I turned thirty in January of this year. It is a number with a lot of meaning and stigma behind it. When I was younger I used to think, “by the time I am thirty, I will have it all figured out.” Well, being fresh out of my twenties, let me tell you- that didn’t happen. I am still deciding what I want to be when I grow up, I still have roommates, and I am up to my ears in student loan debt. But, I am happy with where I am.
We tend to beat ourselves up over the things we haven’t yet done, without really looking back at how far we’ve come. I got to thinking the other day about all the things I realize now that I didn’t fully understand when I was 20. Now, I am not trying to say I have a full grasp on life at thirty, but all the little moments over the years have come together to create some sort of understanding. So, the next time you’re feeling a little lost, remember these ten things:
1. That where you are in life shouldn’t impact who you want to be.
We often times find ourselves feeling defeated before we even try. We look at big picture scenarios instead of the small steps it takes to get somewhere and it feels like a never-ending uphill battle. You’re never too old, too far behind, too inexperienced, or too anything to start. You’ll never regret trying- I promise. Begin anywhere.
2. That of all things, being kind is most important.
This doesn’t always mean a grand gesture- sometimes something as simple as holding open the door or giving a sincere smile can shift the balance. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our trials and tribulations that we forget that everyone around us is living a life just as complex and as vivid as our own. Be kind.
3. That comparing your life to someone else’s will get you nowhere in your own.
I have a friend who deleted all of her social media accounts because she hated watching the people around her get engaged, married and have babies. Not only because this is what begins to overpower these outlets when you reach a certain age, but mostly because she wasn’t there yet in her own life and resented the fact that she wasn’t. By constantly comparing our lives to others, we only make it difficult to truly focus on ourselves. If you’re feeling unbalanced in your life, pinpoint the problem and start there. Whether it is a relationship, a job, a body image issue, or anything you feel is an issue in your life – ask yourself if you’re happy. Does the good outweigh the bad? If it doesn’t, make a change. No, it isn’t always easy- but it will be worth it in the end.
4. That sometimes people will let you down.
But holding a grudge only makes you the same as them- and ultimately, only unhappy with yourself. I can almost guarantee that somewhere in your lifetime someone will let you down- it happens. When it does, the old “forgive and forget” can seem far-fetched. But, I am telling you- I’ve held a grudge, I’ve avoided, I’ve ignored; I have even tried to hurt someone in return- it doesn’t help. All of these things only keep the pain alive. So, no- you do not need to completely “forgive and forget,” and you shouldn’t. But, you should “forgive and move forward.”
5. That being different is good.
6. That there is no sadness that can’t be cured.
When life has broken your heart- do something that makes you happy. Go for a hike, have a cuddle session with your dog, watch a movie, build something, buy new lipstick, watch a funny YouTube video, paint- anything. After, take a deep breath. Sometimes it just takes a moment of happiness to refocus on the good happening in and around us.
7. That laughter truly is the best medicine.
As corny as it sounds, it really and truly is. A good laugh can jumpstart the healing process much quicker than moping around feeling sorry for yourself. Sadness ends, but a genuine laughter can travel around the world.
8. That music is good for the soul.
9. That happiness is up to you.
Truly, the kind of day you have is completely your choice. No, I am not saying that sadness isn’t real and that bad things don’t sometimes happen- but how you react and your perspective on life is completely in your hands. Wake up each morning in appreciation. Honestly enjoy the little things- they are what will end up shaping your life.
10.That it will take your entire life to really “figure things out.”
The best any of us can do is take each day as it comes. Be kind, be honest, be genuine- be happy. I think it really is that simple.