Today is my 30th birthday and I have a lot of feelings about it. It’s a privilege to age and I am genuinely excited about this new decade ahead, but before moving forward I always like to take a chance to reflect.
I know this is a bit cheesy, but ever since Taylor Swift shared 30 lessons she learned by her 30th birthday, I wanted to write my own.
I have a lot to celebrate from my 20s, but there are some hard lessons as well. Grateful for all the experiences because it helped make me who I am today. Can’t wait to see what this new decade teaches me.
In no particular order:
1. Try to remember someone’s name when they first tell you what it is.
2. If your gut tells you to remove yourself from a situation, do it.
3. No one thinks about you as much as you think about you.
4. Job titles and salaries do not define you. You are so much more than your job.
5. You deserve good coffee. Every day.
6. It’s important to learn to laugh at yourself.
7. Physical books are the best kind of books.
8. You cannot change another person.
9. Having a dog makes life better.
10. Dinners out should always be phone-free.
11. You don’t need to feel guilty for re-watching your comfort TV show for the tenth time.
12. If you ask someone to hang out with you, you should give them your full attention.
13. Add a soundtrack to your life wherever possible. Music matters.
14. Doom scrolling and feeling sad will not change the state of the thing you are worrying about.
15. You deserve to feel joy. Feel it big. Share it. Find it wherever you can.
16. When you are feeling run down, it is okay to take a mental health day. Use a sick day. Ask for help to give yourself time to truly rest.
17. Sunrises and sunsets are everyday magic. See them as often as you can.
18. Usually the things that scare you the most are the things you should do.
19. Moving across the world is intense and lonely and confusing at first, but stick it out. The new you you’ll meet makes it worth it.
20. Physical proximity does not determine the closeness of a relationship. Your effort does.
21. To-do lists help take stress from the front of mind to a piece of paper. Get it down and stop trying to remember it all at once.
22. True friends feel like family. Do everything you can to hold on tight.
23. Book the flight.
24. Ask people questions. We cannot possibly know everything about another person, which means there is always something to talk about. Ask deep questions and be vulnerable.
25. Have a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly and make you feel confident.
26. When someone crosses your mind, text them, or email them, or call them. It’s that simple. Let them know you were thinking about them.
27. Use your skincare products on your neck.
28. Take photos. Looking back at photos can spark the memories and you’ll be glad you have them.
29. If you ever lose that feeling of hope, go out and watch a marathon. (Or run one).
30. You can design the life you want. It does not have to look like anyone else’s or be the version someone else wants for you. It’s yours. Own it.
Also, if you’re looking for a sign to book yourself a little photoshoot for your next birthday: this is it.