I’m 30, ya’ll.
And I am so STOKED ABOUT IT!!!!
You may think I am a big liar, but I have been waiting for this day. I always seemed to be surrounding myself with older people – age was and is inconsequential to my friendships! When I was 18 and just starting out in the music/bar scene (remember Alberta’s legal drinking age is 18, sorry America), all of the people I befriended and admired were mid/late twenties and thirties. They always had their proverbial shit together, even if everything was falling apart. Meanwhile, I was still in panic mode at every little thing in my life. A flat tire on your way to work at 18 years old is world ending, you guys.
Having discussions about life, love, loss and other things with my older friends made me simultaneously annoyed and enlightened. They seemed to know what they wanted out of life and were on their way to achieving their goals. Some were starting families, others were going back to school. They were not complacent with any unhappiness and they were graceful in their life changing transitions. Some didn’t know what the heck they were doing – but that was okay, too!
I felt like any twenty-something year old – kicked in the face by adulthood. At least I could relate to memes about adulting and have a good chuckle as I made a WHY ME plea to the world. I went through a lot of soul searching, mistake making, anxiety having, growing pains just like I was supposed to, but that didn’t make me any less impatient to figure my shit out.
When my birthday rolled around I did a lot of introspection and realized something FANTASTIC: I am really fucking happy with where I am right now.
GOD BLESS, it finally happened.
I have made some changes in the past few years that have left me much happier and feeling more at peace and living authentically. I spent a lot of time figuring out the things that truly make me excited to be present. I scaled back and started to focus my energy on animal rescue and welfare, and was able to turn my photography into something that helped save lives of vulnerable, homeless animals! I am now in a position to do this full-time and am living the LITERAL dream of my inner child!
I’m not saying at the stroke of midnight on your 30th birthday, you wake up completely satisfied and fulfilled in life – but there is some peace in the introspection of what this new chapter means.
Things I realized I did the closer that I got to 30 were cliche and just made sense – but I couldn’t seem to do them as a twentysomething year old.
(no matter how much I already claimed to do them)
These are some of the things I have noticed the closer I approached this perceived adulthood:
You bullshit far less and you take far less bullshit. You realize you don’t have time or energy to surround yourself with people who don’t light your fires and lift you up. You recognize that dwelling in drama and your problems with no solutions only creates negativity, and you work harder to be a problem solver instead of a serial bitcher (some days are harder than others, especially if the people you surround yourself with fan the flames) You don’t need anyone else to give you permission or acceptance to be a mother fucking boss. You don’t deal with less crappy situations (in fact, you probably have more) but you know how to put your lipstick on and pull your shit together because you have too much to get done.
You are more empathetic and sympathetic to those who are going through failures or hardships, because you understand how it feels for something to not work out and having to pick up the pieces. You don’t freak out over every. little. thing. You realize that your hardships and missteps can build you up for better things, and that sometimes failure is a blessing. Your troubles are not unique to you – everyone has or is going to go through similar stuff.
(If they were going to spell ‘seriously’ wrong the least they could have done was ‘Siriusly’)
The realization that your time is the most valuable thing you can ever give someone, and never get it back – so you choose how you spend it wisely. You aren’t afraid to finally stand up for yourself and say the words ‘no’ when presented with something you really don’t want to do. You have less outlets to make friends as an adult and you’d rather focus on a few solid friendships than fair-weather acquaintances. So you put that valuable time in and cherish the ones that mean something (especially the ones that are made by ‘that’s what she said jokes’).
You recognize the times when you do need self care and to recharge. You care more about your health because all of a sudden you have a kangaroo pouch and have to rubics cube your legs to get out of bed (probably just me, but if anyone knows a good chiropractor – hit me up!). Meditation and reflection are a thing that maybe made you chuckle in your twenties, but you acknowledge how much more energized you are with vitamins and some quiet time!
You are okay with cutting people out of your life if they are a time waste or add negativity – it doesn’t mean you hate them, it just means you respect your self and your time.
I am absolutely no guru of health, happiness or advice. I am simply stating why I am happy to be 30, the things I’ve learned and the excitement I feel! I am still making mistakes and learning about life – but hopefully with a little more grace and tact than in my 20’s! I’ll look back on this when I turn 40 with a “child, please” and a whole new list!
To celebrate my new found adulthood, I was supposed to be on the Vegas Strip partying it up with my mom for her 60th and my 30th, but that was postponed due to her needing an emergency epidural for her back issues ( I am beginning to see a pattern with these back issues…). So my dirty thirty plans turned into this:
Thinking of back up plans, I remember I had always envisioned doing one of those fancy, 30 year old cake smash sessions – but it was becoming quickly overdone and I felt blah about it. For those of you who aren’t in the loop – a cake smash session is something a baby does when they turn one. They usually have their very first taste of cake, and go crazy smashing it all over! It has become popular with 30 and 40 year olds to recreate these and usually involve a pink tutu, a tiara and a board with chalk writing about your favourite things and hilariously scratching out your weight.
I put the idea out of my mind because it just didn’t resonate with me and I didn’t really have a way to make it my own with excitement. Until friend sent me a whole album of these cake smash sessions on Facebook and I had a good laugh seeing how everyone put their spin on it.
So I decided the last day of my twenties, at 9 pm – I was going to do a cake smash session, damnit.
I grabbed my partner in crime who did not even bat an eye at this idea of shopping for party supplies until after midnight to help photograph his wife eating cake like an infant. Our marriage is only strengthened by his willingness to entertain my ‘Let’s Get Weird’ attitude. I had the basis for what I wanted the shoot to look like, but I still was not thrilled. I knew it had to be something that resonated with me, and the stuff I was picking was just meh. I wanted something that reflected my love for being wild, extraordinary, free, chaotic and a little dark. I wanted it to be me coming into my perceived adulthood, while still entertaining my inner child. I just wanted to be out of my twenties and not look back. I didn’t want to be a thirty something that looked back and romanticized my youth. I had a great time learning, living and loving, but I was ready to move on and not look back. I was ready to burn the mother down.
Then it came to me. One of my favourite books growing up was the Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Mr. Munsch is a national treasure for Canadians. His stories are ones I grew up with and delighted in reading and watching being performed at school. 50 Below Zero, Jonathan Cleaned Up: And Then He Heard A Sound, Thomas’ Snow Suit, Purple, Green and Yellow were staples in my repertoire. But nothing stuck more than the Paper Bag Princess.
It’s a story of a princess who’s castle gets destroyed and prince gets captured by a dragon. The dragon burnt everything she had, so in order to leave the castle and save her prince, she had to get crafty. Her clothes were ashes – the only thing could find was a paper bag, and that would just have to do. She marched to the dragons den to save her prince, and encountered the dragon who left her life in pieces. Cleverly, she tricks him into performing all sorts of dragon antics that exhaust him, eventually allowing her to rescue the prince. However the prince is less than impressed with her messy hair, ash smudge body and paper bag dress and tells her to come back when she looks more like a real princess. So what does the princess do? She basically gives him the middle finger and goes off to slay all day.
As that kind of thing has always been my modus operandi, I resonated with the story growing up and now. So doing a Paper Bag Princess themed cake smash seemed like the PERF way to enter my 30’s.
So with that, I introduce you to my cake smash session: The Paper Bag KWEEN.
And with all that gluten free, smoke bomb, whiskey lovin’ goodness – I say BYE BITCH to my twenties as I burn that mother down and don’t look back!