I'm '30s Taylor' And I'm Happy About It
I’m turning 30. And I’m really happy about it.
I wanna tell you why I’m so happy about it in a minute, but let’s dive into a quick story and something that’s on my heart first.
What’s On My Heart:
I really dislike all this hype around “defying your age” and “anti-aging” and “over the hill” kinda crap. Seriously. To age, to grow older, to walk this earth is a blessing. In today’s world, especially for women, there’s this message that getting older is the most dreaded thing in the world. That once you hit a certain age, it’s horrible to be seen as anything older than that.
I remember as a kid wishing for the next age milestone. When I was 10 and finally hit ‘double digits’ I couldn’t wait for 13 so I could be officially a teenager. Then 16, and 18, and 20, and 21, and 25. Then…I was hit with this screeching stop. I felt and saw and heard all these messages which implied that was where aging should end.
The amount of ads that pop in my feed on FB and Instagram all around aging and botox and “looking younger” was unbelievable.
Those messages that screamed I should stay this age forever. Look like that age, be successful by that age, travel at that age, have kids at that age, get married at this age, live the rest of my life at this age. Never any older. No way. And even as I inevitably grow older, I should never show it, talk about it, or look it—let alone celebrate it.
This whole thang really rubs me the wrong way.
After 25, I admit, I succumbed to the pressure. I felt like hiding my age. (Frankly forgot my age sometimes!) Felt pride when I was told “You don’t look that old!”. Felt sad when I didn’t get ID’d picking up wine with my mom when she visits in the summer.
I would look at the shifts in my body and think, “Uh oh. That shouldn’t be there. This should be here. When did this start sagging?!” I had moments of panic and moments of desperately googling ‘natural remedies’ and ‘is this normal’ questions.
I would zoom through the years from a place of hiding. To be honest, I really can’t remember what happened in some of those years and that makes my heart ache.
I would feel shame that I didn’t match up to this definition of what a “woman my age” should be or say or do or think or look like.
Then..Something massively shifted inside of me my 29th year.
I hit a point that made me stop and really look around. At myself and my world.
I wished for this pressure to buzz off.
I wished for these “anti aging” messages to scram. (And let the door hit them on the way out!)
And this pressure I felt building? I didn’t like it. Not even close. I would even say I hated it. And I did what I do when I don’t like things, I asked for help and took action. Here’s the story.
The Shift Story:
A short while ago, in my 29th year, I was on a call with a coach of mine. This was a catalyst in my big shift. I was feeling all this pressure to “be” and “do” all these things that I thought I should be doing by this age. Things I wanted to be doing at this age and was frustrated that I wasn’t.
She took me through an exercise that changed everything.
She had me dream up what my perfect day would look like. She had me write down everrryyything that would be a part of that day. What I was wearing, who I woke up to, where I lived, how I worked, what I ate, when I slept. Did I have a dog? A child? A team? What did the sheets feel like when I woke up? What did I do at lunch time? When did I see my husband? Who made dinner? How did I approach bedtime? Everything.
She got me to write all this down and read it back to her. Then she had me name this version of “Taylor”. I called her ‘30’s Taylor’.
Then, we looked at what I was doing in reality.
It wasn’t even close.
I felt defeated and awful and like a failure.
She walked beside me through that and then asked me this simple question, “Hey, Taylor. What would it look like if you woke up tomorrow and just lived 30’s Taylor? With no permission, pre-requisites, or payments needed.”
I stopped. So much of 30’s Taylor was based in choices. Choices I make everyday without thinking twice. Choices I could make intentionally instead of habitually.
30’s Taylor did yoga or movement in the morning. I could do that. I could pull up a YouTube video and do it in my living room with my pup or walk around the block with her.
30’s Taylor handled most of her day in the morning and completely rested in the evenings. I could do that. I could shift my schedules and plan my taxing activities before 5-7 PM and say “no” to things past that.
30’s Taylor lived in a place that felt like home. Had wonderful soft textures, tidy systems, and memories everywhere. I could do that. I can pull out the good pillow cases and remove clutter.
30’s Taylor had financial freedom. She didn’t have debt and built her wealth so she could live and give generously. I could do that. I could take my finances seriously and be debt free.
The list went on and on in my mind.
