Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Today, on March 21st, I am turning 30.

It doesn’t faze me much. I could pretend I’m freaking out over the big “3-0” because my twenties are over but really, I don’t care because I am looking forward to many more years of adventures, life experiences, ups and downs and surprises.

I remember turning twenty—Feng and I were backpacking and we had just arrived in Sydney that day. I thought it was pretty cool to celebrate my twentieth birthday Down Under, on the road. If I had been told that ten years later, I’d be a married Canadian citizen with a baby, I would have laughed.

And yet… it happened. Somehow.

I don’t think I changed much in the past ten years. Honestly, physically, I didn’t really… okay, I do have a couple of white hair, courtesy of Baby Mark. That’s about it. I have the same hairstyle, same (lack of) fashion sense, same piercings (I didn’t even took off my navel piercing when I was pregnant!), same Doc Martens shoes—gee, I’m realizing I’m actually pretty conservative I guess!

I did gain life experience through immigrating to Canada, working in different environments, living with Feng, having a kid and traveling. I cherish these experiences—each one of them taught me a lot.

I have never set major life goals for myself, such as “must be married by the time I am 25” or “must have a career before I turn 30”. Frankly, I am not even sure how to define success in life—one person’s definition of an achievement is vastly different from another. I think I am pretty happy with how my life turned out, especially considering I didn’t plan a single thing.

What matters to me is experiencing the breadth of life experiences, good and bad. I don’t want a boring sheltered life. I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to feel happiness, empathy and anger.

So far so good. I’m embracing this new decade… and I’ll pick up some expensive anti-aging cream on the way back home, just in case.

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Happy ( belated) birthday wishes, lady!!!
    Don’t woory; 30 is nothing… You are still bush being active and raising a son.
    No existential worries at this stage! Enjoy!!!


  2. Happy Birthday, Zhu!

    You look absolutely beautiful, and as a new mom you really are glowing.

    Wish you all the best!

  3. Bon anniversaire 🙂 And I can’t believe it, you too kept your Doc Martens ???!!! Mine are almost 15 years old and they are still ok too 😀

  4. I’m thinking about all the places you have been, and the things you have done. Now you have a loving husband and a beautiful little boy. You have accomplished a great deal in these 30 years and the best part of your life is still ahead of you. Happy birthday and best wishes to you, Feng and baby Mark.

  5. Happy Birthday Zhu! You share the same birthday as my husband only he is three years older than you. It was the first birthday in years that he celebrated with so much snow. It felt like it was the first day of winter where we are and not the first day of spring!

    Don’t worry about turning 30, it feels just turning 29 (or 28, or…). The important thing is that you are happy with how your life has turned out, with what you have accomplished, that you have a healthy self-image and healthy relationships with your friends and family. Good job!

    • Thank you! Funny that I am sharing a birthday with your husband. March babies! I always associate my birthday with “spring” and it was quite a shock to celebrate it under the snow my first year in Canada!

  6. I’ll be turning 41 in a few months and in my opinion life gets even better as you get older!

    You will enjoy your 30s, I believe it’s a time when you reap the rewards of experience while the 20s are more focused on getting experience.

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Hi Zhu,

    Many happy returns of the day.. Happy Birthday to you. May all ur wishes come true and you get all the happiness in life. You share your birth year with my wife and just like you she is also standing at verge of being a mum soon. She has been reading all your articles since you wrote the first time about your pregnancy.

    Looking forward for many more articles from you in the coming years.


    Take care. Be Good. God Bless

    • Thank you! I wish you two a great baby… I must admit I am not surprised to hear you are expecting, you are the perfect couple 😉 Tell her to email me if she has any baby-related questions, I’ll be happy to help!

  8. Oh I remember being 30 last year; I thought I’d get my PhD before turning 30, but I needed a little extension so I graduated a month and a half after. Plenty of things changed between when I was 20 and 30: I came out of multiple metaphorical closets, got a PhD, moved to Europe, but at the same time, I am still me, there are parts of my personality that still is the same, and yeah, as much as 30 is a huge number, I don’t even remember celebrating it last year.

  9. Happy Birthday Zhu! Turning 30 didn’t phase me either I’m not sure how I’ll be when I turn 40 later this year, hopefully I’ll just take that in my stride too. We must be very like minded as I have a similar philosophy, enjoy what you have and embrace every experience and you wont go far wrong 😀

  10. Happy birthday, Zhu! I’m with you on that: some people seem to be obsessed with turning 30. Like there should be a number of things that you should have accomplished or otherwise you are a failure. I’m turning 29 in My, so I’m close to that 3-0 but simply don’t feel pressure. As long as you know you’re 20s were well spent (which they definitely were!!) you can only welcome the 30s with open arms 🙂

  11. Oh, with a terrible delay (I can conveniently blame it on my baby :))- Happy Birthday, Zhu!!! Your life journey has been fantastic so far and with the new little man in your life it will just keep getting better! Hip-hip-hooray for 30! It’s also the right occasion to tell you how great it is to know you and thank you for all your help and support! xxxx

    • Thank you! Don’t apologize, I completely understand how busy you must be… trust me, I do! 😆 Is it spring yet over there? This winter is endless in Ontario.

      • It was a rainy & gloomy winter here in West coast until yesterday. And then suddenly a spring weather today… But you never know. Last week after a sunny day it started to snow the next morning. Hope sunshine is coming your way soon! xx

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