I (somewhat) recently turned 30. By all accounts, my second decade in life was pretty good. I learned a lot (mostly the hard way!) and wanted to write it down to share (and to remind myself) the most important 30 life lessons I learned in my twenties.
I graduated from college, got my heart broken, went to graduate school, had a giant quarter life crisis, founded a business, got people to sign up for said business, struggled tremendously to get more people to sign up for said business, found a bit of a rhythm, discovered my passion for writing, wrote a book, met a cute boy, moved across the country with cute boy, got married to cute boy, got
even cuter exotic cats (yes, I am an apparent cat person, yes, I am allergic, yes, they look like little leopards, yes – it’s bizarre), bought our first place, redid the place because it was a pile of junk, and had lots of amazing and shitty experiences along the way.
SO, yeah. It’s been quite the journey.
And I’ve learned some stuff, too. But I don’t think the lessons I learned were all that original. In fact, I think a lot of us were learning the same old shit simultaneously. In solidarity.
Take Samantha’s post on her 30 life lessons. While these posts aren’t identical, it’s clear all of us have been growing a ton over this past decade.
So, I’ve compiled a list of things that we probably already know. But I figured, hey, we all need a reminder sometimes. So here’s my 30 for 30, from me to you.
- Focusing on your weaknesses is a waste of time. Double down on your strengths and either learn how to embrace your weaknesses – or straight up outsource them.
- Anything that sells itself as a quick fix is bullshit. Magic wands do not exist. This is not limited to scammy business coaches promising you millions, cellulite-be-gone rubbing lotion, instant skinny teas that make you poop a lot, 15 minute all-in-one workouts, and psychics.
- We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Forget about pleasing society. Please yourself.
- Being selfless shouldn’t be admirable. It should be a cautionary tale.
- Putting a timeline on any relationship is the best way to make it dissolve. Enjoy the process instead of focusing on the end game, and you’ll be much happier.
- Leveling up in your life is hard. But if you want to reach a new level of success, you have to take risks to get there.
- Attachment styles are essential to understanding relationships. (If you struggle in this department, do some research.)
- Meditation isn’t for everyone, but don’t ignore the significance of being alone with your thoughts. If you’re a busy human, turn off the TV at bedtime or have a silent bathroom during your shower. Create silence when you can.
- Exercise shouldn’t be awful. If your body is screaming in agony and you can’t bring yourself to do it – find a new routine. And yes, walking counts.
- Your marriage won’t always be balanced. There will be seasons of give and seasons of take. As long as you’re in it for the long haul and stand on your own damn two feet, things will be even in the end.
- Don’t underestimate the maintenance, responsibility, and pure fucking joy a pet can bring to your life. (And probably kids. Not there yet, guys.)
- People who reject you are doing a favor. Instead of fighting for their affection for years to come, they cut you loose so you could find people who don’t have their heads up their ass.
- Self deprecation is a wonderful disarming tool to use, but don’t let it fill up all of your airtime. People will take your cue and stop believing in you.
- Stand up for yourself. By fighting back, you’re telling everyone watching it’s not ok to mess with you. Anything else signifies an open invitation to violate boundary after boundary.
- Strive to be the dumbest person in the room. It builds character.
- Over communicate. People are not mind-readers. The more people know about you, the more educated they will be on the inner workings of your messed up head.
- Almost all mean, arrogant, or rude behavior stems from insecurity. While it’s not excusable, it is explainable. Don’t take it personally.
- If you aren’t familiar with your values, you’ll be lost within the overwhelming blur of your life.
- Guilt is meant to spur an action (usually in the form of an apology). Let it do its job and then release it. Longterm guilt is a useless emotion.
- Educating yourself on politics is essential. You’re not 21, so the “ugh it’s just too negative” song and dance isn’t cute. Get to know the parties, the policies, and the figures. Find out what you stand for. And then vote for it.
- Judging other women doesn’t make you smart, it makes you anti-feminist.
- Spend as much time as possible doing things that are autotelic (finding joy regardless of the outcome). Your life will be much less stressful.
- Extremes, such as no sugar/no carbs/no candy/no fat/no happy hour are NO FUN.
- Not all friendships are meant to last, and having the courage to cull the toxic ones takes courage. Being alone is better than being surrounded by assholes.
- Weight can’t be the most important number in your life when you have bigger fish to fry.
- Everyone has their own timeline. Comparing your journey to someone else’s is apples and oranges. Use it as inspiration, and nothing else.
- The old saying “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” is exclamation point TRUE! Always ask, “does this person bring up my average?”
- Being single is the only efficient time to find out what you really want. Use it to your advantage.
- When a boundary is set and you receive immediate pushback, that boundary was long overdue. Keep reinforcing it until they get the message.
- Living for others’ approval will deprive your soul of fulfillment. Get comfortable with disappointing others and make choices that bring you joy.