This morning, I woke up 30.

I can’t say I’d given it much thought until late last night. Barefoot, pregnant and mopping the kitchen floor, I had one of those silent moments with myself and wondered whether I was where I should be at this time in my life.

It wasn’t a moment of crisis, it was simply a moment of contemplation.

In South Africa, where I’m from, there seems to be a rather ingrained and conservative treadmill towards the big three zero birthday. You’re best off ticking the boxes, falling behind the white picket fence and making a life right there. Go to university, have a good career, get engaged, then married, buy a house, try for a baby, and a second one… it all seems to follow a rather dull and predictable course.

No one questions it and no one seems to be particularly bothered by it, until, for whatever reason, one of the boxes goes unchecked and we’re forced out of our comfort zones and into a place where we can be truly and fantastically alive and thriving.

I’m not sure where I would be if life hadn’t thrown me a little off centre…

I came to France, fell in love, married a Swede and stayed. We bought an apartment, I started my own business and any day now, we’ll welcome our first little one into the world.

In some ways, I fall squarely into the neat boxes of 30-year-old life but in other ways, I am rather unconcerned by how I fair in comparison to my peers or what society expects.

What matters is that I have found a path to walk that is my own.

And I’ve learned there is a way to live life both deliberately and spontaneously, both ordinarily and unusually, both in and out of control…

I’ve come to appreciate today for what it is and let the rest just be.