My coach heard this pause. She heard the wheels turning and asked me, “How does this sound for you?”.
I responded, “Like my homework.”.
I kid you not, the next day, I got to work. In my 29th year I started making the shift to 30’s Taylor.
Full disclaimer: The amount of resistance to the embracing aging stance and 30’s Taylor was shocking. I got weird looks for celebrating little wrinkles and I heard weird comments when I would reply, “Oh no! I’m older than what you thought and I want you to know that.”, rather than being grateful for their misconception. My husband was confused at first and kept asking me, “What’s going on?!”. I felt folks looking at me like I was an alien or even making passive aggressive discouraging comments like, “That’s nice you can do that. How long do you think it will last?”.
I did it anyway. I just let it slide off my back like water off rocks. I shook it off like my dog after the bath. I started taking action to change. I opened the gates to who and what I really am and stood in it. And I liked it. (Even though it was admittedly really difficult.) And more than that? It’s worth it.
Now, today, I want to shout, “I’M HAPPY ABOUT GETTING OLDER! AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO!”.
Here’s why I’m happy about it:
I have outlived people I love. I’ve seen those I care about pass into the next phase before they hit this age. To be able to reach this milestone isn’t something I am panicked about. It’s not something I’m dreading. It’s something I am walking towards with so much gratitude. This is an achievement.
With each year I grow more into the woman I want to be. I am like wine, or a good craftsman table, or a solid oak tree. I am better with age. I am more refined. Nicked and scratched in ways that bring out my character. Settled into my strengths and rooted into my place in the world. Why would I dislike that? It’s something that brings me so much joy…and hope.
I am learning unique lessons I can only learn with age. This myth that old folks can’t learn new tricks is BS. I would argue that I learn more now than I ever have when I was younger. I learn new skills, new relationships, new things about the world, about myself. I discover more details and nuances that come with experience. Partnerships, priorities, mistakes. I learn new things about my body, my health, my brain. I rediscover joy in moments that have passed and lessons to be practiced again, and again. I get to do the things I love over and over if I want to comparing tiny new changes and huge shifts. It’s wonderful.
FREEDOM and EASE. Age gives you a sense of freedom like I’ve never known. The permission to let go of things that do not serve you is almost too good for words. The skin and layers you shed over time make you lighter, more mobile and adaptable. It’s like a momentum that speeds up allowing you to fly instead of walk. Things get easier, more efficient, curated, and fluid. This is so delicious.
Who I am is a testament to my legacy. All the great things about me? They’ve only happened because I’ve been here. Walking this earth. Everyday. For the last 30 years. Who I am now isn’t even close to who I was as a child, a teen, in my 20’s. This fact alone is something I’m grateful for and something that brings so much excitement to who I will be in the years and decades to come. Aging is a JOY! I almost can’t wait to meet myself at these new ages to come.
AGING IS NORMAL AND BEAUTIFUL. In one of my google deep dives I stumbled across a photography series of aging and it hit me like the walking into the sun after being in a dim room. There is so much beauty in aging that we don’t often get to see. The wrinkles, the hair changes, the scars, the softness of their skin, the depth of soul in their eyes, the laugh lines so deep you know they lived a life of joy. And there’s so much beauty internally that we overlook in today’s fast and furious world. The stories they’ve lived, the heartbreak they’ve shared, the perspective of experience. The patience and presence. Living in the moment is something truly beautiful that is mastered with age and something we should all be striving for.
So now, as I walk over the line that demarks my 30th birthday I sleep on the good sheets.
I incorporate movement everyday.
I have paid off $29K of debt in 6 months and am on track to be debt free at the end of the year.
I eat yummy and healthy foods (most of the time).
I Marie Kondo’d the shit outta my home and set up systems to maintain it.
I let go of tasks and jobs that made me sick. I let relationships fade that made me feel bad.
I did the work to get on the same page with my husband about our real life goals so we could support each other.
I try everyday to find something I love about my body and say it to myself.
I don’t live on my screens and I live more outside.
I practice forgiveness for when my bad habits relapse and give myself permission to just make the decision differently how I know I want to choose the next time.
I am 30’s Taylor (in my heart, my life, and on paper). And it feels so good.
Happy Birthday To Me!