I have been fascinated with being a 30-something for as long as I can remember. I have always had some strong inclinations about this decade of life. It is challenging familiar mindsets and starting to focus the bigger picture. One of the things that I have realized is that we are not just meant to be human beings in title, but humans who are being. To be “thirty & being” is to stand lovingly aware in the light of who you are in this very moment.

The chapter pre-thirty gets a lot of hype: the coming of age story. That period from childhood to full blown adulthood is one that gets a TON of focus…and rightfully so. The future seems long, bright and full of possibilities. Then once that time has come and gone, it is a phase full of defining moments on which to reminisce for the rest of our days. We, as humans, love to talk about the past and future.  This often leaves the middle chapters of our lives ignored, as they are the decades of the present.

We are not that far removed from our childhood antics as 30-somethings.  In fact for many of us, it’s still very much unknowingly weaved into the fabric of how we operate. We are just now realizing that we do things “just because” and are getting past the surface to truly unpack and challenge our norms. The world’s “she’s still figuring it out” grace has passed. And all of those “future” plans were supposed to have happened by now or should be happening this instant.

Concurrently, the future doesn’t seem unimaginably far away. It begins to truly feel like if not now, then when…if ever. The problem is no one really teaches us how to live in the now. We learn what could be, what should be, what will be, what should have been, what could have been, etc. We live to be so we can reminisce on what has been.

Can we focus on this word “be” for a second? It has many uses and meanings, but it often centers on this thought of completion and thoroughness. It’s the end game. For many of us, “to be” is the day-to-day motivation. Who do I want to be? Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be with? To then get to that point and look back on all of our “been there, done that’s.” Been is the past participle of be and most people are professionals of living in the past. But we aren’t human bes or human beens…we are human beings.

Being is the PRESENT participle of the word be. It shows continuous action. So in life, being is essentially the vehicle moving us from one place to the next. We often forget the middle of the story because we are anticipating how it will end. But being is what fills us up. It’s the meat and the potatoes. Being is what allows the final course to be the cherry on top without leaving us thirsting for more.

We begin to notice the small details when we are being. We can acknowledge our transitions in life as they happen. We are mindful of who we are in the world. It’s no longer just about getting to that next chapter in life, but HOW we are moving between the chapters. Being is the essence of who we are as humans, and the ability to revel in that is a beautiful gift.

To be “thirty & being” is to be an active participant in your present. It is appreciating the joys in the moment. It is acknowledging the lessons as they come. It is giving oneself grace and permission to grow and change. It is forgiving yourself when you fall. It is challenging oneself to do better, right now. It is loving yourself even when you don’t like your actions. It is unapologetically and actively cheering oneself on. It is honoring YOU, flaws and all, right here, right now. It is being free. It is being true. It is being you.