Today is my 30th birthday! I can’t believe I’m no longer in my 20’s! Since last year was a pandemic, can’t I just celebrate my 29th birthday a second time? Honestly though, I’m pretty stoked to be 30. I feel like a lot of people dread this milestone because it seems old. Even though I joke about age & found another grey hair on my head this morning, I truly believe my 30’s will be epic! After going through what I would call the most confusing years of my life (my 20’s) , I woke up today feeling so proud of the woman I’ve become. This year alone, I became a blogger, survived a global pandemic & got engaged to the love of my life & best friend. I have so many things to look forward to these next 10 years. And I hope when I’m 40, I can feel just as proud. In typical blogger fashion, I wanted to post the quintessential Things I’ve Learned Post because I’m ready to drop some wisdom to my readers today. Hope you find some inspiration & know growing another year older is actually pretty fucking exciting!
1.Feeling Lost Is Apart of Life
Somedays, I still feel lost. But a lot of people horn in on your 20’s as the time you need to get your shit together. If you are reading this & feeling extremely lost & confused right now, you aren’t alone. I think finding ourselves is natural & no matter how old you are, you are always still growing & bettering yourself. Stop acting like you are running out of time. Things will fall into place when it should as it should. I spent most of my 20’s trying to finish school, getting a degree in something I probably shouldn’t have & just questioning my entire existence. I woke up feeling like a failure plenty of times. I just kept pushing forward & new the worries I was having at the time will be history later. Keep going.
2. You Will Change & So Will Your Friends
Half the people I met in my 20’s, I don’t even speak to anymore. And the ones I do, I can count them on both hands. I tend to prioritize family for the most part because they are the ones who will be with me always & ones I can truly count on. I’ve talked about how quarantine really helped me reflect on my friendships & how I choose quality over quantity. You can read that post here. My lesson to you is to stop giving people energy they don’t deserve. You can give them countless second chances but people show you who they are. And I think it’s a natural pattern to have some friends only in certain phases of your life. You’ll grow & meet new ones in the future.
3. I Act Like a Child & I’m Ok With This
I’m a child at heart. I love a good Pixar movie, still color in a coloring book to relax & I love going on adventures. I thought as I got older, I had to shed that part of myself & be a boring old mature adult for once. But I’ve learned you can be mature while also having a childlike enjoyment of life. I think it will actually come in handy when we have kids in the future. Although Todd insists HE will be the fun parent.
4. You Accept Those Insecurities & Replace it With Confidence
In my early 20’s especially, I was so incredibly critical of myself. I thought I wasn’t thin enough, pretty enough & was always nit picking my appearance in the mirror. Oh how I wish I could go back & tell my younger self to stop all of that! My mom used to tell me “if I was as pretty as you, I would be so conceded.” HAHA! I gave power to the bullies & believed every hurtful word. Now, that I’m 30, I know “flaws” are normal & we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. They actually help us stand out in the crowd. Instead I look myself in the mirror & know I’m hot as shit. Without being too cocky of course. haha.
5. Life Isn’t All About That Perfect Photo
In a world where social media is a highlight to most people’s day, it can be easy to think you need to post those picturesque photos to showcase a perfect life. But I’ve learned social media is fake & if I didn’t have a blog I wouldn’t have any part of it. It’s better to be authentic & to live in the moment instead for the photo op. Sometimes I wish I had an imaginary “photographer” to capture my life without me having to think about it. Those photos would be epic.
6. Things Fall into Place As it Should & When it Should
In the past, I would always compare myself to other people. Just a few years ago, I would get upset if I saw another person get engaged before I did. I learned this isn’t the healthy or right way to be. Jealously only fuels your insecurities. And now that I am engaged, I laugh at myself for getting so worked up. It all happened at the perfect time & now I hope to have a better mindset with other milestones in the future.
7. People Pleasing Doesn’t Gain Your Friendship
I learned when I was placing so much time into people pleasing all the time, I was neglecting my own wellbeing in the process. I’d say yes to pretty much everything & do as I was told almost to a fault. Now, I say no far more often & I probably hurt a few feelings in the process, but at the end of the day, I’m not overworking my mind & wasting my energy any longer. You may call it selfish. I call it survival.
