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  • Writer's pictureDiana C.

Thirty, flirty, and thriving. Sort of.

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

It’s finally happened, everyone. I waited for it, I stressed over it, and in the end, I welcomed it. I have finally turned thirty years old.

Turning thirty is a huge milestone. I have survived thus far and that alone is reason to celebrate! I am healthy, happy, and living comfortably. But am I truly thirty, flirty, and thriving? The first two are true. The last one may need some work.

What does it mean to thrive? A quick google search tells me it means to prosper, to flourish, to gain in wealth and possessions. When I look at these definitions, I don’t feel like I’m thriving. I am currently living paycheck to paycheck with little to no savings, so we can cross out the “wealth and possessions” part. I am stuck in a lot of mental traps that I’m still working through, and I still find it hard to be open. That makes me think that perhaps I haven’t flourished. At least, not in the ways I expected to by the time I reached thirty.

However, another definition of thrive is to progress towards or realize a goal despite circumstances. I much prefer this definition. When I look back on the past few years of my life, I realize that I have reached a lot of goals. Some of the dreams I had for most of my life became a reality.

Goal number one, and maybe the more superficial of them all, was to travel to Paris. I know, this one is so cliché. When I finally booked my trip, I thought back to nine-year-old Diana dreaming about traveling to the romantic city and I was thrilled. We’ve all watched those movies and tv shows where the protagonists get to travel to the fashion capital of the world, sit at a café, visit the Eiffel tower, and drink wine to their hearts content. I got to do that for my 27th birthday. To make it even better, I had the opportunity to go with one of my closest friends. It was the perfect trip and a dream come true, despite having to travel there in the winter. (I am a January birthday, and the trip was cheaper because no one wants to explore during the winter.)

Goal number two, and this one was the most personal and heartbreaking of them all, I ended my toxic decade long relationship with a man I always knew was wrong for me. I convinced myself I was happy and that marrying him was what I wanted, but deep down in my heart and spirit, I knew I had to walk away. And I finally did it. This was the most important goal of my 20s, and I did it. I will pat myself on the back for the rest of my life.

And finally, goal number three was to move abroad and experience life somewhere completely different from the life I have always known. That’s how I ended up in Korea, the land of Samsung, amazing food, theme cafes and K-pop. (Yes, I like K-pop, leave me alone about it). Moving here was the most terrifying thing I have ever done. I left my family and friends, my beachside hometown, and the comfort of being surrounded by the English language. As scary as it was, I have built a life I am very happy with. I’m blessed to have met so many kind people. I have made great friends, and I have learned so much about myself while out here on my own. It’s one of the best decisions I have made.

So, when I think about turning 30, I feel content. Am I where I expected to be? No, not really. I never imagined that I’d be celebrating my 30th in a foreign country, but this is where life has taken me. I am fortunate to have celebrated with friends who made it so special. However, being away from my family and friends was difficult. I also thought that when I reached this point in my life, I would have my career established and I’d be settled down somewhere. But the idea of settling down is, well, unsettling.

I have come to terms with where I am in life. It’s a pretty great life. My goal going forward is to continue to make decisions that bring me peace. And to enjoy every moment. Who knows how long my journey in Korea will be, so I am determined to make the most of it. And who knows where I will end up next.

I am embracing the uncertainty of life, and this is the mentality I am taking into my thirties.

Can I say that I am truly thriving? I think I can. Maybe I am not thriving in the sense of possessions or wealth acquired. I am thriving on experiences and memories.

Also, thank you to the movie 13 Going on 30 for bringing this quote into my life. I have literally been waiting 18 years to be able to use it. Turning 30 will be my only personality trait for the rest of the year.

I am thirty, and flirty, and thriving.

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