I turned 32 a few weeks ago.
I once read an article that claimed that the older one becomes the younger they feel relative to their actual age. In my case, it is absolutely true, I still feel 25. Sometimes, it feels weird to think that I am actually the mother of my girls. I remember my mum being 32 and she definitely seemed old !
Being in my thirties feels weird.
On the one hand, it feels that a significant part of life is now behind. School, learning to drive, first travels and adventures, first love, second love, finding the one, getting engaged and married, being pregnant and giving birth for the first time, then a second time. It seems impossible for the rest of my life to be that exciting.
There is an unavoidable bout of nostalgia that accompanies each birthday past 30. That feeling and certainty that there are some things that will not happen. Some ambitions or dreams that will never be fulfilled. I will never be a ballerina. Or a doctor.
I think about me as a young graduate. I had so much hunger, ambition and confidence in my ability to have a skyrocketing career. Some of it materialized but the challenges and difficulties along the way have been much bigger than I thought. I wonder what she would think of me now, whether I have fulfilled her dreams or not.
On the other hand, turning 32 means there is yet so much time ahead !
At 32, there is at least 30 years of carreers ahead to keep learning and make progress. After all, there is not a single woman CEO in the Footsie 100 below 40. Every knock, every struggle is both a scar to be proud of and a step in the right direction. Experience matters and makes us better.
At 32, having 2 kids puts you in the category of “seasoned mum” but they are so young, there is still so much to teach them, so much time to love them, so many adventures to be had together. And there is still time to have more.
At 32, there is an urgency to find the meaning of life. Quick thrills and ego-boosters are not enough, deep happiness is about having meaning. It is a quest that will take many years but it is so exciting to discover who we are and try and become the best version of us we can be.
At 32, if you’re lucky, your parents are still around and you have suddenly so much love and appreciation and curiosity towards them. They are entering an older age and they will show you the way, yet another teachings from them.
At 32, most of the good friends are closer and the shallow ones have gone. Judgments and competition seem less and less appealing and instead, good times, support and loyalty are what matters.
At 32, a marriage is still young and needs care. It is also not so young that it can just carry itself. Understanding, patience, love and freedom are the pillars.
So here’s to everyone in their thirties ! There is still time but knowing that it’s not eternal makes it even more precious. So what are YOU going to be when you grow up ?