8. Lower Your Expectations
I’m an overthinker & pretty Type A. If it’s not in the planner, it doesn’t exist haha! But I used to create these elaborate plans in my head. Creativity is a blessing & a curse let me tell ya. If an event or situation didn’t go as I planned, it was completely ruined. Now, I try to roll with the punches. I honestly don’t have many expectations whatsoever. And you know what, life is a lot easier. So what if my hair isn’t laying right. So what if the weather didn’t corporate. There are bigger fish to fry & worrying about the little things is a waste of energy.
9. Make Time For The Important People
Call your mother back. Send that card. Visit that friend. Spend your time with the people who truly matter. Quit making time for those half assed friendships or the ones who clearly fizzled out. It’s ok to let them go. Make room for the new ones & prioritize the best ones. I learned family is everything. Putting time & energy into your parents, siblings & grandparents (if they are healthy for your wellbeing) are the ones to focus on. Don’t be ashamed if your best friend is your brother (like me). Cherish that & know what you have is gold. That type of friendship runs deep & something you should never take advantage of.
10. Adulting Is Hard & You Will Make Mistakes
There is no perfect rule book to adulting. If there is one, let a girl know because adulting is hard. But at the same time, the mistakes you make & obstacles you face are constant & like i said above, you have to just roll with the punches. I had no idea how expensive groceries can be. Now, I sound like my mother & understand why she would get upset if we let food go to waste. You’ll be going along on your usual routine & bam! your garbage disposal breaks. A storm comes & boom! your basement floods. You clean the kitchen & 15 minutes later, dirty dishes just reappear. I could go on & make an entire blog post on this one point I’m making. haha!
11. Be More Present
It’s so easy to get distracted & focus your attention on the meaningless things of life like notifications on your phone for instance. I’ve learned how powerful it is to be intentional with your time & fully be present with your tasks, conversations & experiences. Life will flash before your eyes & years will go by. As I’m writing this it’s hard to believe I’m already 30 years old. Where has time gone?
12. Material Items Will Not Bring You Happiness
I’ve learned to find true happiness, you need to look inward at yourself instead of filling the voids with material items. I can promise you a new item will not make you anymore fulfilled. Sure, treating yourself can seem nice & I’m not going to tell you can’t buy yourself anything ever again. Just realize, you are the same person with or without that designer bag or racks full of clothing. Happiness is found in your relationships, experiences & our own self worth.
13. Be Nice & Expect Nothing in Return
Generosity is a trait we all need to adhere by. And maintaining this kind nature even when other’s don’t necessarily deserve it shows your character. Don’t stoop to other’s levels of cruelty even if you may feel bitter at times. Let those feelings go & replace it with kindness.
14. Working Out Is Far More Than Just Looking Good
Staying active maintains my overall wellbeing regardless if it changes my physical appearance. Nothing compares to the benefits it provides me mentally. It’s a form of therapy & a way for me to conquer life’s tribulations.
15. Open Up & Speak Your Mind
Vulnerability used to be a struggle for me. I always thought I’d be a burden to other’s if I poured my heart out over life’s obstacles. Plus, I always try to remain a light in other people’s lives, so acknowledging the problems was something I never liked to discuss. But I’ve learned there’s balance with everything. And sometimes you have to just be honest & be raw & tell people how it really is.
16. Being An Introvert Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t a Social Butterfly
I’m an introvert. And I’m still outgoing. I love doing things with the right people. I’m quiet around the ones who don’t deserve my energy & if you want to call me shy because of it go ahead. I know I’m not & that’s all that matters. If I’m quiet, it means I probably don’t like you. Sorry not sorry.
17. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Seriously, get the proper amount of sleep. Dark circles are a real thing & from constant nights of insomnia in my 20’s, I have beautiful designer bags to show for it. But know they are just a part of living & I probably notice them more than other people do.
18. People’s Questions Don’t Always Need Answered
I used to let people’s comments or questions get to me. But overtime I’ve realized it’s usually their own projections being laid on me. I try to be confident with my answers & decisions. And sometimes an answer isn’t even needed to be said. Just say “i’m not sure” or “hmm, i’ll have to think about that” & move on.
