Can you believe it?! I woke up June 1 – my 30th birthday – and felt completely the same.
That’s because I am me (and you are you), and no birthday, new year or new decade is going to change that fact.
But of course, this milestone birthday does change some things…
Saying Goodbye to My Twenties
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my twenties. What a wild decade of late nights, early mornings, school, jobs, roommates, responsibility, independence, learning, changing, growing. At age 20, I thought the world was mine; 25, I thought I knew everything; 29, I realized I know very little and have a long way to go.
In my family, my older siblings and cousins have blazed the trail into their forties. They’ve shown me all there is to look forward to by way of raising children, building a career and enjoying life as it unfolds. I also have a niece, nephew and many younger cousins, some in their twenties, others fast approaching college. So, I made a list of lessons I learned in my twenties. There is no rhyme or reason to the order, and I’m sure I left out a bunch of things. But this is what I’ve got right now.
So, Kristin, Amy, Henry, Jack, Lauren, Troy, Johnathan, Anne Louise, Julia, William, Lynley, Evan, Cate, Laney, Margot and Ashley (and anyone else who is interested), this list of lessons learned is for you:
- Exercise often, it’s good for your body and your soul.
- Put a lid on your smoothie (or any beverage, really).
- Hide a spare key.
- Lock your storm door.
- Keep a blazer and a pair of running shoes in your car at all times.
- Failure is okay. Some of the best twists and turns in my 20’s were a result of failure. Just remember Coach Dean Smith’s advice: 1) acknowledge it, 2) accept it, 3) learn from it.
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone (sometimes it takes a lot of pushing – do it).
- Nothing good happens after 1:45 a.m.
- Get gas the night before.
- You do you/do not compare yourself to everyone else.
- Go at your own pace.
- We are all imperfect human beings – give others grace when you can.
- You do not have to get married and have children before 30. If that is what happens – great! If you decide to move across the state or the country or the world when you’re 29 and start all over again… do it.
- Give yourself some breathing room.
- It’s going to hurt sometimes. Surround yourself with positive, goodhearted people – they will help you.
- Be kind to others.
- Remember where you came from.
- You do not have it all figured out – listen to your elders.
- Fight for people who do not have a voice to fight for themselves.
- Pack a phone charger.
- When you feel stuck, keep moving forward.
- You are responsible for your own happiness.
- Take people’s advice, including my own, with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, this is your journey. You do not have it all figured out at 20 or at 30. Just take each day and situation as it comes. Do your best.
- Know that you are loved.
This is Thirty
I had a big time this weekend. Feeling extremely grateful for the friends and family who helped me celebrate.
All I really wanted for my 30th birthday was a workout party with my closest Charlotte buddies.
Huge thanks to my gym, Jamie Scott Fitness-South End, for making my bday wish come true!
A very late dinner at O-Ku. (Cousin Kristin and dear friend, Jessica made the trip from DC and Raleigh)
I did not take my 1:45 a.m. advice. But the dance party was worth it.
Saturday, White Water Center activities, including paddle boarding on the Catawba river, with John, Kristin, Allie and Coleman.
What a weekend. What a life. If you are reading this — thank you. You are a part of my life and I am grateful for you. Looking so forward to the next decade and all the challenges, lessons, experiences ahead.
See you out there.