Will You Ever Feel Like a Grownup?

Even though I know I’m 34 and, therefore, quite deep into my adult years, I somehow don’t often feel like I’m a grownup.

I think when I was younger I thought that being an adult would come with a sort of positivity and all-knowingness – not the kind your mother-in-law has, but the kind that comes from looking really cool in business attire and having your own briefcase.

I thought I would always know the answer and I’d be the kind of person who has complete self-confidence in every decision I made.

I had no idea how wrong I’d be…

I do have moments where I have the feeling of independence once in a while, but these moments are fleeting, making it more like an emotion than a general sense.

And just to remind me of how ungrownup I am, I got the hiccups yesterday and just couldn’t shake them. I held my breath, drank water upside down and even tried to scare myself by watching the first episode of Stranger Things.

Thankfully, they disappeared when I went to the bank later and I cleared up a mistake on my account. During that time I actually felt like a grownup; no hiccups, and completely cool. I think I fooled them.

But it made me realize that this feeling of being a grownup may not even really exist at all. Maybe it’s just something we imagine will feel different but never really does. Maybe all it is is an emotion that shows up only once and a while, out of the blue, kind of like the hiccups.

I started to think more about what it means to get the grownups…

I tend to get the grownups more when I’m at the bank, taking care of my future.

I feel the grownups when I’m driving somewhere I’ve never been and I figure it out.

I definitely feel them when I act like a bonehead and knock someone’s drink over and my first instinct isn’t to be embarrassed but to laugh at myself, apologize and replace it (which happened today).

I wonder if these moments will eventually get closer together and eventually meld into a fully-formed sense of adultness.

But talking with some of my elder relatives in the last while has pretty much assured me that it really never kicks in like you expect it to. They say it’s actually more like the hiccups and how they show up to remind you to take it slow and breathe.

In the same way, those adulting moments give us a quick glimpse of our adult life, and for a few moments we can feel like we’ve made it. These moments give you a chance in a quick glimpse to see how your life has progressed and is a little more sorted out than it used to be.

The trick, I think, is to take the moment in, but also be careful to not try too hard to hold on to it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have to make the feeling last.

It’ll be back some time soon.

In the meantime, we still have some growing up to do and we’re meant to really enjoy that part of the journey – the part that feels fun and unbound by time. The part where I still feel like a little girl when I give my dad a hug or when I play on the grass with my dogs.

When do you get the grownups and when and how do you let them go?

I’d love to hear in the comments or on Facebook.

And if you or someone you know is looking for more ways to feel the grownups, to really take charge of your adult life, get in touch! Find out more about working with me in one of my coaching programs at ashewoodward.com. Or get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com.

Our OLD Chums and How to Love Them

The list of reasons why it’s great to be in our thirties is pretty long, and I’m sure you know  I could ramble for hours about this being the most excellent decade of my life so far.

And, since you asked, some of my personal favourites are: knowing ourselves more fully, having experience in many many areas, wisdom, more confidence and, for some, a bigger who gives a F— attitude.

But where there’s light, there’s dark so like all things in life there is a dark side to thirtysomeone life. Some culprits include the seemingly never-ending stack of bills, likely identity crises, pressure to get married and have kids, and an ever-slowing metabolism, and the urge to be in our jammies by 8pm on Saturday nights, only to name a few of the great ones.

But today I want to stay positive and add one to the list that I’ve actually never thought of before and it occurred to me this weekend when I had a friend visit.

We met in our first year of university. We both lived on the all girl’s floor and it was a pretty tight community. However, she’s been the only oneI’ve really stayed in touch with.

Now, she lives a few hours and lots of traffic away, but we’ve managed a visit almost every year and we went to each others’ weddings. Not bad.

And then when I got thinking really about how impressive that is, I realized that I’ve known this chick since I was 19, and I can actually say that I have been friends with someone for 15 years!

And I was like, Holy crap that sounds like a long time!

But how amazing is that?

In high school we bond with our friends and feel like we’ll be friends forever. And maybe we will or maybe we won’t, but at the time it sure feels like we are true blue soul mates and yet we’ve only known each other for maybe a couple of years.

In our thirties, it’s possible to have had those trusted amigos in our lives for much, much longer, making those friendships even stronger and more meaningful.

I’m so grateful to have known many of my friends for many years – even if it does make me sounds incredibly old (especially when we can reminisce about mix tapes, Saturday morning cartoons, not having a cell phone until we were 20).

It’s also quite a humbling feeling to know that I’m sharing this journey with great people I’ve met along the way, and it’s amazing to be able to watch our lives ebb, flow, or even change completely.

It’s double crazy to even try to imagine the girls that met all those years ago are now these women –  still friends, but really different from who we used to be, in so many ways. In point of fact, we used to party at the campus bar ’til close, drinking the boys under the table.

This past weekend we had a healthy dinner of salmon and salad from my garden, drank some wine and hit the hay at 10:30pm, like wild women.

