Thirteen Going on Thirty is what comes to mind when admitting to myself out loud that I actually crossed the threshold into my thirties. I went to bed an angsty pre-teen in my sky-blue cloud pajamas, thinking about my middle school crush, and woke up as a thirty year old woman in St. Louis on work travel. I’m not really sure where the time went and I still can’t believe I have left my twenties behind. Here are some things I learned along the way since my mom brought awesomeness (AKA ME) into this world three decades ago…
- You don’t learn anything until you actually live through it. No amount of advice or war stories from older friends and family will stop you from learning things on your own (good or bad). It’s a part of life and growing and it should be embraced.
- Forgiveness is everything. Hate is a nasty fungus that eats away at your soul until nothing is left. Forgiveness isn’t a loss on your part; it is quite the opposite actually. Nothing and no one should have that much control over your mind and spirit.
- If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Seriously, just don’t do it.
- Hard work creates success and success pays the bills because of your hard work. Make sense? You are not owed anything. Nobody owes you anything. It’s up to you to create the life you want, nobody else. Get up and get to work.
- It costs nothing to be kind. There is no reason to walk through life mistreating others. Sometimes the simplest gesture could change someone’s entire day, week, month. Be kind always.
- I don’t have to agree with you and vice versa and that’s really okay. Can you imagine a world where everyone thought exactly the same way, had the same opinions and feelings? Neither can I. How I think and feel makes me different, not wrong.
- You aren’t going to change someone else’s views and opinions on certain subjects, so wasting your time arguing on Social Media about it is kind of sad. I will continue to just sit back and sip my tea while the rest of you go back and forth for hours on whether or not a wall needs to be built.
- A small circle of real friends is so much more valuable than having one hundred fake or “part-time” friends.
- Family is important. Whether they are family by blood, marriage, adoption, or a group you have formed as a family; family really is something to be cherished.
- You can’t rely on others for your happiness. Only you have control over what makes and keeps you happy. Happiness is a balance between holding on and letting go.
- There is no such thing as a perfect life, a perfect marriage, a perfect child, and so on. No matter how hard some of your friends on Facebook try to make you believe in their fairytale life, it just doesn’t exist.
- Everyone you meet has something they can teach you. It is important to keep an open mind and to never stop learning.
- Try new things. Travel, try exotic foods, jump out of an airplane, go swimming with dolphins. Whatever it is you want to try, go out and do it. You only have this one life to live. Live it boldly.
- Listen to your gut. Always.
- Teens, twenties, thirties, and forties, there will always be mean girls (and guys). It is harder when you are younger and navigating your way through middle and high school, but it does get better. You will learn that the issue lies within those individuals and not you.
- Music feeds the soul and can bring me from anxious to calm/sad to happy.
- Your mom really was right about so so much. It’s impossible to see at 16 or even 20. But with age comes wisdom and moments where you stop and say, “Dammit mom. You really were right about ________.” Thanks mom.
- Your dad will teach you a lot: how to swim, how to dive through an ocean wave, how to ride your bike, and attempt to help you with math homework (and realize very early on that I was a lost cause in that department). Thanks dad.
- You will learn that not everyone is lucky enough to experience numbers 17 and 18. You will realize just how blessed you are and give thanks often.
- Giving is always better than receiving. Being able to give from the heart means more than any material thing someone may give to you.
- Do the things that scare you the most. Fear will remain as fear unless you take the leap to conquer it.
- Stay true to who you are. Don’t conform to make other people happy. They aren’t living your life, you are.
- Not everyone will like you and that is perfectly okay. Just as it is okay that I don’t like every single person I meet. Some people aren’t meant to be a part of your journey (although you should still be kind to those you aren’t a fan of).
- Spend time with yourself. It is vital to your wellbeing to have time alone. To think, dream, decompress; everyone needs that time once in a while.
- Life is short. Really short. Make sure the people you care about know how you feel because another day is never guaranteed.
- Repeating number 25 again. Life is short, so eat the ice cream and all the cake.
- Take care of yourself. Indulge, but make sure you eat clean and workout when you can. I’m not perfect so some days I eat salad and other days I eat half a pizza. Lol. It is called balance if you haven’t already heard.
- Be happy with nothing. Sometimes I think people have to come from nothing to really appreciate the “something.” Nice cars, big houses, diamond rings… It is all beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with wanting those things. But having none of those things is okay to. You have to be happy with life itself. Everything else is just extra.
- Be a girl’s girl. Embrace other women, support other women, and lift up other women. Women are a powerful species… We literally make the world go round. There is no reason we should tear down another woman for being fierce as fuck and taking control of her own life.
- Slow down and don’t worry as much. Le Sigh… I feel like I can’t include this on my list because this is still something I am working on learning. I haven’t mastered this life lesson but I know how important it is. So wish me luck. Lol.
So there you have it. All my wisdom!! I am still learning… But I am going to slay this decade just like I did my last. Yes honey!!
P.S. I still do not own an iron. I am holding out as long as I can. Until that fateful day: Dryer. Wrinkle Release. Go.