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  • Writer's pictureMarc R. Micciola

Dirty 30

Well, the day has come and gone, and your boy is now thirty years old. I celebrated my birthday over the weekend with awesome friends and my wonderful family. We ate amazing food, took great pictures, and I got some cool gifts too! While I could talk about this weekend and what happened, I'd rather talk about my last ten years and how it's been being me for the last decade instead. What does all that mean? Well, I'll mention where I wanted to be when I was 30 back when I was 20, some negatives that made my 20s difficult, and some positives that primed me for my 30s. But enough talk about what this post is about! Let's just get into it.

When I was 20, I actually thought I was a pretty mature young adult. I think a lot of 20 year olds think that. Boy was I in for a surprise. Not getting too far into it, but I had some experiences throughout my 20s that were...well...not the best. From multiple failed relationships to lost friendships and all the way to my overall health and well being. Stuff just didn't go the way I planned it to. You see, when I was 20, I planned to be married, maybe with a kid already, at the age of 30. I thought I would have a good job, have a house of my own, and be relatively happy. I think people around my age were of the same mind at 20. Most of our parents were married with kids and a home by 30, some even earlier than that. It just seemed normal for that to happen. Well, I'm 30, and I don't have any of those things. So, like I've said before, things went a bit differently for me.

My 20s were full of self discovery, whether it be mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually; my 20s were just me figuring myself out. Sometimes it was from a failed relationship, sometimes it was just getting older and having new interests. I made some massive decisions like moving out and living with a girlfriend a good hour away from my family and friends, which didn't turn out very well, and finally going to serious therapy, which has turned out wonderfully. In my 20s I made mistakes, many of them, and I like to think I've learned a lot from most of them. I know not everything bad that happened was my fault, but I recognized my place in the story and halfway through my 20s I made an active effort to be better. Not just for myself, but for those around me as well. My main issue was my mental health, and it was something that got worse as my 20s went on. By 25, I was hospitalized, and from that day forward I decided that it was time to fix this.

Most of the first half of my 20s was me getting beat up mentally and emotionally, and the second half was me trying to heal and evolve. Some people might wish to go back in their life and change things, but I don't think I would do that. The pain I went through pushed me to finally wake up and realize that I need to take better care of myself. It wasn't wonderful to experience, and there's some trauma that will be with me for a long time, but I've learned ways to not let it define my whole being anymore. There's more to me than my mental health. I'm glad that I know that now, and I wouldn't have known that without the falls that I took from 20 to 25. So, what did I do to heal and evolve from 25-30? Nothing easy.

The path that I chose to take five years ago has led me to a better place, but it was very hard for me to stay on it. The path started with me ending the longest relationship I've ever been in and moving back home with my parents. My mental health had gotten so bad that work wasn't an option, so I had to get social assistance and really try to get back on track. I was embarrassed by how far I had fallen, and I found it hard to face family members and friends. Thanks to therapy, I slowly became more comfortable with the idea that I was doing what needed to be done, and that there was no shame in taking care of myself. Many, many therapy sessions later, and...well...I don't really have a traditional job that brings in a ton of cash. However, I did find something that I can bring myself to do! That thing is writing of course, and ever since my therapist encouraged me to write more and I decided to pursue a career in it, my life has been so much better. I still have my struggles, but I can handle them much better now, and the passion that I have for writing really fuels me to keep moving forward.

So, were my twenties what I expected? No. Am I where I thought I would be at 30? No where close. But you know what? For the first time in a long time, I think I can honestly say that MOST days...I'm happy. Not jumping for joy, but happy. I'm doing what I love for work, I have loving and supportive family members, my friends are the sweetest, kindest, most caring people, and I have two beautiful dogs that love me almost as much as I love them. I still have a ways to go before I get where I want to be, but that's what my 30s are going to be for. I'm going to take these last five years and really trying to build something wonderful off them. I don't know where I'll be when I'm 40, but I know that if I give my best every day, I'll be closer to where I want to be, and that's all that matters.

Reaching 30 is scary, but its also exciting. I'm nervous that I'm approaching being 'middle-aged' but I'm so pumped to start a new decade fresh off of a few years of having a much better understanding of myself the world around me. So here's hoping that things continue to improve! I'm determined to make this decade way better than my last. I hope whatever challenges you face going forward are met with intense bravery and determination. Let's see where we are in the next ten years after some continued growth. Who knows, maybe we'll be even better off than we could have imagined! Only time will tell.

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