Tomorrow, I turn 32… and I can’t wait! I cannot believe I was ever afraid of getting into my 30s – they are 100% better than your 20s! At 31, I feel more confident, more sure of myself, and care less about things that don’t matter. I have seen, grown, and learned a lot, and I thought I’d share some of the things I learned with you all.
- Sunscreen is a holy grail item and should be worn daily.
My mom has had me wearing sunscreen every day since I was in middle school, and I definitely credit it with being a big part of why I still get carded! Also, I don’t want skin cancer – a win-win.
- Some friends are here for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime.
Learning to let go of friends that have served their purpose isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. Some friends are here to teach you a lesson. Some are here to get you through a specific time. And some are here for life. It’s important to know which friends belong to which category and adjust accordingly. If someone isn’t fitting into your life anymore, let them go. It’s best for both of you.
- Everyone has their own timeline.
Just because your friends are getting married doesn’t mean you have to. Just because half your high school class has babies doesn’t mean you need to have one, too. Go at your own pace.
- Happiness is a choice.
You can (and should) choose to be happy despite your circumstances. That’s it. That’s the lesson.
- Invest in yourself first.
Learning something new and taking time to take care of yourself – body, mind, and soul – is the most important thing you can do. Before you spend money on material items, spend it on bettering yourself, not just for your present but for the long run.
- Save your money.
Do you want to retire someday? Me too. So, create a budget. Follow some financial gurus. Start a savings and/or investment account. At least 10% of every paycheck should go to a savings account!
- Gratitude is life-changing.
Did you know that there are studies that show that gratitude literally rewires your brain and can help you heal from certain illnesses? Taking two minutes a day to think about or – better yet – write down a few things you’re grateful for is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your mindset.
- Family first.
Friends will come and go, but family is forever!
- Try therapy if you need it.
There is absolutely no shame in going to therapy. If it’s something that would help you, do it! There are so many resources to help you find the best therapist for you, and there are more low-cost therapy options available than ever!
- Safe does not equal boring.
I spent a long time in a situation that was toxic and volatile, so when I got out of it and started to recalibrate, I often found myself thinking that anyone who was actually nice and had a healthy approach to relationships wasn’t for me. It took time, therapy, and my amazing husband to help me learn that there are ways to keep life interesting and exciting in a much more fun and healthy way rather than getting the silent treatment or fighting every other day.
- Don’t hold grudges, and don’t dwell on the past.
I saw a quote once that said holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Holding onto hurt, anger, etc., is only hurting yourself. You HAVE to learn to let things go.
- It’s never too late…
… to learn something new, start a new career, or go somewhere exciting.
- Take care of yourself and take magnesium.
Make sure you take care of yourself first. Also, magnesium is an amazing supplement.
- How to be comfortable being alone.
If you aren’t comfortable being alone, you should be. Start by taking yourself out to lunch, then to a movie, then move on from there. You need to be able to be in your own head without spiraling, and you need to love yourself first.
- Boundaries are essential.
Whether it’s with friends, family, work, or something else, you have to set boundaries – nobody should have full access to you.
- Be flexible.
Life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Know that things change often and will often change at the worst possible time. Learn to go with the flow.
- Be kind.
Need I say more?
- You need hobbies at every age.
I don’t care if you’re 3, 30, or 63; you need to have hobbies and things to do in your free time! It’s so good for you to have interests outside of your partner, family, or work or just to have a way to unwind after a busy day.
- Commitment is not scary.
This took me a long time to learn as well, but commitment is actually one of the most beautiful things in the world. Something that helped me overcome my fear of commitment (besides my dog and husband) is the mindset that it’s the beginning of a new part of your life, not the end of anything. You’re on a whole new, beautiful path!
- Sleep and rest!
“Rallying” is for 20-year-old college students – and even then, you really should just go to sleep. Hustling and grinding are NOT worth it. You need sleep, and there is very rarely a good reason why you shouldn’t be prioritizing it at least 90% of the time.
- Go outside your comfort zone.
Staying inside your comfort zone your whole life would be so boring! Try something new, do something daring, and have fun with it!
- Bloom where you are planted.
There are going to be times when you’re overqualified, underpaid, or both. Or something along those lines. The important thing to do is know that it can and probably will pay off in the end – so do your best with where you are and stay optimistic that you’ll get to where you want to go.
- You have to respect yourself first.
If you want others to respect you and treat you well, you have to do it for yourself first.
- Travel solo at least once.
This goes along with being comfortable being alone, but I 100% think that one of the best ways to get in tune with yourself is to go somewhere alone, even if it’s just an overnight trip an hour away! Be safe, obviously, but try it.
- The grass isn’t always greener.
I suffer from a “grass is greener” complex where I sometimes think that life will be better or my problems won’t be as bad if I just go somewhere else. That’s not true. But did I learn from those times? Absolutely.
- Your inner child still needs you.
You’re never too old to color, get something just because it has sparkles on it, or eat from the kid’s buffet. You’re allowed to embrace your inner child sometimes!
- Don’t take things personally.
Things really are not that personal, as much as it might seem like they are at times. How people treat you tends to say more about them than it does about you. Just accept what’s happened and move on.
- Know what cheers you up.
We all have bad days, but we must know how to escape them and the feelings that go along with them. So, is it going for a run? Disney movies and cookies? There is something that will cheer you up – find it and put it into practice!
- “No” is a complete sentence.
I used to be guilty of over-explaining. When I worked at Disney or Pure Barre, and someone asked me to cover a shift, it was always, “I can’t because (insert reason here).” I started to learn just to say, “I’m so sorry, I can’t that day,” and (you guessed it) – move on. You don’t owe people a 5-minute long explanation.
- Nobody cares about you as much as you think they do.
People are usually too busy worrying about themselves to notice you!
- Cute shoes aren’t always the best shoes.
Just look at Sarah Jessica Parker. Comfortable shoes can still be cute, and your back will thank you when you’re older!
- You are worthy.
You matter. And you deserve the best.
I’m sure I’ve learned a lot more, but these were the ones that really stuck out to me. I feel so lucky to have been blessed with the life I have – I’ve learned so many amazing lessons. Sometimes they were hard, sometimes sad, and even painful, but they’ve made me who I am today, and I am grateful for each of these lessons and experiences that have led me to my current place in life.
Now, I’m excited to turn 32 and to continue growing and learning as I go through life.
What lessons have you learned? Share them below!