In a few days I’ll be turning 30. I’m still in denial. Not because I think I’m old, but because I feel nowhere near what 30 “should” feel like. I spent part of my 20s obsessed with the fact that I was aging. The other part, the part of my 20s that was closer to 30, was spent rejoicing my age. The irony of life—the older I got, the less I stressed my age.
Throughout these 30 years I have learned a lot, or better yet relearned. Life is full of turns and bumps as well as some straight shots. It’s what makes it beautiful and exciting. My life has led me to learn more than a few lessons. Here are some to keep with you no matter your age:
- Age really ain’t nothing but a number
Time is just a form of measure we need as humans to keep track of things. Age is a form of tracking the time we’ve spent living this life. It doesn’t define us or what we can do. It doesn’t limit us if we don’t allow it. Embrace the age you have, whether it’s 15 or 50 and live out your life the way you desire. No one is getting in your way but yourself. You want to rock the shoes you’ve been eyeing at the store, do it. Allow age to make you wiser because of the experiences you’ve had, not limit you to encountering more experiences.
- Love yourself
Oh, the never ending battle of “I’m not pretty enough. I’m not tall enough.” At 30, I can say I am well into my personal path of self-discovery. What have I discovered the most? Love begins within. Look at yourself and smile, admire your beauty and tell yourself the three little words we crave to tell someone else. Seduce yourself and find that love you have in your heart so it can blossom inwardly.
- Be unapologetically YOU
You are unique in this Earth. Shine your light bright and spread your beauty with the world. I plan to continue working towards this into my 30s. I’m fortunate that my birthday and the year end on the same day. My resolutions are my own reflections of myself, the past year and my evolution into me. The more I reconnect with who I am, the more I want to be that person. I no longer want to apologize for my likes or dislikes. I no longer want to hide my truth out of fear of not fitting in or letting someone down. It’s time to get real.
- The daydream is your reality
How many times do we spend dreaming of what could be? Reality begins somewhere, and it’s usually in our dreams, the desires we hold in our hearts that give us passion and drive in life. That same passion you have for hoping something would be a certain way or a certain job would be yours can be put into work. Make it happen. How exciting would it be to live your daydream? It’s possible. Take it from me. I spent a long time dreaming of things I wanted to do until I woke up one day and asked myself, why not? Work hard and stay humble. Dreams do come true.
- Don’t be embarrassed to sing in the car
I love to sing. I’m terrible at it. I can admit my weaknesses the same as my strengths. No matter how much I wanted to be a singer as a child, I know it’s not my forte. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy good music and jam to my favorite songs. Driving is the best time for that, but I used to shy away if cars were near. Why? I’m sure the person driving next to you is doing the same thing. And if they aren’t, they’re watching you and admiring your guts to let loose and be carefree.
- Throw society’s rulebook out the window
I’ve never been one to really follow the rules, especially those placed by society. Who said we had to be married by 23 with a college degree and satisfying job? Who said by age 25 we were supposed to have 2.5 children, which mathematically is not even accurate. And when did we think it was okay to stop living, truly living, in order to make other people happy? Society is made up of humans who decided they were going to put certain things a priority. What is my priority is not yours. If you want to be married with children by 25, go for it. If you want to travel, do that. I was lucky enough to live abroad, get my degree at my pace so I can explore the world, work different jobs, and get a few tattoos along the way. I’m single. I don’t have children. And I’m 30. Embrace your journey and follow your own guidelines to life. After all, you’re the one who is living it.
- Follow your intuition
How many times have I ignored thee? I’m grateful my intuition is still intact and willing to give me another chance. Follow your gut. Listen to your heart. And see with your mind’s eye. We know what’s up. Whether we choose to listen or not is our choice, but as soul beings we have an awareness we can develop and open so we can live honestly and knowingly. Our intuition is our guide. It informs us if we should eat that meal, or if that guy is a good date. Our knowingness is one of the greatest gifts we have. I have learned to listen closely and respect it. It’s amazing how life changes when you do.
- Date the boy (or girl)
I spent so many years closed off to the world that I never gave anyone a true chance at reaching my heart. I learned. I got hurt. But mostly, I was caged off. I’m at a place in my life now where I am open to meeting someone. I am at a place where I can reflect and be honest with myself. Maybe I could have given that guy I met back in high school a fair chance. I didn’t, but that doesn’t mean I did wrong. I did what I needed to do then. Now I know the difference between listening to my gut or listening to my fear. Don’t be afraid to open up to someone, even if that someone isn’t your forever. Date, meet people, and have fun. Experience different relationships, but always love yourself in the process and know what’s right for you. Keep your heart open to the possibility of falling in love and believe in the happily ever after.
- It’s okay to cry
I am the anti-crier. I really don’t get emotional often. I used to pride myself on my strong façade. Then, I went to a meditation a few days ago and the water dam was burst open. Ever since that day I have become overly emotional. At least for a lonely Capricorn like myself, getting emotional is a foreign language. Ever since that day though I have come to terms that it’s okay to show your emotions. Be proud for being human and having feelings instead of shaming yourself as a “weakling.” Seriously, I have become a softie, but instead of getting judged for expressing myself, I’ve been compassionate and others have as well. Feel free to express yourself honestly and demonstrate to the world what you’re feeling. My aunt jokes that it’s part of turning 30, but I know it is part of my own personal evolution. Cry it out and feel.
I look forward to the future. I am excited to see what my 30s will bring and continue to follow these things I mentioned above. And like that old Tim McGraw says, I look forward to my next thirty years.