Amsterdam, The Netherlands
| 27 February 2017

Thirty-somethings, we’re an odd bunch. We’re floating somewhere between the cynical forty-somethings and carefree twenty-somethingsAt this point in our life, we should be well underway to marriage, having children, building a family. But instead we only have eye for ourselves. We know how to find the good life though. We have seen more of the world than our parents at our age, we know where to fine-dine globally thanks to Chef’s Table and the many foodies we follow on instagram and we look smashing in Scandinavian designers and high street fashion. We’re like a cool mischievous group from a Quentin Tarantino movie, ready to fight for a cause. Except, we don’t really have one. We just like to look the part.

Underneath the indifferent exterior though there’s the looming threat of old age. And with that, a realization that youth is slipping away right from under our noses. We’re not as young as we used to be.

30 has been a good year. It was the year I cut the cord and was ready to start realizing my dreams. It was a year full of extremes, that too. There was the madness of London and Paris Fashion Week, the traveling from one place to another and experiencing the best of the culinary world. Undeniably, this was one of the highlights and winning it felt like a nod from the creative community that I was on the right path. It has inspired me to challenge myself even more this year.

Things I’ve learned being 30:

Being yourself is what makes the difference – In a world where quick and popular content is valued more, it’s easy to try and get into that stream and do what everybody else is doing. One thing I’ve learned this year is that there’s nothing more important than doing your own thing. Don’t sell out just because something is popular or you’re getting paid – do what feels right to you and do your creativity justice by showing it.

Every step counts – Sometimes you’re doing something that may not be rewarded afterwards. But as long as you continue building your work portfolio, it will amount to a larger whole. You learn from it, you gain knowledge and efficiency for future projects and you’re fine-tuning your art. Which is more valuable in the end.

Sometimes you have to let go – I have a tendency to want things to go perfectly from start to finish. This year I’ve learned to grow past that and instead I find that the best thing I can do is be prepared. Not everything will go your way, but be flexible enough to adjust yourself to different circumstances. Like Bruce Li says, be like water.

Hello 31, I’m ready for you!

Thirty-Somethings Red Balloon Amsterdam Canals The Avantguardian Igrien