March 09, 2008
Today is my last day in my thirty's!
Yes, I am 39 and tomorrow I turn - you guessed it 40.
I was concerned at first at the thought of this milestone and didn't know which way to turn. Do I bury my head in the sand or embrace it? It feels big. It feels much bigger then turning 30. Although I felt much more angst turning 30.
I have decided to embrace it and will be having a big birthday celebration next weekend. However like most people these days I also believe in the week long celebration. So the "Birthday celebrating" began with seeing 'Ween' @ The Forum.
Anyway in regards to the concerns I have with this milestone, I have to discuss it! I feel I am heading into a whole new decade of age and expectations and leaving so many friends and my sisters and my partner who are still in their 30's behind, because I'm '40'. I know - "Get over it!", it probably sounds all to familiar but there is this real sense of almost abandonment, moving on and of course being older then alot of people I associate with. It's doubly pathetic really, me lamenting this as I have also older friends and I haven't seen them carry-on. So on a positive note I felt the way to approach all this ageist stuff was to think through my last decade and what I have achieved, not in a making a comparison.."Oh Shit I never won a Logie/Oscar" type achievement...I mean more in the terms of where I have come from as someone who when they turned thirty wasn't exactly happy with her lot. Hated her job and was grateful for her handful of friends who suffered her incessant whinging about the job she was in. I was also very unfit (which I later rectified) and just didn't have a very positive outlook. Not bleak nor depressed - Stuck in a rut.
I have thought through what I have achieved and learnt in my last decade, and the most exciting thing for me is that I have come through the other side feeling richer in spirit, experience and basically feeling very *happy* as to where I am at at the moment. It's been an interesting last ten years and I have managed to achieve enough on my terms:
I Changed professions. I was in Sales and Marketing for 7 years and really not enjoying it. I am qualified Interior Designer and in my late twenties took the change of direction with my career (for many reasons) and finally at 32 I found a reason to leave the Corporate arena and was offered a job as a Preparator (responsible for setting up permanent exhibition spaces) at the Melbourne Museum. The contract lasted only six weeks but it was exactly what I required to get me back on track into a job as an Interior Designer. I managed to find a job with a Building design firm. It was a huge leap of faith from my then employer and a fantastic life change for me.
I fell pregnant with my first child at 34. The experience of First time mother hood never leaves you. The thrill of being pregnant, the first flutter and movement - the first kick. Then the first experience of giving birth and finding out the sex of your child. Nothing, absolutely nothing can compare.
We realised a dream. My partner and I traveled overseas for the first time together. We had both been overseas independently and finally in 2005 with our 20 month old son, we traveled to Japan for 3 weeks. Bliss.
I did a year long course on CAD - Computer Aided Drafting. I had always promised myself that when the industry required me to have it as a permanent skill, I would learn it and I did. (It was still very much drafting and a little CAD when I studied for my degree). It took a lot of perseverance, I was pregnant when I initially took the course and only managed to get half way through it as I had my baby mid-year. So a year later I started again and completed the course at the end of 2005.
Three months after completing the course, I found a NEW job that didn't require CAD. (I think that's pretty funny.) Although it's still an industry standard required skill. I'm rusty but I'll get by. I'm still working at the same job two years later and we are finally using CAD.
I have established a little freelance business on the side. I have had regular work for the last four years. I usually only do one job at a time. Otherwise with all my other commitments it becomes over whelming, as I have learnt the hard way over the last year.
Last year I had my daughter. 10 days into the New Year. It was a great way to start the year and has again enriched my experiences with juggling two children and working.
I have also acquired a temporary title. I was offered the position as Co-President of a local community based Toddler Playgroup and really I am definitely only the second in charge. As most of the work that's required from the position has fallen onto the other Co-Presidents shoulders, with whom I am eternally grateful to, for offering to shoulder more responsibility. It has been a rewarding experience so far. Although having committed to this role for this year, I feel I have taken on quite enough to the point I have almost overstretched myself.
Of course there is the personal development. I won't divulge much. In generalising there is always the personal development issues and how we arise to the challenges we have along the way. There's the development of relationships with my partner, family and friends. There's the more complex related issues with work relationships, Kinder mums and all the peripheral relationships you develop along the way with people in your community. Life certainly becomes more complex.
There are lows too. One of my early lows was when I was dancing whilst drunk at a friends house and hyper extended my knee - a very painful experience physically. Worse still was being told that I had indeed snapped my Anterior Cruciate ligament and would require a knee reconstruction. Two operations later and over a years worth of Physio my leg was better than ever, but I can tell you there were many tears, tantrums and feeling sorry for myself along the way. Yet I came out the other side more determined to get on with my life and was one of the catalysts for getting back into Design.
But that is all in the past now.
There are many more fond memory's along the way. I have many memento's, photographs and stories to say the least that was definitely an experience.
I have so much more to look forward to as well.
I couldn't begin to tell you whats install for me now.
All I'll do is allow my journey to unfold and enjoy the ride.
40 is looking great already.