Ages 0-9 – you are born. You are raised. You are a bird in your parent’s nest. You know little about the world, and less about yourself.
10-19 – your second decade. You start as a a sheltered chicklet, and suddenly molt into an awkward teenager. Your hormones do more thinking than your brain, and often the two conflict. You lay the baseline for some really dumb behavior.
20-29 – with a firm foundation for stupidity in place, you spend the first half of your twenties as a manchild acting on it. Hormones and arrogance lead to some impressively bad decisions. If you’re smart, you spend the second half of your twenties digging out of the mistakes made by the first half.
30 – the first real decade.
I look back at my late twenties, and see them as a frustrated effort to untie the knots that my early twenties tangled. In that struggle I learned a lot about myself, and the gained a freedom over many misperceptions that lead to my troubles in the first place.
At thirty, I have my first real decade. A whole decade to tune into myself, and explore what makes me tick. A decade mindful of my time, and aware of my mortality. A decade away from the influence of well meaning parents, raging hormones, self defeating tendencies. A decade free from depression triggered by unbalanced lifestyle choices: excessive alcohol, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle. A new hope.
Thirty is decade one, year one, so if you’re approaching or just turned, it’s a chance to see it for the opportunity that it presents. Congrats!