Thirty Sucks

That’s what my friends and coworkers told me. So did the lollipop, the mints, the mug and the banner that were so lovingly showered upon me. Good times, right? I was optimistic though. Thirty was going to be life changing. I was sure of it. I was sorry to see my twenties go (I figured I could kiss goodbye the days of getting carded at the door and dancing on the tables), but I was going to go gracefully into real adulthood.
Why not? Thirty is the new twenty after all. And the things that came along with my 30th birthday: completion of my MBA (Woo-Hoo! No more term papers!), a new job with a leading international retailer (dream job?), and a New Year’s Eve wedding shared with all my favorite people (PARTY!).
Sounds good, huh? Idyllic even. I know, I know. Probably I shouldn’t complain. But here’s the thing: It all sounds really great, but I was never happy. Ever. The pressure, the politics, the never ending stream of work that meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. These are the things that sucked the life from me on a daily basis.
“Life’s too short to be doing something you hate.” A direct quote from a co-worker of mine. Naturally, I was skeptical. Easy to make such a bold statement when you’re sitting on an entry level salary and don’t have a mortgage and a pile of student loans. So I didn’t think this Millennial view of the world applied to me. Hell, I’m Gen X all the way. Besides, I’m head to toe practical. Always have been. (See paragraph two if you’re not sure: safe degree, steady job, minimal risk.)
The people I was really jealous of? My own friends.  (Yes, I am appropriately embarrassed to admit this little tidbit, but nobody’s perfect, right?) In this age of social media, I was being bombarded daily with a stream of updates from friends who were staying home to raise kids and pursue the things they really enjoyed: cooking, photography, sports, volunteerism. What could I talk about? Excelling at a job I hate? No thanks. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m envious, but I applaud them for choosing to be happy and for doing what they love. I just didn’t have the courage to take that kind of leap myself.
Not until recently anyway. Why the sudden change of heart? My father was diagnosed with Stage Four Adenocarcinoma lung cancer. (My dad’s a fighter and I am confident he’ll beat it. He’s attacking his treatment just like he attacks life. I should be so lucky to have his courage. ) It’s cliché, but his diagnosis was a wakeup call. I want to do something I love. (Who doesn’t?) And I’m going for it.
So that’s what this blog is about: chasing the dream.
I invite you to follow my journey and share this link with anyone you think might also enjoy the ride.

JJ Bonds