It’s cliché but true: something changes in you once you hit your 30’s. It’s like, you finally just “get it” and ‘it’ completely changes the way you think and live. My year of 30 has consisted of extreme shifts in every area of my life. It has been a time of stepping into who I truly am and who I want to be. It has been a hard but incredibly freeing and amazing journey. Without further ado, here are 30 things I have learned since turning 30.
1. It’s okay to say no.
Being a self-proclaimed people pleaser, I have said yes to things most of my life that I didn’t always want or believe in. Once 30 hit, it was like I had had enough. I was tired of saying ‘yes’ and decided that I was going to start saying ‘no’- even at the risk of disappointing others. The world hasn’t fallen apart since I started that, in fact, it has gotten a lot better and a lot more free.
2. You realize your worth.
It’s as if, you finally look at yourself and go, “Wow, I’m actually pretty awesome and I’m going to start embracing that!” Whether relating to jobs, relationships, or even self-reflection, you start owning that you’re worth a lot and that you will no longer put yourself down or accept things that do not acknowledge and reaffirm your worth.
3. You begin to understand what’s really important in life.
Your priorities change to highlight more meaningful things. You realize that time and life are precious and that you want to start focusing on the things and people that truly matter to you.
4. You start living.
Maybe it’s that I finally realized it is okay to mess up, or that there really is no “perfect time” to do things, but all I know is that ever since turning 30, I have started looking at my life and all the things I want to do and I have started doing them! Even if it’s just one little step in a new direction, I have started choosing to live the life I have always wanted.
5. You begin to know and accept who you are.
30 seems to give you permission to accept yourself and start thriving in being that person. You finally shed the idea that you have to be who everyone wants and expects you to be. You decide that the only person you want to be is who you really are and you’re finally okay if others don’t accept that. Whether it be tastes in music or personal style, you finally decide what YOU like and not just accept what’s trending.
6. You realize it’s okay not to have a cookie cutter path.
Society tells us that everything in our life has to look a certain way, but in reality, we are all individuals on our own unique journeys and we have to respect that. At 30, I can finally accept that this path is uniquely mine and it’s okay that it doesn’t follow the “rules.”
7. Boundaries are important.
I feel like when I turned 30, all of the sudden, I understood why boundaries were important. Boundaries help us protect ourselves and live our best lives. They keep us away from toxic people and situations, they allow us the opportunity to do what is best for us, they allow us to create safe places in our lives. They help us live the life that brings us the most fulfillment and joy.
8. Self-care is a top priority.
I’ve always been into taking care of my body but once 30 hit I realized I wanted to take the absolute best care of my body that I could. Skincare became more important, exercising to create a lifestyle and not just to stay fit, taking care of my mental and emotional health, etc. I have learned how to let myself be in tune with what my needs are each day-whether it’s a nap, a walk, a night in, or a glass of wine, taking care of myself has become a huge priority!
9. You quit waiting for things to happen and start making them happen.
Things I have talked about doing for years suddenly became things I decided it was time to do. From starting yoga to traveling to Bali, to allowing myself to create a writing career, I finally decided I would start trying things and I would allow myself to enjoy the growth process that came from it all. Making excuses is no longer part of my routine!
10. Your confidence gets really strong.
You finally have this amazing sense of self. You’re taking all these steps to be who you want to be and do what you want to do and the reward that comes from it is a huge amount of belief and confidence in who you are.
11. Age really IS just a number.
You realize that you are the only person who can make the most of their time. The years go by but they don’t feel so scary when you’re choosing to live fully, making the most of them.
12. You begin living fully in the present.
For someone who has always worked towards a goal and lived for future experiences, I finally realized that NOW is the only certainty I have, and it made me want to embrace it. I have learned how to put down my phone, go outside, and spend time with people who mean something to me. Being present has become my new mantra.
13. You don’t have time for things that bring you down.
People, situations, jobs, whatever it may be, you realize if something is not building you up but rather bringing you down, it’s got to go. No if’s and’s or but’s about it!
14. You begin to trust the universe a little bit more.
You realize that things really do come together if they are meant to and that life has a way of working things out even when you don’t understand. You accept that you can trust the ebb and flow of it all.
15. You decide to get your shit together.
Getting more involved with your finances, eliminating debt, moving on from things that aren’t helping you-you finally decide that you can’t put those things off any longer, so you start making the necessary changes to achieve that.
16. You realize that you don’t know as much as you think you do and that that’s okay.
You finally accept that no matter how much you DO know, there are plenty of things you don’t know. You realize that life is a continual learning and growing experience and you accept that you are in a constant state of learning and growing.
17. You stop expecting others to be the source of your happiness and you find happiness within yourself.
You finally realize that the only person who can make you happy is yourself! People will disappoint you, but your peace and joy no longer depend on them.
18. You start traveling.
I quit talking about traveling and started doing it. From 2-hour road trips to 28-hour flights, I decided to do them all.
19. You quit trying to be perfect.
You realize the first draft of the article isn’t going to be the best, you know that some days you’re just not going to feel that great, and you realize that all of that is okay. Being perfect and having it all together seems like a waste of time. Why not just be real instead?
20. It’s okay to change.
I always thought that I had to be the same person people knew me to be, I thought that that meant I was loyal and consistent, and that change was a bad thing. I now understand that you don’t have to be the same person you were yesterday, you’re allowed to be different. You’re allowed to change. Accepting that my ideals, habits, and views, etc. have changed to something I never thought that they would isn’t the end of the world, it’s simply new growth.
21. You learn to laugh more and not take everything so seriously.
Sometimes reality is really hard but if you can find ways to laugh in the midst of it all, somehow it just makes everything better. Not taking things so seriously is a beautiful gain from turning 30. I am finally letting my hair down and breathing a little bit more.
22. You show your loved ones you love them more than you used to.
That whole realizing how much your parents mean to you when you’re older stuff is true. Spending time with the people you care about becomes really important. You do things for them and you begin to invest more in them.
23. You just have to show up.
Even when you’re afraid and you don’t know what to do, choosing to be brave and continue showing up is one of the most life-changing things you can do.
24. You start accepting people for who they are and loving them as they are.
You quit trying to make everyone fit into your ideal of them and decide to start loving them as they are. Allowing others to be themselves is one of the best gifts you can give them!
25. You’re not afraid of risks.
You’re finally okay with failing at things, you decide that taking a risk is worth it. You realize that you will learn and grow any way you look at it, so taking the risk really isn’t so scary anymore.
26. You toughen up.
You just have more courage and assertiveness than you used to. You’re over being pushed around and begin standing your ground more.
27. You realize the opportunities that are right in front of you and you start taking advantage of them.
There is no more waiting until tomorrow. You decide that you have everything you need to start creating the life you want. You acknowledge what is available to you and you start there and grow more opportunities from it.
28. You feel more comfortable in your skin and you feel beautiful because of it.
I finally feel beautiful without makeup on, I finally feel like I like my body even with its imperfections. 30 makes you start appreciating yourself.
29. You realize that the future is unknown and that you can only take life one step at a time, one day at a time.
All we are given is the moment and that’s the only way to really live. 30 has taught me to make each moment count and to finally enjoy my life exactly as it is for however many more moments I have.
30. Discovering yourself is one of the greatest gifts.
The journey of the 30s has been said to be the most amazing season of your life. And honestly, from what I’ve already experienced, I wholeheartedly agree. The gift of living and being yourself, the growth, the experiences, it’s unlike anything I ever could have imagined. Cheers to being 30.