’m less critical of myself. Whereas, once I had to please so many people by being a certain kind of person who was always expected to succeed; now I’m a little more laid back and less harsh with myself so much so that I’m able to make mistakes and take risk without ever caring what others think.

  • Congrats on the big 3-0! (the milestones get easier).

  • Natasha says:

    I think when you get older, in my case at least, you worry less about what others think about you and that no longer holds you back! Life’s too short for that! So when I moved from lil old Perth to the big smoke of London, I ignored all those negative comments from those who thought I’d never do it on my own…and couldn’t be happier! Hope you have a great 30th!

  • To expand on a previous comment:
    0: My mommy fucked my daddy.
    10: What’s fucking? Oh, that website that daddy was watching with the three women…?
    20: Yeah, baby, let’s fuck on the roof!
    30: You’ve been cheating on me? Fuck you.
    40: Fuck the mid-life crisis, settling down, and this mortgage.
    50: Fuck, the world’s gone downhill since I was younger.
    60: Fuck, I need some Viagra

    Nice post.

  • Leif says:

    Hahaha, I love you’re ability to say Fuck You. Great poem, you oughta send it to your HS english teacher lol. “Fuck you to the obnoxious clerk”-Great. I am proud to say I have acquired that ability as well.

  • Andrea says:

    The older I get the less I can just accept bs. and I’ve formed strong opinions about things that I just can’t budge on. So I guess, as I believe you’re saying here, that’s a main function of getting older. I think your 30s is when you’ve really got a hold on who you are and what you want and it’s fun exploring life after those realizations. For me it sometimes means regret, as much as a waste of time as that is, over wasted opportunities in my 20s.

    • Hey Andrea, that’s a great point Looking back on my 20’s (especially the early years) I feel I wasted a lot of time; however, I guess that is part of the growing experience and I doubt many others could admit they didn’t feel that way to a certain extent. I’m looking forward to my 30’s. I have a feeling they’ll be my golden years…haha

  • flipnomad says:

    great post man… great things are about to come… of course there’ll still be challenges but im sure you’ll be fine… life goes on regardless of what happen so might as well enjoy it… advance happy birthday…

  • Joanne says:

    I’m with you there Sam. I turn 50 next year and I’m all about saying Fcuk You to whatever I don’t like. Life is too short. Rock on!

  • Amer @TendToTravel says:

    Great post. For the last ten years, I’ve managed to move from Malaysia to the UK which wasn’t easy but really exciting. I used to be extremely shy but have learnt to relax a bit. I’ve learnt how to be opinionated which is great and truly enjoy – something I would never expected should I be in Malaysia. Last but not least, I’ve started blogging which is fantastic

    • Hey Amer, a host of positive changes for you. As a long-term nomad I can recognize how difficult it is to leave one culture for another. It also changes the way you look at your home country when you’ve spent a significant amount of time away from there.

  • I just turned 40, and I think you ingeniously encapsulated the aging process via the word fuck . At 30 you can say “fuck you,” at 40 you say “fuck it,” at 50 you just say “fuck,” and 60 and over you say “I wish I could fuck.” Of course now after 60, thanks to Viagra, you say how do I stop fucking after having a four hour erection.

  • Ten years ago, i was just a high school student who would rather sing and dance than compete with classmates in the honor roll. I was also emotional (teenage angst ftw LOL), sensitive and a bit judgmental LOL. Now, i transform these emotional angst to something productive (blog or script), i am less sensitive now (guess i already learned to laugh at my own imperfections) and i am less judgmental now (thanks to my travels!)

    Just a question: Where will you be celebrating your 30th birthday? Hope you’re good there in Korea 😀

    • Mica, that’s great! I think I’m the same as well. When I’m frustrated I exercise which is somewhat of a positive way of channelling that energy. I will be celebrating most likely by just having another regular day. I don’t do much on my birthday usually 😛

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