This past January I turned 30. I had all these big dreams that I foresaw myself reaching by the time I turned 30 and none of them seemed near. Taking it back a year, turning 29 seemed a lot more dreadful because I knew I had just 365 days before I hit the new decade of my life. I was affected by ageism, the opinion of others and the expectations that had been placed on me from childhood. I come from a Pakistani Muslim family and I was expected to go to college (which I did not), get married to someone from the same background (which I have not and don’t plan to), and follow a career path that was suitable by cultural standards (also a not). Here I was, unmarried, living in Los Angeles thousands of miles away from my family. It’s actually quite a paradox if you know about the culture. I had a breakdown the eve of my 29th birthday because I I considered myself a failure. I delivered pizzas for a living and was just barely getting by on bills. What did I have to show for my life? Here’s where one of my favorite words comes into play. Perspective. I have my health, I have my dreams, I have my visions, aspirations and the love of those closest to me. I have my dog, who adores me. Ok, maybe he just sticks around because he knows he’s going to get fed and walked daily but that’s not the point here. I had to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask myself why I really felt this way. The ugly truth was that even though I felt I’d come so far from caring about the opinions of others, I really hadn’t. I was living a life based off the expectation of society. A few months into 29 I started to see things differently. I was conditioned to using the term “when I make it” a lot and I had to redefine this. I was living, breathing, free to pursue what I wanted every waking day and though I had to work really hard, I never went without. So here came 30 and I rewired my thoughts so much that I was excited about turning 30. I was looking forward to the new chapter in my life. Bringing into this new decade all the lessons I had learned in my 20’s by fucking up. A lot. This year I decide to be braver, stronger and to step outside my comfort zone. I booked a great acting job, started this blog, read a lot more books, pushed myself physically to get into better shape and learned more about finances. I shook off more and more what others thought about me and I learned to be more present. I became more and more in control of my thoughts and learned how our surroundings and situations are a manifestation of our minds. My biggest take away was learning to be more and more ok within my skin, and figuring out exactly who I am. It took a lot of rewiring and is still a work in progress. It took a lot of undoing what had been drilled in me since childhood and most importantly it started with a need and want to shift the way things had been. I came out knowing that what we have always known isn’t always what’s best for us. Heck, most of the time it is absolutely not. As I type this first post, I find myself smiling reflecting back on the last few years. I look forward to sharing even more in depth with you the journey of my self discovery.