I’m 30. Holy cow. You know it doesn’t feel like I expected. In fact, it doesn’t really feel any different than 29. Most likely, the anticipated doom and gloom surrounding my 30th birthday stemmed from the fact that I failed to achieve every single goal that I set for my ‘Before 30’ dash of accomplishments. But, here’s what I’ve realized.
I’m still awesome.
You know why?
Because I set some kick-ass goals.
Sure, I didn’t rise to the level that I wanted.
But, I rose.
Here’s a glimpse at this year’s “failures”.
1. Lose 30 additional lbs (I had previously lost 40).
I still have 20 to go. That’s quite a failure, right? Wrong!
In my pursuit of fitness, I joined a running club coached by an ex-Olympian. It hurts so good. Yesterday was my first day back after Hajj vacation. At the end of practice, we were on our backs in the grass. Abs, abs, abs. Sweaty and itchy, I looked around at the shiny faces of my teammates and smiled. My heart swelled with gratitude. In reality, in the midst of a relay, race, or running practice, weight doesn’t matter. Strength does. And that’s what I’ve found.
2. Find a literary agent. Publish my novel.
I’m convinced that whoever sets out to write a novel is insane. When I started penning my novel, I had no clue what I was in for. A mind-blowing amount of sweat, tears, grit, and pain gets poured into a manuscript. On top of that, all this work is done knowing that your chances of success are extremely slim.
But, what is success really?
My first draft was 90,000 words. In my revisions, I’ve cut to 45,000. POOF! Half my novel up in smoke. But, I wrote on. I’m now on my third draft, and my novel is finally taking shape. Although I’m desperately behind schedule, my writing craft has developed immensely. I’ve attended writing conferences, had my worked critiqued by literary agents, editors, and other writers. This past year, I’ve put a few guest blogs and publications under my belt. The seeds of my labor on this project have been planted, a few harvested, and more to come, insha’Allah. I know that I just need to keep at the slog. It will come.
3. Travel to Spain, Costa Rica, and Australia.
When I was about eight years old, I wrote a ‘life list’. The first item on the list was “Visit Spain, Costa Rica, and Australia”. To this day, I haven’t even come close to visiting these countries.
I might not have walked through the cobblestone streets of Spain, but I toured the castles and gardens of Austria and Switzerland. I haven’t spent any time lounging on the white sand of Costa Rica, but instead I’ve snorkeled over coral reefs in the Maldives. Australia’s wildlife still evades me, but the Hajj ‘wildlife’ was pretty epic.
So, what have I learned in 30 years?
Set those ridiculously unachievable goals of your burning heart’s desire. Bust your ass to achieve them. If you don’t reach the ceiling of your expectations, remember – in your failure to achieve something very specific, you’ve actually accomplished a great deal.
How have I not found your blog sooner?. You sound like my kinda person in the most non-creepy way lol
I *loved* reading this. I found it so relateable. Seeking the positive and blessing in each situation no matter whether you reached your initial intended goals or not and with that shifting and making new ones, is basically where I am right now.
May Allaah place barakah in all your endeavours sis! Keep pushing through, you got this ♡
Ameen ya Rub <3 This comment is so lovely and made my day!
Happy 30th!! Hope you get to accomplish all that you intend to, if not, enjoy the ride anyway! Excited about your novel! Would love to know more about it whenever you’re ready, inshaAllah!
Thank you so much! Writing a novel has been such an eye opening experience. I would love to chat about it with you. Soon insha’Allah 🙂
Happy 30th birthday. .I enjoyed your post .keep up the good work..I also want to write Novel but not yet achieve my aim because I have shifted to blogging..
Thanks 🙂 I love blogging because of the timeframe. It takes me about a day to craft a post, edit it (at least 10 times) and find an image. Then you can hit publish and receive feedback and it is out in the world. Writing a novel has been quite like running a marathon. Insha’Allah you get to experience that feeling one day.
Nice post!!! May your coming year surprise you with the happiness of smiles, the feeling of love and so on. I hope you will find plenty of sweet memories to cherish forever.
Happy 30th! I remember feeling a bit blah when hit 30 and felt like I hadn’t achieved much…but have a lovely family and realised thats the most important!
Agree with this: in your failure to achieve something very specific, you’ve actually accomplished a great deal. Hadn’t really thought about it like that before
Wishing you wonderful 30….The time I realized I am 30…I already passed it….May Allah SWT bless you in abundance and give you strength to fulfill your goals…keep rocking…
I am approaching my 30th birthday very soon so this was interesting to read. I wonder how I will feel when I turn 30. I think it’s so cool you’re writing a novel! #muslimahbloggers
Those are some brilliant goals – you should be crazy proud! Very few people can claim to have written a novel at 30! I pray you are able to achieve all that you set your mind to and more inshaAllah! Happy Birthday 🙂