Tomorrow, I turn 30. The months leading up to this special day have been fraught with … feelings.
I have been known to roll my eyes at people’s varying and dramatic reactions to turning 30. What is the big deal? I would say. Or, stop putting so much irrational pressure on yourself. Well, now here I am. And now I understand the tiny bit of sadness behind the eyes of the friends I would be so smug with. And now I apologize.
I think sadness might be the wrong word. But if it’s not sadness, it’s a close relative. It is assumed that by 30 we will have achieved everything we set out to achieve at age nine; Family, career, body shape…we are well on our way to publishing that first book while simultaneously traveling the world. We are fluent in the language we want to be fluent in, we know exactly what size and brand of jeans works best for our figure – put all that together and you get happiness. By 30, we’re all supposed to have found happiness.
So it’s no wonder, most, if not all of us approach this birthday with a little sadness behind the eyes.
One thing I do, that makes me happy, is paint tiny fat ladies with their own unique and strong personalities. So, naturally, the other night I decided to paint a tiny fat lady, who was about to embark on a big life change. The lady above was the result. At first, it just made me laugh. It’s pretty ridiculous. But the more I look at it, the more I get it. This little lady is very proud. She’s proud of her made up princess status and her pretend unicorn horse. I look at her – her posture, her attitude – and I accept that she’s a princess on a unicorn, because she looks straight at me as if to say, “say this is NOT a unicorn…say it and see what happens…” And I believe her.
This lady that came out of my subconscious is a lady in control. A lady who won’t be defined by the standards of the people around her (in whatever land she lives in). A lady who changes her perspective ever so slightly, to find the happiness she deserves.
Or maybe she’s nuts. Either way, she symbolizes the idea that even though there are some things nine year old me had planned that didn’t necessarily pan out the way she thought they would, I have plenty of amazing, unexpected things in my life that a little string and a cone shaped piece of cardboard couldn’t make magical.
A slight change in perspective and permission to take control of your own life in even the smallest ways, is where happiness lives. These are two lessons I am very excited to take with me into my 30’s.
and here we go.