30 Lessons in 30 Years

A couple of weeks ago I turned 30. As you might expect, many folks asked me what it felt like and if I felt older now. The truth is, I feel the same as I did at 24. That may sound absurd, given the transitions I’ve had in the last six years, but at heart, I am the same person. For me, it’s about my situation in life, not the number.

Admittedly, this might be easier for me to say because I am married, have a kid, and am well into my career. Not everyone can say that at 30. I haven’t had anyone ask me “if my clock is ticking” (Don’t ever, ever say this). No one asks me if I think marriage is in my future. No one asks me when I will get a “real” job or finish my degree.

Even if I wanted to, I can’t stop time. 30 is here! I do feel a little older, wiser, and more content now. I’ve learned a few things too.

30 Lessons in 30 Years

  1. Take care of your health!
  2. There’s nothing wrong with shopping consignment.
  3. A night around a campfire laughing with good friends is 100% better than a night of clubbing.
  4. Kindness matters.
  5. Be kind to yourself, too. You are the only one guaranteed to treat you well.
  6. Deep love and partnership is rewarding and worth the wait.
  7. Money doesn’t grow on trees and math doesn’t lie. Make a budget and stick to it.
  8. Grandparents are some of the most influential people in our lives.
  9. Be honest with yourself and your gut.
  10. Periodically ask yourself if all your relationships are worth it.
  11. There’s a fine line between making excuses and giving explanations.
  12. Sleeping in is as satisfying at 30 as it was in college.
  13. Staying up late is not as satisfying at 30 as it was in college.
  14. No one cares about your grey hairs.
  15. Actually stay in touch with people you care about. Don’t wait on them to make a move.
  16. Language matters. Choose your words carefully.
  17. When given the choice, always choose inclusivity.
  18. Use your voice for good.
  19. Old friendships really do pick up where you left off.
  20. Even when your work is your passion, it can still feel like work.
  21. Work/life balance is really work/life blending.
  22. Eat your vegetables.
  23. Take a vacation once in a while.
  24. Step outside your comfort zone every now and then.
  25. Keep trying to be better.
  26. When someone deserves love the least is when they need it the most. (My mom gets credit for this one)
  27. Someone may need to hear they need help 100 times before admitting there is a problem, but they need the first 99 to actually get there.
  28. Take time to enjoy the simpler humors in life. Sometimes I ride the escalator in a building on campus just because it’s novel and fun.
  29. Owning up to mistakes won’t taken them back, but it will fix the problem quicker and help you earn back some trust.
  30. That being said, forgive others for their mistakes. Holding onto grudges is unnecessary negative energy.

No matter what age you are, what milestone birthday is looming, I hope you feel content with yourself and empowered to best your best self.

What are some lessons you’ve learned in your years?

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