Today is my 30th birthday! As a new mom I can hardly say I’m “30, flirty, and thriving”. Is it fair to say I’m 30, tired, and optimistic about my future? 30, wordy, and nerdy?
I compiled a list of the 30 biggest lessons I’ve learned in 30 years. I had a wonderful time making this list. I hope it inspires you to make your own.
- Be grateful for where you are right now. This is the lesson that the universe keeps putting in front of me because I’m not getting it. I constantly wish to be somewhere else… on vacation, in a different place in my life, further in my career… I need to learn to be grateful for where I am now while also working toward my future.
- Perfectionism is poison. There. I said it. Perfectionism is one of my biggest weaknesses. It’s NOT a strength. It keeps me from being happy with my work and the work of other imperfect people just like me.
- Dita Von Teese said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” I have a massive problem with not being liked. One of my goals for the next 30 years is to shake it off when I encounter someone who doesn’t care for *gestures broadly* all of this.
- Ask for help. Because of perfectionism, I don’t always ask for help when I need it and I’ve got nobody to blame but me when things pile up or feel overwhelming.
- Busy is not an accomplishment. Slowing down for the benefit of your mental health is an accomplishment.
- I am privileged. With the long overdue racial reckoning that has been occurring in the last few years I have examined my own privilege as a white female and how it impacts my life. I am privileged to be able to afford healthy food for myself and my family. I am privileged to have never lived a single day without health insurance. I am privileged that I never have to have a talk with my children about how they may be treated by law enforcement or the justice system as a whole.
- If you want to love someone, ask them how THEY receive love. This goes along with “love languages” if you’re familiar with Gary Chapman’s work but it also means that loving people isn’t about YOU.
- Run like hell from toxic people, even if you’re related. I got to a point when I realized that if I wasn’t related to some of the people in my life I would NEVER choose to spend time with them. Furthermore, I had a toxic relationship and in some cases an abusive relationship with some of them so I WALKED AWAY. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for that decision. I stand by it and I’m much happier without them. I’m doing what’s best for me and my family. I don’t have to ask for permission or forgiveness for putting us first.
- The best revenge is a good life. My Aunt Jackie taught me that. Don’t drink poison and expect the other person to die. Bitterness and anger hurt you and they stop you from living your best life.
- Once you realize that you don’t have anything to prove you’ll set yourself free.
- Whatever sets your soul on fire- do that. I spent too many years thinking about what I “should” do or what was expected of me. I thought if I didn’t go to medical school I was a failure. I can honestly say I made the right choice being a nurse practitioner. I also got fired up about travel in the last few years so I’m completely giving in to that side of me and not overanalyzing it like I do with most things.
- Small decisions made day in and day out over decades made you who you are today. There is no such thing as a “small” decision.
- Friends can make you or break you. Choose wisely.
- Think of what you want your life to look like in the future and do something every day that benefits your future self. Invest, meditate, get that degree… it looks different for everyone.
- Time will pass no matter what you do with it.
- Laugh until it hurts… or until you pee. Whichever comes first.
- Support small businesses. My dad has been a small business owner since I was born. When you support small businesses you’re supporting a family. The dollar goes further and means more than you can imagine.
- The Lord in His infinite wisdom places people in your life to prepare you for what’s coming next.
- Not every problem has a solution.
- Mutual exclusivity rarely applies to people because they are complex.
- Keep the promises you make to yourself.
- Move your body in the way that you choose for the reason that you choose. Dance to relieve stress. Do hot yoga to improve strength and balance. Run for endurance.
- Read for pleasure as often as you can.
- I’m still mastering the fine art of listening. Not listening for my opportunity to speak again. Not listening while simultaneously judging. Listening in such a way that the other person feels seen and heard.
- Travel somewhere that you are the minority. Get uncomfortable. That’s how you know you’re learning.
- We are not cognitive beings who sometimes feel. We are emotional beings who sometimes think. This is Brené Brown’s take on a quote by Dr. Antonio Demasio.
- Other people aren’t failed attempts at being you. This is my take on a quote by Wade Davis.
- Being a parent is the hardest thing I’ve ever done… and I’ve only been doing it for 6 months.
- Bob Barnes said, “Do the best you can, shoog. That’s all you can do.“
- Ironically, the last lesson I learned is that I’ve given unsolicited advice far more times than I can count. If people want to know what you think, they’ll ask you. Thank you to anyone who has graciously responded to my unsolicited advice (including this post).
I am grateful for the last 30 years both for the things I recognized as “good” in the moment and the ones that I appreciated over time. Here’s to being 30, worthy, and excited for the journey.
As always I want to thank you for reading.