In December when I wrote my end of year reflection for Bokamoso Leadership Forum, I embraced the 30s as a defining period of one’s character – assuming, of course, there’s any ounce of truth to the saying, “life begins at 40”. I wasn’t at all trying to be defeatist about being in the 30s. I was merely trying to communicate how I was making sense of my own agency.
Unlike in my 20s, I don’t feel like I have the luxury of time. In many ways, I feel this urgency to have my affairs in order so that I can make a proper transition to adulthood (whatever this means).
I certainly appreciate it would take some work on my part to make the transition. But why does it have to feel like I am in a rocking boat?
For reasons unbeknown to me, I feel more and more convinced that I deluded myself in my 20s when I thought I was fortified to make decisions that I could account for. I second guess myself regularly, like it is a sport of sort. As a consequence, I often find myself caught in the horns of the ‘to be or not to be’ dilemmas. Just recently, my dilemma was: to be or not to be the woman who wears her heart on her sleeve? After much thought, I decided being that woman is who I am.
The result, however, was not what I expected. The storm of emotions rocked my boat. A journey stopped before it began. Sniffling and tears streaming down my face, I still managed to squeeze a laugh or two. I realised that, more than ever, the truth in my 30s carries more weight and value. And, what would have been a humiliating truth became but a humbling truth.
For me, this shift is very significant. Precisely because I think I would always want to be that woman, who wears her heart on sleeve. For I now realise that, that woman can be vulnerable, yet strong enough to form a positive relationship with the truth. Another thing, because of the clumsiness that often accompanies the truth, she can have a laugh or two at the expense of this clumsiness – for storms eventually pass and crying stops, irrespective of whether the tears were caused by the winds of the storm or raw emotions rooted in fear.