It seems to me that turning 30 feels surreal for a lot of us. A forced milestone we may or may not be ready to acknowledge. Maybe it’s just another birthday that doesn’t feel any more significant than the last.
What are we leaving behind?
What can we look forward to?
These are timeless self-renewal questions we can ask ourselves at the start of every day, week, month, or birth year.
A couple of days after my 30th birthday, I documented 30 things I believe in. Let’s call them my “north stars” — cherished values that provide a sense of direction because they remind me what matters and what feels good.
Some are prescriptive calls-to-action that I may or may not get preachy about after a couple of drinks.
All of them are everyday things that make me believe that when we hold ourselves accountable to focus on what’s important and meaningful, we’re timeless.
1. Trust instant friendships. They are sacred, and like everything else in life won’t last forever.
2. Flirt like your life depends on it because it makes everything more fun.
3. Get laser hair removal (it’s a game-changer).
4. Spend time with your friends’ grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. to feel new dimensions of kinship as the lines between friends and family blur.
5. Order mimosas with the juice on the side: don’t play with the things that are most important to you.
6. Talk to strangers. It’s amazing how close you can get when you can’t assume you know where the other person is coming from.
7. Cry and get stared at because you are laughing so hard. Laugh because it’s the closest way of being completely involved with someone.
8. Have sex with yourself and have sex with others like it’s the life-giving force that it is. If you’re going to do it, be all in on whatever terms you’ve decided. Let sex move you closer to parts of yourself you didn’t know existed.
9. Ask people how they are. Don’t hope those you love are doing well, OK, etc. They might not be, and they might need to know someone cares about how they are actually doing.
10. Keep a journal. Don’t rely on your iCloud to capture your precious memories.
11. Take it slow in love. Observe who they are before you attach yourself to an idea of them.
12. Say “yes” when you are invited on a boat. Always say “yes” to that / be emphatic about what lights you up.
13. Keep investing in hobbies: the more outlets for self-expression you have the more yourself you’ll feel.
14. Let what’s yours come to you on its own terms. If you don’t like olives yet, there’s a big chance you will. Some things just take more time than others.
15. Don’t be afraid to ask people for what you need and walk away or accept it if you can’t get it. That’s what taking responsibility for your life looks like.
16. Eat strawberries in France to remind yourself to stay curious about the simple things.
17. Work on your shit because it lives on with or without you. Trauma is generational.
18. Listen to loved ones sleep and whisper in their ears what you wish for them.
19. Give what you can. Even if you can’t give a lot or as much as you wish you could, give what you can.
20. Keep working on your active listening because our ego is never conquered, the other is always more discoverable, and our possibilities are endless.
21. Remember, you’re good enough.
22. Give your touch to loved ones because it’s free. The exchange of energy is what actually makes the world go round.
23. Don’t get it twisted and start ignoring the beauty of lean protein.
24. Don’t be scared of what you’re scared of. If you don’t respond compassionately to your fears they will inadvertently run your life.
25. Go for long walks alone with no purpose because you might find exactly what you didn’t know you needed: solitude.
26. Don’t cheat. Instead, dare to be honest with yourself and others about what’s not working for you anymore.
27. Get bored. Boredom can be the most healing and inspiring thing if you can just let it be.
28. Read. Read a lot, and especially read philosophy, poetry, and religious texts.
29. Worship fruit. Honestly, it’s nature’s candy. If you don’t get that yet, smoke a joint and tell me otherwise.
30. Believe that everything you plant in your mind and tend to with your actions grows. So save some money and weed out what is robbing you of what you should cherish the most — the time you have right now to live your best life.