3 Life Swaps I’m Making Before Turning 30


By Kate Kole

I turn 30 one month from today and I’ve kind of been freaking out about it. I say ‘kind of’ because I’m thankfully yet to have a Jessie Spano caffeine pills level meltdown. That being said, the big 3-0 has been on my mind a lot lately, in that nagging what am I doing with my life kind of way. Logically, I know it’s silly to become consumed by a number. But emotionally and quite honestly, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a hot mess over it.

In an attempt to ease my anxiety and feel more confident moving forward, I’m deliberately making some life swaps and exchanging a few of my old habits for new ones that better serve me. Here are the 3 toss out/take up trade-ins I’m setting out to make:

Toss out:

The belief that I should be anything I’m not. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve become consumed by all the things I should be by now. A mom, a career woman, a world traveler, a lady who likes wearing heels, someone who enjoys salad, a person who goes to the dentist every 6 months…the list goes on.

Take up:

Noticing, embracing, and appreciating who I am. I don’t want to lose sight of the things that uniquely add up to make me the woman that I am because I’m so damn focused on everything I haven’t yet become or mastered. I’m someone who loves her dogs, is married to her favorite person, feels at home on her yoga mat, has hour long phone calls with her best friend, and enjoys sinking her toes into sand at the beach. Those things are worth acknowledging and celebrating.

Toss out:

Resistance. I sometimes wonder how many hours of my life I’ve spent resisting things, like hard conversations, vulnerability, pain, and laundry. As I read Glennon Doyle Melton’s description of her life as a race from hot loneliness, I couldn’t help but identify. She wrote, “I picture ten-year old me, feeling my anger, fear, jealousy, otherness, unbelonging for the first time and understanding these uncomfortable but normal human feelings to be wrong, shameful. I thought I needed to hide these feelings, escape them, fix them, deliver myself from them. I didn’t know that everyone feels the hot loneliness. I didn’t know that it would pass.” My mind instantly searched and cycled through all the times I’ve felt and resisted all those same, universal things.

Take up:

Acceptance. I’m giving myself permission to be fully me, to have feelings – happy and upsetting and everything in between. I’ll focus on the idea that I don’t have to struggle against life as if I’m swimming against the tide. And I’ll bear in mind that discomfort is part of self-discovery. Not everything needs to be labeled as good, or bad, but simply as part of the process. For that reason alone and especially, there’s no need to hide, escape, fix, or deliver myself from the painful parts of being human.

Toss out:

The 10-year plan. Worrying about the future deserves a spot on the skills section of my resume. While I’m all about making goals, and envisioning my passions played out, the reality is that many of my thoughts are fear based. I find myself obsessing about what could go wrong. I get lost in the land of scarcity and not having, doing, or being enough. I become so entangled in the future what-ifs that I lose sight of the moment happening right now.

Take up:

The today plan. Because maybe my 10-year plan is really just a collection of all the things I decide to do daily. Perhaps mapping out the future looks less like a rule book to follow and more like allowing my intuition to lead, expressing gratitude for what’s present, and trusting that living mindfully will guide me towards where I’m meant to be, today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now. So that when I turn 40, I still won’t have arrived at my destination, but rather, will be continuing to travel along my way.

In writing out my life swaps, I already know that I’ll have moments where I stumble and misstep. From time to time, I’ll surely still experience the old beliefs that I should be more than I am, or that parts of me are shameful enough that I should choose to hide, or that I should have a better idea of what my future will hold. But beyond those doubting voices, my 30 years of life so far have taught me that what I really should do is give myself a little more credit, because after all, I’ve made it this far.

{featured image via pexels}

8 thoughts on “3 Life Swaps I’m Making Before Turning 30

  1. Cheila says:

    I don’t know why but I’m also so afraid of 30. I’m currently 25 and I feel rushed. I should have children, I should get married, I should do this and that and it’s like thirty is my deadline. I don’t know why we’re so hard on ourselves. What if I only have a baby when I’m forty? I will certainly have done something important and meaningful until then.


  2. Marie Christine says:

    As a 44 year old woman I can tell you…. the most overrated decade of your life: Your 20’s. Trust me on that one. What you’ll learn over the next decades of your life is that the only people who don’t know that are under 30. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sparkyjen says:

    Bravo…and happy birthday in advance. Speaking as someone who is almost 32 years older, may I say I’m thrilled you are already aware that it is possible to swap out a few things for even better things along your life path. Giving yourself a moment to breathe works wonders. Celebrating what you have already achieved is brilliant. Living life as you see fit is cool beans!

    I work with people who are 30 years older than me. Those that are still living the lives that they love started early. They took stock and swapped out their feelings of lack for abundance. They realized when they had enough. They were grateful then, and thankful now that they did. My beloved Mother always said: “Haste Makes Waste!”

    Highest and Best!!!


  4. DGGYST says:

    These are all do-able except the laundry. You, me, and everyone for the rest of eternity will always procrastinate when it comes to doing the laundry 😉


  5. I am Aranab says:

    it is sp true about tossing out the 10 year plan. Because 10 years=every small moments of today done right. Good luck. And I am not looking forward to turning 30 in 3 years.


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