I’m nearly 30.

Not much of a statement in itself. More or less the making of a not so funny Mad Libs.

I’m nearly 30, and I’m in a job I can’t see myself doing for the rest of my life.

I’m nearly 30, and I regret not going to college.

I’m nearly 30, and I’m in debt up to my eyeballs.

It is said that we spend our thirties making up for the mistakes we made in our twenties. That’s what I’ve heard at least. If you were to ask me from whom I heard it from, I would blame the ever popular them. We all know them. They’re the same people that tell us we need to forget our silly and childish dreams, to get grown up jobs, and deal with the harsh realities of life. The same them, in the form of my then love, told me I needed to quit my dreams of being a photographer and get a better paying desk job. Like a lout I listened, and extinguished in my love of taking pictures.

I’m nearly 30, and I’ve yet to accomplish anything.

I’m nearly 30, and I’ve wasted the better years.

I’m nearly 30, and I’m alone.

I guess I made enough mistakes in my early twenties that I qualified to get a start on fixing them in my late twenties. Don’t think I’m doom and gloom about entering my thirties, mind you. I’m just playing a little of Devil’s advocate. I don’t equate my life in terms of the decades I’ve lived, but rather I see my life up to this point as a continuous stream. When I look back on the different turns and flow patterns in certain sections, remembering the person I was then compared to now, I have to hold back a shriek of terror. I was also so awkward, so much a loner, so unknowing. Compared to then, I rather be the me now.

Not everyone shares my view, which I do understand. There are those who would say that their life was much better before; that they were happier then overall. There are certain aspects of my life that I do miss, but I don’t wish to go back to those points. Sometime around twenty-three, things began to click for me. I first discovered my love for writing, I got serious with exercise and my diet, became a martial arts instructor at the school I trained at, and stopped being a gullible kid. Yes, I was broken up with in a very horrible fashion, got hit with a serious illness that I still carry to this day, and had dug myself into some serious debt. But from all of those terrible things, I’ve learned. I learned to be better with my money; I learned that heartaches are a reminder that you still have a heart; I learned that it was my own damn fault for not taking better care of myself; I learned that life isn’t one big video game that can be restarted if lose. If I went back, I wouldn’t have any of that knowledge. I’d still be the not so little, ignorant man-child.

I guess what I’m saying in my drawn out way is that getting older provides opportunities for learning. What you learn can lead to positive change, if you let it. If I went back, I would lose all this valuable knowledge, becoming that ignorant person again. What’s scarier to me is the thought I might make worse decisions a second time around.

Regardless of what I may think or what people may want to argue against my claims, we can only move forward. And I’m not saying to forget the past. That just opens up another assortment of problems. Remember, learn, and move forward.

I’m nearly 30, and I’m finally taking control of my life.

I’m nearly 30, and I’ve enrolled in online college classes.

I’m nearly 30, and I will do better than I did in my early years.

I’ve learned. I took the reins on my life and gave them a hard pull. I’ve since curtailed my spending and got control on my finances. I’ve made a lifelong commitment to manage my health. I’ve enrolled in Arizona State University online and actively seeking to get my bachelor’s in English. Though I can’t bring myself to take up photography with the same passion I had before, I found a new love in writing. I heard a wonderful quote last night. “You only have one life to live, so if you’re doing what you love, go for it.” What a wonderful mantra. It’ll take some time before I can be in a financial place for me to put all my efforts into writing and leave my day job, but everything long lasting comes from a good foundation. I’ll bide my time, chipping away at my debt, putting money aside for savings, and still work on my writing all the while.

My thirties are nothing to be feared. I still have so much time ahead of me, and with exciting things planned; wonderful dreams that keep me going. I may not be a child in age or knowledge, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep my mind young and fresh. If anything, entering my thirties is an accomplishment. I’ve managed to survive this long, and I’ll use my thirties to get steadily stronger.

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