I thought I’d share with you some of the wisdom bestowed upon me from this milestone new decade I hit earlier this year. My 20s were (a little too much) fun and unforgettable, but they were a time when I was struggling to figure things out while getting to know myself as a person. Now at 30, I can honestly say I know who I am and what I want. And though I realize that some of these points may sound like inspiring quotes, they could serve as a guide and save you a lot of trouble and life-contemplation as you approach your dirty thirty.
1. Blessings do come in disguise. You know how our parents say this to help us stay positive when things don’t go as we’d hoped? Well its true. I’ve had many aspirations that never transpired and I thank my lucky stars today they didn’t, they would taken me on a completely different path.
2. We all seek success but success is relative, there is no textbook metric. A successful stockbroker may perceive a full-time blogger like myself as a complete failure. It really all comes down personal outlooks.
3. Stop rushing everything. I was in a rush to graduate, then I was in a rush to work, then I was in a rush to get promoted, then to find my better half then get married etc. I don’t regret my choices but now I realize 30 is really not that old, in fact it’s still pretty young and I could have stressed less because everything would have fallen into place alone and you will never have it all figured out, at any age.
4. Your inner happiness should really come first. Even if it means turning down that amazing job on paper or finally ending it with a clingy girlfriend/boyfriend because deep down you know it’s not what you want. The more you procrastinate the more likely you’re to be stuck somewhere you don’t want to be by 30. Brave it up. Use your 30s to thrive not struggle.
5. We live at a time where you CAN CREATE the job or business you want. When I decided to blog full-time some people thought I had my head in the clouds. Others told me straight up to quit fooling around and get a “real” job. But I just kept writing and writing and writing until I made a living out of it. It’s sounds quite cliché but hard work DOES pay off.
6. Sure Money isn’t everything, but it is something. Never be afraid to put a price tag on your efforts and stick to your guns, everyone will want a bargain but it’s up to you to value your worth.
7. It’s so easy to get cozy in your comfort zone and not pursue things. Resisting change, fear of rejection and adapting to everyday routine may stop you from going after some of the biggest opportunities that may come your way. Take it from me, leave no stone unturned.
8. I used to want to call out every single person that imitated or copied me, especially since I began blogging in 2009. I’m at a point now where I’m confident enough to know that it’s not a bad thing, it’s flattering to be an influence, even if some don’t want to admit it.
9. Competition can be healthy, but most of the time it’s petty. No matter what you do or where you work, if you’re confident about your skills and talent you’ll never see others as a threat, rather you’d guide them. Insecurity is so unattractive.
10. Take responsibility for your actions. I used to think apologies were a sign of weakness, how wrong was I. Apologizing and admitting your wrong can only be acquired with time and maturity, not anyone can own up to mistakes but there is an amazing sense of freedom and respect you get from just saying “I’m sorry.” It brings people closer and builds much stronger lasting relationships.
11. At some point you’ll grow apart from your high school besties but the real friendships will be back, you’ve both just been distracted. No matter how many new friends you make, none will be as comforting as the ones who’ve known you, seen you through puberty and still stuck around.
12. Choose your entourage wisely. The people you break bread with will reflect on you whether you admit it to yourself or not. Hanging out with successful people will unknowingly make you more ambitious.
13. Also, choose your battles wisely. But don’t forget to stand up for yourself, even if it means burning a couple of bridges along the way and earning yourself a “difficult´reputation, they may not like you for it but they’ll sure think twice before they mess with you again.
14. Best friends are not made overnight. No matter how strong the connection is. The quickest ones to call you a bestie, will be the first one to drop you when the going gets tough.
15. It’s okay to say NO straight up no matter how difficult/awkward it may be. If that’s an excuse for someone to cut ties with you then better sooner than later.
16. Take criticism, but never from the same person over and over again, you’ll find out eventually that they just don’t like you.
17. I was fast to lose my temper, until I discovered it’s very easy to get rude. Staying calm, collected and composed in the face of adversary is the real show of strength.
18. Getting back at someone because they hurt you doesn’t feel as good as it sounds. The best revenge is indifference. To Truly not give a shit.
19. Never talk about anyone behind their back unless you intend for it to reach them. Assuming anything otherwise is inexperienced.
20. People will always judge you before they meet you, so instead of being resentful, be nice and show them just how much they don’t know you. If they still don’t like you then they just don’t and most likely won’t, move on, you can’t please them all.
21. Take things with a grain of salt.There are two-sides to every story, no matter how much you trust your sources. People may see the dress white and gold others see it blue and black. It doesn’t mean you should always doubt others but you should most definitely always leave room for bias (and bullshit)
22. Not everyone deserves (or even wants) your confrontation and honesty. Don’t call people out just because you can. Sometimes even when you know someone is being dishonest, sit back, listen and smile to yourself. It falls somewhere under diplomacy.
23. Invest in your own space, even if you’re still single, or can’t afford to buy one, rent one and make it your own, but most importantly move out if you haven’t already. By 30 your parents should be your friends not your caregivers.
24. People who told you to wear sunscreen were not exaggerating when they said it would prevent wrinkles. I started in my mid-twenties and I have to say I’m grateful but wish I did even sooner.
25. In a couple of years it won’t matter who designed your dress or how many tiers your wedding cake had, the only thing that will count is how much you really make each other happy and just how well you get along.
26. Don’t make announcements you may regret. I used to say kids were not for me, my marriage will be different, “cooler” it will just be us conquering the world. And it was that way for almost five years. Now the thought of a stroller gets me all giddy and excited.
27. Space is as important in a relationship as is time spent together. You don’t have to like the same things, same food or same people or do everything together just because you’re together.
28. You can still eat what you want but work out a little harder. If you haven’t been to the gym in your early-mid twenties it’s very unlikely you will get active in your late twenties and thirties. Remember it’s a lifestyle not a duty.
29. Being self-deprecating shows you have a sense of humor -never resist the urge to laugh or make fun of yourself and more importantly never take yourself too seriously.
30. I’m not going to lie it‘s tough to bid your 20s goodbye and admit you’re 30. But I’m more at peace with myself now,and if I had to choose between what I know now, where I am, and how little I knew back then, I would always chose now.