I am sat in Sydney airport ready to return from an incredible seven weeks of travel. This is something I never anticipated I would do in my thirties (which I feel silly to admit). If you’d asked me two years ago, the idea of quitting my job and taking two months off work to travel on my own would have been ‘irresponsible’ and not part of the ‘plan’. Of course, this was the plan that led me to months of misery leading up to my thirtieth birthday. When I was deeply concerned that I was a ‘failure’, having not achieved my life plans to get married, have children, live in a fairytale home. In fact, I was recently single and living at my family home in between house moves. Yes, single and thirty and living in my parents’ house.
I could have met someone, and in fact I did meet people, and have had some fairly long term relationships. I could have settled and I could have got married, but this would not have bought me the happiness and contentment I truly feel now.
To ease the situation, two of my closest friends, Emma and Keira, two of the strongest, most intelligent and independent women I know, became single at a similar time to me. Emma moved to Sydney over a year ago, not knowing anyone but ready to embrace all of the opportunites and challenges thrown her way. Keira is planning on moving to Australia at the end of the year. Both thirty, both single, and both happy!
While trying to gain some additional inspiration for this blog I searched online for similar articles, using the search terms ‘female’ ‘thirties’ ‘Sydney’ ‘solo’ ‘travel’.
The following list appeared:
Sydney women reveals dating tips at 31
Single women in their thirties struggling to find love in Sydney
Talk to me Sydney: where are all the single men…
Why women lose the dating game
Sydney is the worst Australian city to find a date
….and so on.
Yes, all the articles were regarding single women in their thirties trying to find a man in Sydney. Not quite the content I was looking for.
Not one article was concerned with being a happy, healthy, independent, content female, embracing life, friendships and adventure! However, it does highlight how disillusioned the media is and how we are naturally led to believe that we should find a partner… and hurry! Because you are a woman in your thirties, remember!
I spent two weeks with Emma in her new home, a house share with three other mature single adults, and this attitude of desperation was not demonstrated once. In fact, all I witnessed is that once you hit thirty, life is actually pretty wonderful. You are more confident, you have learnt important life lessons, you know your true friends, you know the value of friendship, and you still have so much time ahead of you.
So, if you are a woman in or approaching your thirties, don’t panic. I have put a list together of important lessons I have learnt.
There is plenty of time.
Lots of people believe that once you are in your thirties you are supposed to have it all figured out. I disagree. Everyday I learn something new about myself. We are always growing and adapting. This means that you cannot predict or expect your life to follow a particular path. The most beautiful thing about life is that we do have time, and this time should be used wisely.
It’s not all about wealth and money.
I wish that I had realised sooner that happiness is about friendships, memories and experiences, not about money. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy in your job and make a good living at the same time. But if you are miserable at work, working long hours and dismissing your social life, all for a prestigious title and status, I would recommend re-evaluating.
The value of relationships.
The people you love are the most treasured beings in your life. The friendships you build with others can help you through any situation. So no matter how busy you are, maintain your friendships. Phone your parents and see your best friends. Let them know how much they mean to you, regularly.
Being there for someone in need is probably one of the most important things you can do. You never know when you will be that person in need. Selflessness is an essential key to happiness and fulfillment.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, they make us who we are. Know your value and recognize what makes you unique and beautiful.
It is much more important than being right. What is the point in proving to someone that you know the answers when it will only cause conflict between you. Be humble and graceful. Smile and the whole World will smile back at you.
Know your worth.
We often spend time focusing on the negatives, the aspects that we don’t like about ourselves. When a relationship breaks down or a date doesn’t go to plan, what do we first do? We question ourselves – what did I do wrong? You have to believe in yourself, accept yourself and love yourself, before anyone else can love you.
You are loved.
Take a moment to realise and recognise all of the people in your life who love you just as you are.