Today I turn 30.
30 has freaked some of my peers out. It might have freaked you out. Even Adam came home on Friday asking if I was “okay” with turning 30.
Evidently, he shared that it was my 30th Birthday with his team at work on Friday over lunch. One of the guys shared that 30 was hard on his wife. She had a whole bunch of “things” she wanted by 30.
A certain level job.
Dollars in the bank.
So, Adam asked me– with 36 hours left in my 20s- if there was anything I wanted by 30.
I joked, “Well… it’s a little late for the couple million I was hoping for.”
We laughed, considered playing the lottery before Sunday and then I truthfully said, “Not really.”
Sure, I have had a lot of “traditional” milestones in my 20s. The wedding, a home, a baby. And, yeah sure, it would be cool to be running my own business that has a huge impact and is making tons of money or to be published or to be recognized as some kind of influential young leader. But, really, if my 20s taught me anything it’s that timelines are kind of bogus. They add pressure. And, sure, life is short; but, it’s not over at 30.
In fact, I think 30 is a really cool place to be. I have learned so much, but know that I still have a lot to learn. There is still a lot that I am excited experience too. And, knowing that I can take some of that wisdom I acquired in my 20s and make my 30s that much more amazing? That’s icing on my Birthday cake.
Inspired and a smidgen nostalgic, here are 30 things I learned in my 20s. This list goes in order of lessons I learned throughout my 20s so it’s a bit of a snapshot of the last decade. From being a heartbroken, wild-child at 20, to job loss and identify found around 25, to some of the most life defining moments in the last 18 months my 20s were everything. Everything I needed. Everything I could have hoped for. Everything that I could have never imagined.
- Pretending to be what you think someone wants makes you the complete opposite of what they want… and what you really want to be.
- When given the choice between something safe or something new and different that will take you out of your comfort zone, you should almost always go with the latter.
- Living surrounded by an amazing community is a great experience that will teach so much about people and that living as a community is vital.
- However, taking time alone is important especially in your twenties. It makes you think about who you really are.
- It’s not about exercise, brag worthy work outs, scales, challenges, whatever. It’s about taking care of yourself.
- Girlfriends are as important as boyfriends.
- However, cutting “friend fat” is fine. If they aren’t giving you anything but headaches, trouble or discouraging you it’s okay to walk away.
- Look at your bosses. Do you like their job? Do you want to be like them? If no, start reevaluating.
- Take a year or two to live independently. Maybe with a roommate, but not a partner. Learn to pay your own bills, maintain your own space and be on your own for a little.
- Real Love isn’t big grand gestures. It’s quiet understanding. It’s loyalty. It’s sharing your life. Allowing for imperfection. Cheering each other on. And, a whole lot of fun.
- All a wedding needs to be beautiful is a great connection of two families and two people totally happy to be together. Good cake doesn’t hurt either
- Write your plans in pencil and be open to making changes be it a city, a love, or a job.
- Always be learning. This doesn’t mean in the “school” sense; but, always be reading, trying new things, challenging yourself and looking for ways to grow.
- The quickest way to put yourself in a good mood is to make a quick mental list of all that you are thankful for.
- No matter how old you are, it’s always great to make a new friend.
- Adversity is actually fuel propelling you to something better, if you let it.
- You get what you put out…
- … But, sometimes people will still just be mean.
- Pay attention, follow what excites you and pursue to what makes you happy that you are alive.
- No one- not even the universe- is going to give you what you want on a silver platter. You have to go, do, make and create.
- Number 20 includes your own happiness.
- Find a way to give back. Having a facet of volunteering, mentoring, or philanthropy makes life that much more full.
- Your not really trying if you are not failing. Don’t fear it. Just do it and grow.
- Don’t be preoccupied with “perfect” just try to be the best version of yourself everyday.
- Pass less judgement. It’s yucky, mean and unattractive. Try to live under the assumption that everyone is also just doing the best they can.
- Sharing stories helps us to heal and share who we really are. Share, talk and listen.
- We all go through shit. Be sad. Do what you need to do. But, recognizing that it is inevitable and this is just “your shit” will help remind you that life is still pretty great.
- Raising children is the hardest thing you have ever done. But, it will also be the one thing that gives you the most joy.
- Let people think whatever they want to think about you. It seems crazy, but not your business. It’s theirs.
- The best really is yet to come.
Here’s to 30… and beyond.