Some Advice for Your Thirties
What I, and the women around me, have learned in the Decade of Big Things, 3-0.
When I turned 35 last month, it dawned on me that I’m halfway through the decade. I don’t mind getting older, I don’t feel too old (even on TikTok, lel). I feel grateful for it, to have my health, friends, family and a career I’m proud to have built. But I feel a bit different to what I thought I would at this age. Maybe I thought everyone around me would be on a similar path and we’d walk it together, as it was for a lot of my twenties, and as my mother did with her friends in her 30s (see her interview below!). But my path has felt different to most around me. I thought I loved change, I proclaim it incessantly - I love change! I’m an Aries! - but maybe that’s only true when I’m in control of it. For me, the first half of my thirties has felt like the clash of a lot – a lot of ambition, with a lot else - anxiety (new for me), love, constraint, wonder, confidence in some areas, loss of confidence in others, joy and some frustration. I’ve never felt more connected to my family. It’s been a real push-pull between an old life and a new one. Motherhood and that rebirth has had more than a hand in this inner clash of emotions, needs and dreams, I’m sure. So much to learn!
As I walk into the second half of this decade, with more changes to come, I think what I’ve learned is to be open to the universe and what it has to teach me, rather than what I want to prove. I’ve learned to have more conviction in my own path and more patience, to really lean in to and be curious about what I want, and not what I feel I should want or should strive for.
I’ve also learned to be a student of those around me. All I crave is mentorship and advice from those older and more wise than me, more than ever. I want to soak it all up. Luckily, one of the great things about being in an industry full of writers and creatives is being able to tap into their thoughts and have them delivered shining with gold. All the women below are people I admire, all of whom have made big choices, or have had life throw change at them, and are still growing and evolving. I wanted to know the magic hot sauce for getting through this stage of life, and I had a hunch you might want to know, too. Some of them are in it, some of them have walked through it, all of them are excellent. Read on.
Sophie Roberts (35, as of yesterday!), UX designer & co-host of Highly Enthused
How would you describe your experience of your 30th decade?
A very wild ride. Alex (my husband) died when I was thirty, and now almost five years later I’m in a new serious relationship, considering kids, looking at houses - it’s feels like whiplash sometimes. Add in two years of pandemic lockdowns and multiple new jobs (after spending most of my twenties at one place) I feel like it’s been more tumultuous than I was led to expect for this decade! The main difference I’ve noticed with getting older is that I’m much more capable of handling the chaos. I feel like I have an inner steadiness that helps me stand up to a lot more craziness with a lot more grace than I could have in my teens and twenties.
Any advice to other women in this season of life?