35 Things I’ve Learned About Living Your Best Life By 35

Thirty-five is what I’m dubbing the “prime” of adulthood. You’re not exactly 30 and you’re not exactly 40. You’re still youthfully beautiful, but wildly mature with some experience under your belt! Here are some useful tidbits I picked up along the way!

1. Love yourself. You’re all you’ve got. Took me nearly thirty years to realize this truth.

2. Travel. See the world. Explore. Go on road trips. Always be up for adventure. Play tourist in your own city. You never know what’s on the other side of that door until you open it.

3. You’re going to fight with your siblings. However, the older you get, the more you need them to not only deal with your parents, but because they were the first friends you ever made.

4. Be present! Don’t post your life. Live it. Would you still do something if it couldn’t be shared, liked, or storied?

5. Find time to stay active. Take a walk, ride a bike, or try a new workout class. I loathe every minute I’m on the elliptical, but without a doubt I always feel better after.

6. Follow your passions. I quit my day job at 33 to pursue writing full-time and I’ve never been happier.

7. Understand your parents and forgive them for their faults. You’re better off accepting them for who they are instead of the superheroes we made them out to be as kids.

8. You’re going to get your heart broken and probably more than once. Give yourself time to heal and just breathe. You’ll get there.

9. Create boundaries. Surround yourself with good company. Life is too short to spend time with people who you don’t love, let alone even like.

10. Learn how to say “No!” It’s empowering.

11. Listen to your intuition and allow it guide you. Your gut will never steer you wrong. Trust the universe. It knows what it’s doing.

12. Childhood friends are the easiest people in the world to hang out with. No explanations required. Every sentence begins, “Remember when…” and ends with immediate bursts of laughter.

13. Don’t take things too personally. Calmness is a superpower. Nine times out of ten people react to something that has very little to do with you.

14. Forgive people who’ve wronged you. Letting things go is the ultimate freedom.

15. Indulge every once and a while. Buy the bag or spring for the shoes. And if you’re in Italy—eat the pasta. YOLO!

16. College is a total blur. A degree and maybe a faded Steve and Barry’s sweatshirt are pretty much the only things you leave with and if you’re lucky a handful of friends. Sadly, it’s hard to keep in touch as the years go by. It takes real effort, but there’s no better reminder of the “good old days” than a college roommate.

17. Don’t rely solely on Google. Research, read, visit a library, or browse a museum. Get your culture on! You can always learn something new.

18. Give back. If you have a roof over head, good health, friends and family you can count on, and you know when your next meal is coming, then you’re beyond fortunate. Gratitude is an attitude. Adopt it.

19. Manners matter. Nobody is above common courtesy. And while you’re at it, strike up a conversation with your Uber driver; you may hear a wicked cool story.

20. Envy is ugly. Just do you and stick to your path. Don’t worry about where everyone else is. They’re on their own journey. Besides, nobody has it all together.

21. Every single person you meet is for a reason. People come into your life, some stay, some leave, and some find permanent places in our hearts. It’s all about perspective.

22. Make time for your grandparents. I went to college with four and graduated with one. They age fast and you’ll wish you still had a 5th grade report to make you ask them even more questions about life before social media.

23. “Too busy” is the lamest excuse in the world. Make the people you care about a priority. Show up for them, especially when it counts. They need you in their corner.

24. Don’t explain yourself to someone who isn’t at your emotional intelligence level. You’ll only look childish in your frustration.

25. Listen to music. There are songs that bring you back to a memory. It’s an easy way to mentally DVR a moment in your life.

26. Floss. It’s the most satisfying part of my bedtime routine. It’s such a rush.

27. Don’t be impressed by things you can see. Be impressed by things that you can’t, such as character, integrity, and values.

28. Everyone has a story. Don’t judge anyone until you’ve read more than just their jacket cover.

29. Give yourself a reality check, and by that, I mean find some guilty TV pleasures. Mindless entertainment is a necessity. Bravo is one of my favorite distractions.

30. Take pleasure in the simple things. The smell of a new car, a two-year old’s rendition of “Wheels on the Bus,” or an unexpected rainbow—open your eyes; there’s plenty to see.

31. You’re never too old to make new friends. Get out of your sandbox. Play on the swings or see who’s up for kickball.

32. Work on yourself. It will be the hardest work you ever do, but also the most rewarding. Don’t be afraid of therapy. Everyone needs a tune-up. Nobody is perfect.

33. Be sad, happy, angry, scared, upset. Be every one of the Seven Dwarfs if you want to. Feel everything.

34. Walk away from anyone who doesn’t know your worth. You’re badass and better than that.

35. You can be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the very same time. Cut yourself some slack and keep yourself in check. You’ve got this!

That’s a wrap, folks! Thanks for reading! Hope you related to or took away something! Adulting is no joke. Cheers to the next 35! TC mark

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Writer. Pop Culture Lover. Optimist Follow Courtney on Instagram or read more articles from Courtney on Thought Catalog.