Thirty Things I’ve Learned At Thirty
Having just entered a new decade (gulp) and come out of a pretty transformative year, I felt like it might be an apt time to list (if only for my own benefit) a few things I know to be true now that I might not have really known 10 years ago. While this is stuff we might have all read and heard before, it’s only now I really know it. Maybe some of this will resonate with you, no matter what age, and maybe there’ll be stuff you too can add in the comments…
Sidenote, this post accidentally went live unfinished the other day so apologies if you caught a glimpse of this already but please do have a proper read now if you saw it before.
1.Loving is just as important as being loved. As children and teenagers, we have to give very little love in order to receive tonnes of it back. As adults, we take that natural state to our romantic (and other) relationships and can get so preoccupied with questioning if he loves us or loves us not, or how much parents and friends are giving to us, but I’ve learnt it’s just important to question if you’re loving in the best, most compassionate way too. Love is a verb not a noun. Cheesy yes, but then maybe the best things in life are.
2, Don’t always listen to your friends. Friends are great for advice but even the best of friends can sometimes only know one side of the story. Ultimately no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors or in your heart, and sometimes you need to listen to your gut, not your best mate.
3. Mistakes are painful and brutal but can sometimes be the only way to learn life’s hard lessons. And they’ll be repeated until those lessons are truly learned.
3. The true friends aren’t always the ones who are there for you in the bad times, they’re the ones who champion you throughout the good too. Sometimes the best of friends can still relish in your down times even if it’s just because you need them more. That doesn’t make them bad people, it just means they’re acting from their place not yours. The true, good ones are ecstatic for you when it all works out.
3. Saying no is as empowering as saying yes. In every aspect of life.
4. Don’t scrimp on hair colour, hair cuts or skincare. There’s no monetary compensation for a bad ‘do and you only get one face so if you want to save the pennies, save them on makeup and clothes instead.
5. Love isn’t always enough. But it’s by far enough to put up a good fight for.
6. Sometimes your dream job ends up being one you don’t even know exists when you initially start looking for it.
7. You don’t always have to be the best to have the best time. You might be a sloppy cook or a the un-bendiest in yoga but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time hosting dinner or going to classes. As a recovering perfectionist, this is one I’ve really battled with over the years as my mood was so often dictated by how ‘good’ I deemed myself to be.
8. You really can’t control or change others, all you can control is how you react to them. Bite your tongue, pick your battles and don’t hold onto the bad.
9. You will never regret the money you spend on flights, but you will regret some of the money you spend on bags, shoes and everything in between. If it makes your palms sweat and you can’t bring yourself to wear it, you should probably take it back.
10. One friend doesn’t fit all. You’ll find some friends are better at different things. The friend that is great for soul-searching, universe-shattering conversations; the friend that you always make a beeline for on a dance floor; the friend that makes you laugh till you cry. Don’t resent the things certain friends can’t offer and relish what they can.
11. Be kind to yourself above all else and tell those mean little voices where to go when you’re looking in the mirror.
12. Life is short. Order the fries and have an ice cream. But eat your greens for dinner.
13. Wear SPF 50 on your face. Always, and every holiday. Trust me.
14. There’s not much a hot bath, sweet tea or an old movie can’t cure in the short term.
15. Keep friend’s secrets and try not to gossip. For your sanity as much as theirs….
16. There are no guarantees in life. Not one. Apart from maybe gravity.
17. When you start acting from a place of fear, things start heading south. Say no to things, be ok with being comfortable, but never because you’re scared of the ‘what if’.
18. The grass is greenest where you water it. Fact. Sometimes it’s right to leave your lawn and head to another, but not before watering it with all you’ve got first.
20. Life isn’t a race, even though the end of your twenties can start to feel like that… You might find yourself single when you thought you’d be getting married or still not sure what the hell you even want to do with your life when everyone else is launching start-ups and getting massive promotions. Some people just have a longer Spring than others, or a lovelier Autumn. It’s not all about the Summer years though it might appear to be right now. This is especially true if you’re an old soul FYI.
21. Be informed, not just opinionated. Take time to read the news, subscribe to The Week and explore other sides of the argument. Brexit and Trump included. Although anyone who follows me on twitter will know what side I come down on those subjects…
22. Confidence is all sexiness really is. And sometimes you really do have to pretend you’re confident on the outside before the inside catches up…
23. Remember when Rory in Gilmore Girls gets told by Logan’s dad that she doesn’t have what it takes in journalism? I’ve had a handful of people in my life who did and said similar things to me. I look back now and realise that the job I didn’t get was a blessing in disguise and the person who told me ‘writing wasn’t my forte’ was speaking from their place, not mine. I might not ever be a Pulitzer prize-winner (but you know, I also might because who the hell knows) but neither was the person who said that, and I know now that there are people out there who like my writing and can relate to it and that means that in some way, writing is and can continue to be a forte of sorts for me. Understand criticism for what it is rather than a see it as definitive piece of feedback.
24. Beware of oversharing when it comes to relationships. I have some friends I could moan at for hours about something Jamie did and they would get it, understand it and never remind me of it. Others will hold nuggets of information and pull them out months later and use them against you. Learn to avoid the latter like the plague and save your venting for the select few when you really need it. And in my experience, take anyone who doesn’t ever need to vent with a large pinch of salt….
25. Only you can make yourself truly happy. And your own ego and doubts can make you unhappier than another ever could.
26. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. If you want an apology, a hug or a discount, sometimes you really do have to ask for it.
27. Before you hold up a magnifying glass, hold up a mirror. That’s a real mantra of mine of late. And a must if you’re picky and naggy in relationships like I have a tendency to be…
28. Break-ups are the absolute pits. Having had my fair share of heartbreak and heartache, I know it can truly have a physical affect on you and turn the strongest of people into an empty wreck that is good for nothing for months. It’s a form of a grief and can really knock you sideways. One thing worth remembering is the body has no memory for pain. That’s a fact. It’s why women happily go through childbirth again. While we know it hurt, when it’s over we can’t recall or summon the actual pain hence why we’re ready to love again eventually. Be gentle with yourself, be tough on yourself when times call for it, be vulnerable and tell others what you’re going through, and know that the only people who will get it are those who have been through it. Side note, break-ups can sometimes be the best medicine for a relationship so don’t believe the whole ‘never go back’ attitude’. It’s archaic in my opinion, especially when it comes to complicated people and to me, the best people are all a little bit complicated. A wise friend once said to me relationships aren’t linear and it’s so true.
29. Smear tests are a date worth keeping. Trust me.
30. And lastly but by no means least, age really is just a number….
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