So, it all sounds great, but there’s always that risk of of falling out of touch over time. So how do we ensure our friendships stay friendships so we can retain all the bragging rights of being friends for decades?

The simplest way I can put it is this: make it a priority. If a friend is truly a friend and you value that person’s friendship even the slightest, you make sure you go to the birthday party that might be inconvenient. You make sure you meet for coffee when you haven’t spoken in six months. You go to the baby shower you resent going to, knowing that your friend will never buy your dog a toy or a cute outfit.

Secondly, as a priority, make sure you are THERE – phone off (potentially), kids at the babysitter, and all your attention is on the other person.

It sounds like a strict regimen, but you will never deny that it is all worth it and so much more important that you had even thought when you were first making plans.

And it IS important. So when we do get the feeling that we’re really ‘getting up there,’  I hope we have made the calls, made the trips, and we’ll end up in a place where we see a great group of forever friends right there with us.

If you or a forever friend is ready to step into your thirties with confidence and success, I’d love to chat! Find out more at ashewoodward.com or email me directly at support@ashewoodward.com.

Did You Know THIS About Your 30s?

Whenever I talk about what I do, the first question people ask me is, “Why do you focus only on thirty-somethings?”

Good question.

I know it seems a little strange to seem to focus on only one age group but there’s so much going on here that there’s lots to work with, and I’m constantly surprised and challenged by my work.

And, to those of you who have wondered the same thing, let me also say that I don’t only work with thirty-somethings. I work with people of all ages, but I do focus on turning 30 as a pivotal moment for where success is at a make it or break it point.

Most importantly, I focus here because since I’ve been in my thirties, I’ve never felt such an interesting dichotomy: While I feel like I’ve come into my own and I have more self-confidence than ever, at the same time I feel like I’ve never been so unsure.

Basically, I’m fascinated by the mindset shift that happens on this birthday – for better or worse.

Personally, I always thought by the time I was 30, I’d have so much of life figured out and it would be pretty smooth sailing. I thought I’d have a secure job, a house, maybe kids and be living happily ever after with my prince charming.

While some of that dream came true, I’d say that there were more surprises than I thought and more exceptions to the rule than anything else.

But the greatest surprise of all was that I do feel like I know myself and what I truly want, more than ever before. I never expected this but I personally think it’s the best thing about turning 30 and even a superpower of this decade.

However, using my own story and the story of clients and friends, I can tell you that after 30 there’s a powerful shift that I’ve sometimes gone as far to call a mindfuck (and I’m not one to use that term lightly).

Some say we come into our own, and others may say we get hit by 30 like a ton of bricks.

Many of us start to see the reason for the bumpy road of our 20s. We begin to understand how and why we ended up where we are now. And, maybe for the first time, we see that we have to make corrections.

One of the first places we often look is the timeline and we judge how long it took us to accomplish certain things, probably comparing ourselves to others who did the same or better in less time.

We then likely look at the timeline ahead of us and make a judgement about how long something new, like correcting our course, might take.

But so often we don’t go after something new because

A, we didn’t get exactly what we wanted before so we think there’s no way it’ll work this time.

B, it took so long last time and it still wasn’t right.

And C, this time  we have a spouse and kids to think about before we go gallivanting around just following our dreams.

But your 30s are the perfect time to be ‘gallivanting’ towards success and happiness if you know how to capitalize on everything you’re dealing with – use your superpowers!

*We have more knowledge, experience and resources this time around.

*Instead of being pushed into education and living in the Lala Land of university life or intern life, we have a grasp of the real world like never before. Yes, this is what all that crap was preparing us for.

*Unlike your 20s, we finally have the resources. Chances are, you have a more secure job and a stable group of friends to support you if things go awry.

*You probably also have a bigger WHY than you used to. I’ve heard countless stories about how in our 20s we were ruled the desire to prove ourselves to parents, siblings, teachers, bosses and mentors.

*In our 30s, with our who gives a shit attitude, our ego is much less of what is pushing us. We have other things and other people to worry about (kids, spouse, potential spouse) and it’s their faces and their future that can inspire us to move mountains.

Of course we have to be careful not to feel the pressure; it can be a lot to handle because, yes, this is crunch time. This is really when you could make your mark and have the life of your dreams, and that can be a scary thought.

But, If you can appreciate how special and unique these gifts in our 30s are, you have a magic formula for success.

In my eyes, your thirties are the perfect time to perfect your career path or start your own business. It’s the perfect time to explore new things in all areas because you’re more comfortable trying new things.

Not to say that you are completely comfortable but, compared with your twenties, you are much wiser from your mistakes and much more capable because of your experiences and who you’ve become – the hero of your own story.

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If this all sounds like you and you’re ready to get started on a project for happiness and success in your 30s, I’d love if you’d join me for my FREE webinar on how to really use your 30s’ Superpowers to achieve your dreams NOW. Click HERE to find out more.

Or, come on over to ashewoodward.com to find out more about me, your 30s and how we can work together to get you to the success you’ve been dreaming of for all of your adult life!