Living in the moment, the legacy of my thirties

In my twenties I was wild, headstrong, romantic and very hasty. I dreamed big, idealistic dreams, imagined how I would move the world with my writing, and I often loved too much, naively, silly, with a full heart.

I also loved what should not have been loved because I believed that love returns with love. Now I know that’s the case, but it doesn’t always come back from the same people.

I’m in my thirties now, I’m still a bit wayward and really romantic. I still love with all my heart but I let love go where it needs to be in small, drinkable doses, so that the heart of the day can soak it up and reciprocate.

I no longer give my heart to vain loves. Wildness and exhaustion, the need to be elusive like a whirlwind, I replaced with a true passion for life. I’m hasty rarely, only in seemingly ‘unimportant’ things, like running with kids to a meadow for butterflies and barefoot dancing in the summer rain.

I have changed, unquestionably, as we all change, but I have not allowed the passing years and the maturity that changes my cheeks and my body to change the childish spark within me.

Bodies change, but the soul, the very core of a human, remains.

Maybe we can change some of our character traits… maybe, if for example you like I used to have, or still have, a short fuse, it’s really something that can be worked on and changed as we leave the drool of the year and become a mature person.

It has changed for me.

In my twenties, I was still very short-sighted, I would be very bothered by injustice or other people’s stupid behavior. As I swam into my thirties, my perception changed in many ways. I can’t say I’m like a little Buddha now, so nothing really touches me, because that would be a complete lie, but my reactions have changed. Now I know that not everything in the world needs my reaction. Not everything is worth upsetting. Not every person deserves that power to evoke emotion in me.

If it does happen, I wonder why it happened, is that person important to anyone? If so, what exactly bothers me? Did it hurt me?

And then I discern whether it is the person I will tell touched me or I will wish her a happy journey?

I may be trivializing, but it all comes down to the fact that there are people who will be affected by some things, but there are also those who are not so important as to provoke reactions in us, or those who have lost that importance.

When my suitcase is full of nonsense, then I quietly close that chapter and move on. These are things I can influence. I can choose the people I will be surrounded by and I can choose whether to invest myself in a relationship; your time, attention, effort and emotions. Or have we reached the end of the road so I stop?

Bodies change. We lose pounds, we gain pounds, we age, we get wrinkles, grays, freckles, but also some calmness that is reflected in our eyes. We strive for that peace.

We change, even though we carry passions, fire and zeal at our core, the years make us wiser and we learn to distinguish to whom we will give that zeal, whose soul we will warm with our fire. We get tired of emotional rollercoasters. We get tired of changes, of shifts that lead to extremes. We strive for balance. A warm hug, peaceful dawns, tender kisses and love in someone’s eyes.

We strive for sincere friendships, throaty laughter, dancing barefoot in the summer rain. As spontaneously as children.

We strive for it, but we don’t all go for it. It’s another extreme that comes with adulthood, people giving up on their core. They catch the roles they play, they match, they literally merge with those identities. They become the position they work in, they become the family role of husband and father, after that of son and brother, they merge with the role of friends, godparents, neighbors, but most of all they merge with that dogma that accompanies being in the skin of an adult.

And that’s where they get lost.

Bodies change, as do roles, and the children in us adapt to that.

I don’t think they should.

I think we should never lose our passions, I think we should not stop painting or writing or playing basketball or going by boat just because we are now “adults” so we are expected to constantly play those roles and stop being spontaneous.

Bodies change, but the soul never ages, it is forever childish, sincere, cheerful, warm, good-natured and full of love.

This is why I often observe old people who have laid off their roles, embraced their grandchildren and allowed themselves to be children with them again.

They enjoy life the way we should all, with no expectations, no assumptions, no limits.

Role slaves

We ‘adults’ are often bound by fear of what someone will say. We are dedicated to living in fine suits, expensive shoes and above all online. We suffer terribly from that image, to the extent that it has captured us and deprived us of our most beautiful, humanity.

I watch mothers who are too busy running across the meadow with their children, fixing skirts and makeup, hiding their eyes behind big glasses and constantly focusing on the environment, making sure no one is watching them, making sure to make an impression, on an unimportant someone. Colleagues, Facebook friends, neighbors, but they don’t pay attention to the impression they leave in front of a person who is really worthwhile – their child.

I watch friends who are so busy talking about distant destinations and the fatigue of life in lockdown, who want to impress me in all the wrong ways because they think they should, because they think they are talking to a famous blogger, but only their Marta sits next to them, so she watches them with her big-eyed, one timid lamb and often pats them on the arm, to make them put down their cell phone and tell her when was the last time they went for sushi, lay on the roof and watched the stars and when they were what I love them for?

I watch all these wonderful people around me, completely trapped in roles that don’t allow them to be what makes them special – human beings.

Subtly with gestures, small messages of tenderness and love, I remind them that it is okay to be their own person, to be their own, truly.

I subtly stab and call them out with texts like this.

And too busy mothers and stiff fathers and confused friends and all of us, too busy with wrong things.

I urge us to live longer and think less. To stop being so focused on changing bodies, on tiny wrinkles and a pound more or less. I invite us to laugh more, dance, sing, breathe, write, paint and sail old boats. I invite us to walk through the young dewy grass barefoot and still sleepy. I invite us to drink coffee for hours, soaking up the colors of the sky and the scents of peonies.

I invite us to preserve, nurture, and let that child live within us.

We may have grown up, mature, organized and calmer, less prone to adventures and emotional extremes, but… we are still here to experience this journey the best we know and to allow ourselves some mischief, joy and adventure.

Bodies change… yes, let it change. But let the soul change so that over the years we gather more memories and joys, and less worries about someone else’s impression.

That is the only wisdom you need. The moment I am, the more life I really live.

6 thoughts on “Living in the moment, the legacy of my thirties”

  1. Beautiful post! So reflective over your 20’s and 30’s and some really important lessons to be learned. I’m in my late 20’s now and actually had a mini freak out about it last night. I’m 29 in September and all those questions like “what have I done with my life?” or all the what ifs keep cropping up. So I needed something like this today! x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely identify with your post as I went through this too from my 20s to 30s and now into my 40s. I found that how I respond to things has definitely changed as I’ve got older. I’m also far more reflective, intentional and reciprocal than before. Really thought-provoking post — thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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