When I turned 25, I remember getting this sinking feeling in my stomach. It was the first year I remember ever looking at my birthday as a bittersweet thing. I was no longer in my early twenties, but still young enough to avoid the late twenties label. I couldn't help but feel like I was having an identity crisis of sorts. I spent the next five years getting that sinking feeling again each time my birthday would come around; it was a constant reminder that I was getting older. Older. I didn't like that word very much.
And then? Well, a surprising, funny, sort-of-miraculous thing happened: I turned 30. Instead of being horrified that I was no longer even in my twenties, I suddenly felt free. Amazing even. It was like all my age hang-ups and fears and bugaboos just vanished. In their place was a self-confidence and self-assurance that, before I knew it, made my 30th year my happiest yet.
And lucky for me, it looks like things are just going to get better and better from here. In a survey by U.K. site Friends Reunited, 70% of respondents over the age of 40 said they did not find true happiness until they were 33 years old.
“The age of 33 is enough time to have shaken off childhood naivety and the wild scheming of teenaged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth," says psychologist Donna Dawson. "By this age, innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a “can do” spirit and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities. We have yet to develop the cynicism and world-weariness that comes with later years."
How fascinating! Who would have guessed that the best is yet to come? What's been your happiest age so far, friends? What made it so happy and fulfilling? What age are you really looking forward to? Is there an age you're dreading? xoxo
P.S. More age-themed posts.
[Photos via Le Love]