19. You Need To Be Whole Yourself Before You Find Your Better Half
I’m a romantic at heart & adore a love story. But you must find & love yourself first before you can ever let someone else fall for you. When I had my first heartbreak when I was 20, I thought my world had fallen apart. Now, I’m so grateful that ended. I was able to find myself again & have a clean slate. When I met my now fiance when I was 22, I was in a much better place in my life. And although I did fall for him rather quickly, I didn’t necessarily need a relationship to be happy. It was merely an added bonus.
20. Invest in Yourself
Always aim to be the best you can be both internally & externally. Prioritize time to get your hair blown out, your nails done or treat yourself to a new outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks. I know when I feel good on the outside, the rest can follow. But most importantly, take time to expand your mind & reflect on where you’ve been & where you want to be. Take time to manifest your dreams & aspirations.
21. Save Your Money & Stop Spending on Useless Luxuries
I can’t tell you how many purchases I regret in my 20’s. I am a lover of makeup, but when I was younger I took it to extremes & always felt like I needed the newest products. Thanks youtube for the motivation! I spent hundreds of dollars on multiple eyeshadow palettes almost on a monthly basis. I also spent tons of money on designer purses & accessories all of which are most likely donated or resold by now. If I do buy a designer item, best believe I’m keeping it until it falls apart.
22. Change Is Good & Necessary
I used to be afraid of change. Starting a new chapter always felt like such an obstacle. Transferring to my four year college, getting into a new relationship & moving out of my parents house all seemed so difficult at the time. But each one of those milestones lead me to meeting other milestones which in turn molded me into the person I am today. Because of change, I’ve became a stronger person. Instead of running from change, I go searching for it.
23. Slow Down & Breath
Burn out is a real thing & this year especially, I’ve learned to maintain a healthy balance of productivity & rest. There is no shame to admit you need to step away & do you. The most successful people know when it’s time to take a break. We are humans & not machines. Slow down. You’ll reach your goals no matter the speed.
24. Follow Your Passions
I’m so grateful I became a writer / blogger this year. I wish I had followed my passions sooner but better late than never. I learned it’s important to listen to that little voice inside your head that presents these passion projects. Don’t see them as annoyances or things you’ll never get to. If it’s something you truly want to accomplish, you’ll make it happen. And who cares what the haters say.
25. You Don’t Have To Like Everyone & Not Everyone Has To Like You
This goes in conjunction with being a people pleaser. In college especially, I thought I needed a huge social circle to have the proper college experience. It was great with going out to bars & clubs, but the ones who would be there for me the day after were a select few. I’ve learned it’s completely ok to not vibe with everyone & people don’t have to like me either. It’s something I don’t even think about anymore. If people don’t want to be in your life, let them walk away. And don’t look back.
26. Don’t Let FOMO Ruin Your Life
Social media is toxic plain & simple. I can’t tell you how many times I felt left out after seeing a group of friends living it up without me on Instagram stories. I’ve learned to let that shit go. Chances are I wouldn’t have wanted to go anyway or I was busy doing something equally as fun. Just live your life & enjoy it.
27. The Instant Pot Is a Game Changer
I enjoy cooking but I’m rather lazy. When we got the instant pot during quarantine, it seriously changed my life! Chicken cooked & ready to go in 10 minutes!? Yes please!
28. A Clean Home Is a Happy Home
Now that we have our own home, I enjoy cleaning & keeping it pristine. When my space is clean, so is my mind. As much as I disliked chores at my parent’s house, I’m so glad they taught me these habits because it’s so important to keep a place tidy.
29. Manifesting Is Real
You might call me crazy with this one, but bare with me. Last year, I decided to keep a gratitude journal & with that, record a few manifestations I wanted to accomplish monthly. A manifested moving into the house I am with Todd. I also manifested that he’d propose to me early this summer & he did! The idea of manifestations can seem like crystal mumbo jumbo. But I see it as a great way to set goals, reflect on yourself & set intentions of a better future.
30. Stay True To Yourself
This one is rather hard at times, don’t get me wrong. But it’s something I always strive to do. Whatever path you decide to take, however you want to live your life & who you wish to spend it with all depends on your happiness. Don’t let other people’s projections & judgments steer you away from what you truly want to do. Listen to your gut feeling & if it feels like the right path, then do it. Simple as that.
I truly hope these 30 lessons sparked some thought for your own lives. Whatever age you may be, know age is simply a number. You don’t need to have it all figured out by a certain time frame. Just truly take it a day at a time.