October, 7th. In a couple of hours i would be 31 years young. Somehow this age mark me more than my 30th. Maybe because it’s 2020 and so much has been going on this year. Maybe because i finally have been living and experiencing the new decade of being 30th and officially leaving my 20th behind. Maybe because i have grown so much in a year...
all that creates a mix feeling of excitement, anxiety, proud, and above all, happiness.
Having born in a society where success is measured by a social status, here is what i learned during my beautiful journey of being 30 years young in Paris.
1. Choose a job that doesn’t make you a sad person
As silly as it might sound, it is not. On my 30th, i have encountered different adorable people who became a very sad person. They are always upset, complaining and grumpy, almost in every exchange or discussion. I have also crossed so many people that were burn out by their job. We spent so many hours in our workplace, i realize that it is important to choose a job where you appreciate your colleagues and boss, where you are heard, nurtured and challenged, where you have a just a right amount of stress that boost your day but doesn’t bother your sleep. These elements i later reckoned are even more important than any amount of salary.
2. Your energy is finite
We only have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. It’s not a news to me, yet i used to spent time pleasing wrong crowds (ever heard a quote saying you are not a pot of nutella? Easier said than done)
It took me a lot of exercise to rewire my brain and concentrate on what really matters : investing on myself and giving time to people i love. Forget about the rest.
I learned to actually eat my lunch properly. I find time to exercise even if that means i should wake up earlier or leaving office before my team. I deleted my old Instagram account and do not listen to any unasked advices. I actually give boundary between my pro and personal life. I ignore some calls to actually talk with my husband or best friends. I said goodbye to a friend who doesn’t share the same values anymore. I turned down invitations and i feel OK with it (Ok except that one invitation cause my husband really wants me to come)
I travel every time i have the chance and i don’t feel sorry about it.
3. My life is not a checked box
A friend casually told me years ago that how ”funny” my Father is, to always start the conversation with guests by asking “what do you do for a living?”
Unfortunately, beyond culture issues, i - and my husband- are a part of “checked box” generation. Table conversation with families and friends would be “when are you getting married?”, after marriage the question would be ”when will you have babies?”, ”when are you going to buy an apartment or a house ?” If not it will be ”when will you be promoted?” “Are you getting the latest iphone?” “Have you tried Dyson, Smeg,..”
By all means, i think my relatives and friends meant no harm by these questions. However, when too often repeated, apparently our brain translates them as a constant social pressure that requires answer and reactions. This unfortunately often blurred my judgement, values and decision.
I might not need that expensive kitchen aid cook processor but hell, everyone owns one and every Christmas they would talk about it. So i get one myself (checked) to only use it once a month.
I might not need to prove myself as this ambitious, successful carier woman (white collar job, checked), cause i - before anyone else - knows how much i worth and how much i invested on my work. Yet, the urge to always be on top and tackle all of those questions are there, like a constant need of justification. After a lot of podcasts and reading and thanks to lockdown, i finally had time to align my heart and head. Now i am happy to be where i am today. I don’t need to prove to anyone about anything. My journey is my own And My achievements are mine.
4. consciousness is a journey
I am lucky to have a quite solid supporting system that reminds me : it is ok to eat burger times to times even while learning to eat more plants. it is ok to lay down doing nothing on weekends even when i am developping keystone habits. It is ok to be drifted times to times as long as we come back again and again.
5. How fast can you come back?
I have been blessed to be surrounded by a lot of positive energies this year. My husband teaches me to apologize quickly after each fight, to not pain catastrophic-ing and to forgive. He showed me how to laugh over our small argues. It’s been a hard year for our relationship but we keep teach each other and adjust our frequency.
My closest friend reminds me over and over again to choose my fight (gosh i am that person who would argue with a rude serveur AND leave a review everywhere Lol - it’s getting better now, i TRY to choose my fight and just let it go)
My team keeps me grounded and corrected me when they should. And i am thankful for the environment we created, where we can criticize and meditate about it.
She's just a girl, and she's on fire Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway She's living in a world, and it's on fire Feeling the catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away Oh, she got both feet on the ground And she's burning it down Oh, she got her head in the clouds And she's not backing down
This girl is on fire - Alicia Keys
i will close this note with a grateful heart. I have been so lucky to meet beautiful souls along the way, from my 20th till today, that have shaped me and nourished me with so many added values. I had the most beautiful university years, filled with kindest love and unforgettable friendships. I had the loveliest first European summer, filled with encounters - and some even became like sisters to me! My years in Paris were filled with a lot of struggles and constant adjustments but it also filled with tons of opportunities and discoveries. My circle definitely makes it easier, more colorful and bearable so Thanks to each one of YOU. I’m sure my 30th, 31st and the years after that would be a blast ❤️