Heart & Soul: Things I learn as I turn 30

  • Family
  • Saturday, 07 Feb 2015

Expectations change as one grows older and we play by different rules.

A good friend of mine asked me this question a few days ago.

“So, how do you feel about hitting the ‘Big Three 0’ within a few weeks?”

Everyone has their own 20s Plan. Have a successful career, get married, own a big house and buy a luxury car. And maybe, if you are lucky enough, your first child.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s plans turn out the way they want, neither is it always ideal. Mine falls under this category. Birthday celebrations are no longer the same, especially when you turn 30.

However, to everyone’s surprise, I feel happy about turning 30. Life’s perception and expectations are no longer similar in many ways, especially when I reached the end of my 20s. This was based on a few simple rules which I have learnt along the way.

Rule 1: A career isn’t about earning a high salary or climbing the social ladder. It’s about having a happy journey.

Earning a high salary and reaching the top of the social ladder were my goals when I received an acceptance letter from a multinational company. After years of hard work, I achieved what I wanted. Unfortunately, I also lost valuable time with my loved ones. I missed out on many celebrations, reunion dinners and birthday parties. 

One fine day, I quit my high-paying job and it was without a single regret. Now, walking into the office every single day with a big smile, and doing the job I love which comes with lower pay, is far more fulfilling than climbing the social ladder. I don’t have a successful career. I have a happy journey.

Rule 2: Sometimes, Prince Charming will arrive late.

Dreaming of marrying your soulmate is the absolute ideal in a girl’s life. But, when you are reaching the so-called critical age and yet to meet your life partner, family gatherings are definitely challenging. Many people fail to understand that not everyone will meet their soulmate in their 20s. 

So, why feel sad about a relationship that is yet to exist, while you can enjoy the love with the people around you. Love your parents, love your friends, love nature; indeed, you can fall in love everyday. I have since learnt to enjoy the love around me while waiting for my Prince Charming.

Rule 3: Your life, your rules.

The definition of your own happiness is not the same as your friends’. Having a big house and luxurious car may make you happy, but for some, having a scoop of rice is heaven. So, stop comparing. When I set my rules in life, things come perfectly in this manner. 

My personal happiness is derived from travelling, reading and meditation. All this brings joy to my daily life.

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