At 30, a new appreciation for the journey
Blog by Erin [Yogini, wordsmith, happiness advocate]
Hot dang. I’m about to be 30 years old.
As I approach this birthday, I’m struck anew that my life hasn’t followed many of the rules. I’ve not met many of the timelines or completed the societal standard checklist of important stuff a young woman is supposed to do on her path to becoming a grown-up 30-year-old. I still spend a disproportionate amount of my income on music and travel. My body has not yet produced offspring. Sometimes I still drink too much booze.
Thank my lucky stars I found yoga way back in college. Yoga has taught me so much about loving myself, about loving others, and about dealing with heartbreak. About discovering and living as the most authentic version of myself. My work as a yoga instructor has been a constant process of giving and receiving. I have been given so much.
So as I approach 30, I give you these words as my gift as I make peace with this milestone. I hope they will leave you inspired and curious and excited about being you at whatever age. Imagine the bullet points as little high fives.
You can never be sure what cards the universe will deal you. Bearing witness to a loved one’s struggle with mental illness has been the hardest experience of my 30 years. It is such a bewildering and heartbreaking thing to endure — there are no words. The beautiful part (there MUST be a beautiful part) is that as I try to cope with it all, I feel my heart getting bigger and bigger. It’s like there is someone knocking down walls in there and adding on rooms. The take-away: you have absolutely no idea what a person might be silently dealing with. Be kind. Always be kind. The mind is a battlefield for so many.
Keep your mind away from trashy magazines and television shows that do not depict real people! Real people means humans who aren’t a product of thousands of dollars of plastic surgery, airbrushing, or one of the 0.00009% of the population with the genetic makeup of a super-model. You wouldn’t throw garbage out of your car window, so why would you throw it into your brain? Your body tells your story. All the scars and freckles and laugh lines, all the glasses of wine and bricks of cheese that keep that extra bit of flesh on your body, these are things that make you magical. It’s like your life is tattooing you. Tattoos are cool, right? Your life is full of awesome stories, right? Tell the truth. You are beautiful.
Forgive people. Start forgiving everybody. Yourself. Your ex lover. Your Dad. The butthole that was in line next to you at Starbucks. Radical forgiveness. Let it go. Drop the sandbags and go frolic!
About six years ago I had this wild idea that I couldn’t let go. I wanted to become a yoga teacher. A crazy idea, no? Find what makes you come alive and go do it. If you aren’t sure what makes you come alive, then be curious. Spend time getting to know yourself. Practice yoga. Meditate. Volunteer. Read books. Try new things. Be a good listener. The answer is not hiding inside your television. Be brave. You got ‘dis.
Surround yourself with an army of badass people. This has been one of the greatest things I’ve learned as I’ve become an adult. You can be kind and understanding and compassionate with everyone you encounter, but you do not have to be their best friend, their boyfriend or their girlfriend. Set boundaries. Keep it real. Honor your limitations with all things. Surround yourself with people that make you shine.
So, there is our pep talk. Get old, get super-old — without feeling a day older. Get more awesome each day you walk this planet. Leave it a better place than you found it. Let’s start a revolution: the anti-anti-aging movement.
Morgan is a yoga instructor who teaches at Invoke Studio, among other places. She is known among her yoga students for her clever sequences and trendy playlists.