It’s fine if you don’t know. It’s fine if you don’t have a plan. It’s fine if you are the only one who doesn’t seem to know where your life is headed. Sometimes there are no solutions, at least not immediate ones, so all you have to do is sit it out. Things will sometimes work themselves out when you do nothing. Don’t sweat it. This opening line in Kenyan blogger Bikozulu’s article, where he penned down memories in form of a letter to his younger self, sheds light on how random and altering life can be. Hitting certain stages in life can mean milestones or otherwise. Life shifts a certain way yet the perception of this varies per person. But after 30, a body has a mind of its own, they say. At this point in life, childhood naivety has been shaken off, your expectations and priorities are different. Plus, this stage comes with a lot of self-awareness too. Turning 30 can be scary for some people. Growing up comes with a whole lot of new challenges of course, but the terrifying bit is wondering if you are ‘where you think you should be’ at this age, or if you will ever get there before time catches up with you. Now in her mid-thirties, Maureen Katushabe recalls how worried she was about joining the ‘third floor’ with all of the things she thought she hadn’t accomplished. “My career was just starting, I hadn’t gained much experience. I didn’t own anything serious in my life and there I was turning 30. Anxiety hit and I didn’t know what to do,” she says. Of course with time she had to let reality sink in, and accept. However, she says that after a few years, life completely changed for her. “Not that my assets multiplied, but the change happened with my attitude. Somehow my new era came with a lot of maturity emotionally. I started viewing life in a completely different lens. I focused more on who I was and how I wanted to live my life, achieving was still a part of the agenda but it no longer had the power to consume me. I put my wellbeing first and this has been top of priorities for a long time now,” she says. We are conditioned to think that there’s nothing scarier than turning 30. The landmark event looms on most people’s calendar like a harbinger for terrible things to come: the death of youth and the deadline for unrestrained irresponsibility. But while you were busy mourning the death of your 20s and religiously slapping on the anti-wrinkle cream, you probably didn’t realise that life has gotten a hell of a lot better as you reluctantly moved towards the milestone birthday. Like a bad relationship, we hang on to the ‘golden years’ of our 20s, replaying the best bits on a rose-tinted loop, forgetting that we spent most of the decade broke, overworked and with no idea about what the hell we’re doing, an article on ‘30 reasons why you should look forward to turning 30,’ reads in part. The best thing about hitting this age is the undeniable maturity that comes with it, for most people, says Prossy Mbabazi, a beautician. However, expect commitments, she adds. “These can come with your children, spouse or parents because at this point, they are ageing and need your full support.” She also says that it’s better to pursue your life goals at this stage. “Have that trip that you have always wanted, build your dream house, build a home, marry and have kids. Life happens at 30 and a lot of huge milestones are achieved at this stage.” At 20, you might think you are mature, but it’s after you hit thirty that you realise how young you were. Mbabazi says the 20s are mostly for finding yourself, discovering who you are and the type of life you want to lead. “Expect great changes in mind and body. How you think, how you relate with other people will completely change. You will mostly become more responsible, self-loving and care less about pleasing others,” Mbabazi says. Nonetheless, fear and panic will have to set in. Every age comes with its responsibilities and that’s not always easy. But the beauty of growing up is that, after sometime, you outgrow most of your anxieties, and choose to live for the day, she adds. Engineer Sydney Nsekanabo shares that one thing he is sure of is that, at this time in a person’s life, one is full of fear and excitement in equal measure. “You are confident of the person you compared to your 20-something self, or teenage you. Maturing doesn’t stop life’s challenges from coming your way, but this time, you are wiser and smarter. Fear about the future becomes so real at this point but the good news is you are more equipped now to deal with uncertainties,” he says. At any age, life is lived best when you live in the moment; when you choose to lead with love, to love yourself and others too, wise people say. Don’t kill yourself saving or dieting or drinking or writing or thinking or conforming or pleasing, Bikozuku writes. The worst thing is to deny yourself and forget to live for yourself. Time is measured. Jump off the cliff, something will eventually catch you. Beauty is not knowing what.