30 lessons from 30 years

In 30 days I will turn 30 and I’m feeling pretty great about it! What with wedding planning and working my a** off to build my business I haven’t had chance to do the ‘30 before 30’ challenge which I always thought that I would do. However, I have done quite a lot in my 30 years so I’m not feeling too bad about that.

Instead I thought I would write a letter to my 21 year-old self, until I realised that my 21 year-old self was far more self-assured than my 30 year-old self is; she knew what she was doing, she had no fears, no doubts about her future and really had her shit together. How is it that the more you age, the more you realise how little you know….

After ruminating on this idea for a while I realised that this is, in fact, a strength. Age has taught me things that my 21 year-old self was too cocky to understand, and to appreciate the things that she took for granted. The more you realise how little you know about how the world works, the more you realise the value in what you do know…and from that was born this list; 30 things I have learned over the last 30 years that I feel are valuable and worth remembering. This is a list I hope to be able to pass on to my children, nieces and nephews, or to any one struggling or caught up in the fear of the unknown of the future. None of us know how life it going to turn out, but here are a few things I do know for sure…

  1. Find people who will love you no matter how far away you go - the greatest friends you have are the ones you can come back to even if it’s been ages since you spoke (and they don’t remind you how long it’s been).

  2. If he (or she) really loves you, he will wait for you, but not for too long. Don’t take the gift of freedom for granted.

  3. If you really don’t want to do something, then say it. People value honesty & will understand. And if they don’t, then you made the right choice.

  4. Just because they are your parents (or siblings, or friends), does not mean you have to agree with them. Differences of opinion, when expressed with love and care, are opportunities for connection & growth.

  5. There is nothing more cathartic than a night dancing & singing with your girlfriends (preferably in a cheesy club, wearing trainers), do it often, even if (especially if) you don’t really feel like it.

  6. None of us know what the hell we are doing. Turn up, face up and carry on.

  7. It’s OK to fail. It will feel like shit, but you will survive.

  8. Listen to your body - it knows what’s up before you do. Unclench your jaw, rest often, pay it some respect.

  9. Most things feel better after a glass of wine, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, a chat with someone you love and / or a good cry.

  10. Yes, you are overthinking it.

  11. Buy the underwear for how it makes you feel, not to impress him.

  12. Tell the people you love that you love them, often. One day they won’t be on your doorstep & you’ll realise how important they are.

  13. Getting out of your comfort zone is important. Travel solo, move to a new place, start a business, talk to a stranger…it will be painful, awkward & terrifying, but it will help you grow & get closer to who you are.

  14. It is possible to be loved and still feel lonely. Never hide from your emotions - allow them in, feel them, process them & then, most importantly, move on.

  15. Anger, resentment & grudges only hurt the people who hold on to them. Talk about how you feel & then let it go.

  16. Determination & courage are more valuable than exam scores. You won’t always be the best, but you can always show up & try your best.

  17. You are never too old. It is never too late.

  18. If you want to know more, educate yourself; after you leave school no-one else is going to do it for you. Read about politics, take a wine-tasting course, read often & keep it varied, listen to podcasts. Life is more interesting when you feel confident joining the conversation.

  19. Don’t waste your life obsessing over goals, milestones & future achievements. When all is said & done you’ll have missed everything that happened in between.

  20. Healthy relationships require communication, kindness & compromise. If you don’t have an equal balance, it will never work.

  21. It is possible to maintain independence in a relationship. Learn to be happy by yourself, then they become a wonderful added bonus.

  22. You do not know everything. Stay curious to the world around you and the opinions and information other people can provide.

  23. Passion is attractive. Surround yourself with passionate people & find the things that start a fire in you. Never be afraid to be passionate.

  24. Always think before you speak. It is OK to admit you don’t know the answer, or don’t have the words to express yourself. Silence is better than words spoken in anger.

  25. Learn to cook healthy, nutritional & delicious food.

  26. Invest in keeping your hair, skin, nails, teeth & gut healthy. You will thank yourself later.

  27. You will always spend your life comparing your start to someone else’s middle. You know you do it, try not to.

  28. Be kind, to yourself & others.

  29. Life is fun! Try not to be so serious.

  30. Someone else’s beauty, talent or success does not diminish your own.

So there you have it! 30 lessons I have learned over the last 30 years. Did any of these resonate with you? Comment below and feel free to add your own!

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