Being a writer and layout designer for the Pajaronian, I know firsthand the importance of deadlines. It’s vital to have set times when things need to be turned in. Edited. Sent to the press. Things run smoothly when there are time constraints.

But for life in general? Maybe giving ourselves deadlines isn’t always the right thing to do.

After turning 30 last year, I was eager to let go of all the regret that had held me back for the majority of my 20s. I used to obsessively wonder about how things might’ve ended up if I’d done something different years before.

I was determined to see turning 30 as a positive milestone. A chance to start over.

There’s a stigma, especially for women, that the prime of your life is your youth. That you should have certain experiences by a certain age. And that you should have everything figured out by a specific time.

It’s a load of bull.

Now, things haven’t been perfect since I’ve turned 30. I’ve fallen back into many of the same behaviors. I haven’t been able to get healthy like I wanted — in fact, the back problems I’ve had since my mid-20s seem to be worse than ever.

But the difference is, I’m no longer worried that I’ve passed a deadline to get better.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take up singing, joining a community choir in Santa Cruz. This is after not singing since I graduated college more than seven years ago. A few of the group’s members are twice my age and say they are singing for the very first time.

I’ve also started studying screenwriting — something I’ve been interested in for a long time but never pursued. My neighbor who is in her 60s is currently in the midst of writing scripts for a TV series, flying down to Los Angeles and making connections. It’s been inspiring to see.

My fellow reporter Tarmo Hannula’s story about ShockWave Food Truck’s owner Dave Tindel is another example of overcoming and starting anew (see page A14). Even after all that Tindel had gone through, all he’d lost, he was able to soldier on and accomplish a brand new goal. His business is booming. He’s in a good place.

The point is, life keeps moving forward and so should we. There is no age or time limit on trying new things. We don’t need to put deadlines on our goals.

I have lots of plans for the future. Health goals, travel plans, career and creative aspirations — and though none of it is certain, it’s also not impossible.

Full steam ahead!


Johanna Miller can be reached at 761-7303 or [email protected].

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