4 Things I Won’t be Accomplishing by the time I’m 30

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When I hit the age of 21, I had a list of things that I wanted to accomplish by the time I am 30. Fast forward eight years ahead, I now have exactly one year before I hit the big three-oh, and I’ve come to realise that there are just some things that I won’t be accomplishing by then – and that’s totally fine.

I’ve read article after article telling me what I should have achieved by the time I hit this arbitrary milestone in life. There was a time when these articles would have sent me in to a mild anxiety attack, trying to figure out what I can cross off each list. But as I got older, I’m beginning to feel at ease at not having ticked off everything on these “30 Things You Should Do Before You’re 30” lists.

Here are four things that I know, for sure, I won’t accomplish by the time I’m 30:-

1.       Developing a taste for alcohol

I’ve tried it and I’ve tried to like it. I’ve tried wines, beers, spirits and pretty much every cocktail concoction there is and it is only now that I can confidently say “I don’t like alcohol” and not worry – or care – about being judged for it. There is this idea that if you know your Pinot Noir from your Pinot Gris and use every wine term correctly, that somehow you’re a more polished human. I beg to differ because I don’t think my choice of beverage should determine what I’m like as a person. Many genuinely enjoy the taste and know how to appreciate a good drink, but you know what, if it’s not for you, that’s entirely OK too.

2.       Have a fitness routine and sticking with it

To be frank, there has been a lot of pressure placed on us about getting fit. I am all for setting fitness goals and I love the idea of having the perfect fitness routine that I’m completely happy with but I just don’t think I’ll have it figured out in the next one year. There will be a lot of trial and error along the way but isn’t that what keeps things interesting?

3.       Being completely debt free

I have, on the contrary, started learning how to deal with debt instead. I’m not talking about being comfortable with racking up credit card debt and splurging on things I can’t afford, it’s more about managing finances and getting ahead when it comes to my financial options. My biggest debt at the moment is a 30-year mortgage that I have on my apartment with my husband. I have come to terms that this sizable debt is something that I will have for a good chunk of my life, but I’m learning how to educate myself on changing home loans and the most efficient way to paying this off.

4.       Having my life completely sorted

Not by the time I am 30, perhaps not even by the time I get to 40 or 50. So what if you don’t know where your career is heading towards? Sometimes, even the most successful people don’t get it quite right until later in life. You’ll try things and then fail, and then try other things and fail that too, but success stories aren’t built overnight. I’m learning to take each “failure” as life lessons instead, and that way I know I’ll be ok even if I don’t know what the next ten years of my life will look like.

While it’s good to have goals set in place and a timeline, it is also important to remember that life doesn’t stop when you hit a certain age. Age is truly just a number. Don’t let checklists take away from your experiences from the now. Sometimes it’s easy to chase after goals that we forget to slow down, tell ourselves that it’s OK if we haven’t figured everything out yet, and pat ourselves on the back for things that we have accomplished. As Sophia Bush rightly puts it, “You’re allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously”.

Dominique Nguyen