1. The idea that vulnerability and softness are weaknesses.
Being these things is a sign of beauty and a sign of strength, even if the world would have you believe otherwise; even if your past has taught you anything different. I hope you stop letting your trauma hold you back from saying the things you are afraid to say. I hope you let go of the fear of displaying your emotions. Understand that your vulnerability is your greatest strength. Giving up control takes courage. Letting yourself be seen, uncertain of what the outcome may be, is the bravest thing – the world needs more of it.
2. I hope you let go of trying to control everything.
The only thing undoubtedly within your power is the relationship you have with yourself. Anything and anyone beyond that is always out of your control. Life is unpredictable and messy, as are people. I hope you stop trying to control every situation around you, and that includes letting go of futile attempts to change others.
Appreciate life as it is, even when it doesn’t always cater to your expectations and even when it isn’t always convenient for you. Live a life you can enjoy, even when things veer off from your preferred direction.
Cherish people for who they are when those people are good to you. You’re never going to be able to turn someone into who you’d like them to be, you’ll only sever relationships with your attempts. Imagine someone coming to you and pointing a finger, making you feel insufficient when they should be opening up their arms with embrace. Cherish people for who they are, yes, but when who they are it’s someone who is toxic to you, let those people go. If someone isn’t valuing you and recognizing your worth, you’ll never be able to convince them to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, you’ll only break your own heart trying.
3. People who are toxic to you.
Reiteration is necessary when it comes to this one. I will say it again: let go of people who bring toxicity into your life!
Yes, that includes the eternal on/off almost-relationship. It includes your ex who keeps you tied to their finger and makes you feel like a yo-yo with a flick of their wrist. It includes your family member who is noxious to your mental health, no matter how much you may love them. It includes the one-sided friendship you’ve been putting up with for years. It includes the friend who uses you as their therapist. It includes anybody who exhausts your mental and emotional well-being and drains you of your positive energy.
Bulldoze and burn every bridge to any person who brings you down and have more space to hold for those who actually deserve it.
4. That person you cannot help but love, no matter how many times they’ve hurt you.
So maybe at one point they painted your world in colors you had never seen, and maybe you had never felt the way you did when they kissed you like they lassoed down and placed the constellations at your feet. Maybe, in the beginning, they made you feel understood and they made you feel seen. But what are they making you feel now?
Not enough. Sad. Anxious. Alone. You feel utter despair thinking about how you would wake up summer for them, how you’d give them the whole sun and they wouldn’t even have to carry it, even though you can’t count on them for anything, least of all your heart. Your world is gray because you keep hoping they’ll wake up one day and decide the time is finally right, or that they’ll show you that they’re still the person they made you believe they were in the beginning. You stay up at night missing them, wondering about them, aching for them, when in reality you’re the furthest thing from their head.
I hope you realize this person who has repeatedly broken promises, who has lied to you, who has made you feel like second best, who has made you feel unworthy, isn’t the love of your life. Picture this consuming and overwhelming love you have for this person who is so wrong for you, and imagine how much bigger, yet lighter, it would feel having it for someone who is right. I hope you realize that this person who repeatedly hurts you will never love you the right way – that they will never love you at all – and that you let go, so one day you can open yourself up for someone actually worthy of someone as loving as you.
And know one thing to be true: when you meet the right person, you’ll see how what you had with anyone else wasn’t love, how it cannot compare at all.
5. I hope you let go of the excuses you make for other people.
Enough is enough. It’s cliché, but it’s true. When someone keeps repeating the same mistakes, they stop being mistakes and become behavioral patterns, and those are almost impossible to break. The more excuses you have to make for people, the less likely it is that they will change.
6. I hope you let go of the idea that the love of your life has to be a person (but it’s okay if they are).
Your true love doesn’t necessarily have to be another person.
It’s okay if the love of your life is your career or your passion or love for something. It’s okay if seeing the world is what you dedicate yourself to and love the most. It’s okay if it’s a business you’ve dreamed about your whole life of starting. It’s okay if you can’t give your all to a person the way you do to your aspirations or yourself.
But, if the love of your life is a person, that’s okay, too, and you should never let anyone make you feel like that love is less than.
To each their own.
7. The belief that someone else can make you happy.
No one, absolutely no one, can make you genuinely happy if you don’t know how to be happy on your own. Your happiness shouldn’t be dependent upon another individual, your happiness should be reached from within. Anyone else can only add on to your happiness, not be responsible for it. Your happiness is your responsibility, and your responsibility only. You won’t ever have peace within a relationship if it’s the place you keep going to to find it.
8. I hope you let go of trying to be someone else’s idea of perfect.
Stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations, this life is yours, not anyone else’s. Are you living the life you want to live, or are you too caught up pleasing others that you’ve lost sight of who you are and what you desire? Let go of pleasing your family, let go of other people’s worldviews, let go of trying to transform yourself into someone else’s ideal. Be your own ideal. Be who you are, do what you want, believe what you believe, express what you feel, be heard, and do it all unapologetically. Don’t betray yourself by confirming for anyone else or abandoning your own values and priorities for those of someone else. The only perfect that matters is yours.
9. Parental ideologies.
You’re 30, it’s time for you to be vocal about your own beliefs with those closest to you, even if you’re met with disapproval. It’s okay to let go of ideals you no longer hold. Beliefs, values, priorities, goals, and objectives can change. You do not need to hang on to any of these things just because it’s what was drilled into you from a young age. You do not need to hold on to the things you believed or wanted when you were 10, 16, 20, or 25, just to please your parents. You may owe them a lot, but never that.
You are at complete liberty to change your course. Growth is natural with age, and with growth comes a change of perspective. You are allowed to release yourself from obligations to your past self and honor who you are today.
Live life adhering to your own set of values and principles, and never feel guilty about your beliefs. Vote the way you want to vote, protest what you stand against, advocate for what you believe, pray or don’t pray. Believe what you believe in, and don’t in what you don’t. Work towards accomplishing your goals, even if your parents, or even you, expected very differently.
10. Pleasing others.
Fuck it, be selfish. There, I said it, live selfishly. Take care of yourself first, do what makes you happy, act accordingly to your own benefit. Life is too short to walk on eggshells or bend yourself backward trying to please others. Don’t rob yourself of the only life you have by denying yourself for someone else’s benefit when it doesn’t suit you. Be fucking selfish.
11. I hope you learn to let go of society’s timeline for success.
Seriously, let go of the idea that you are not “where you should be” by now. Stop comparing where you’re at in life to where others around you are. Life is not some checklist you must follow from A-Z; life isn’t a checklist at all.
That whole college (check), job (check), engagement (check), house (check), baby (check) mentality is so ass-backwards. Let life take its natural course. It may take you to places you wish you never set foot on, but all you can do is plan and ride the waves when things go unexpectedly.
Where you feel like you are lagging behind, you are gaining perspective, experience, and learning where others aren’t. That happy couple you see posting on Instagram living behind a white picket fence may actually envy you because they wish they had taken their time instead of rushing into marriage at a young age. When you meet the person meant for you, you will be certain because you will have done all the living and growing. Your friend who just got that promotion at that killer job may be jealous of the free time you have to yourself. It’s a good thing you can travel right now because you may not be able to in 10 years.
We don’t all hit the same milestones at the same time, and being in your 30’s doesn’t mean that life is over for you. It’s just beginning. You will get everything you want in life, so long as you put in the effort and open yourself up to the universe. Fuck what society has to say about it. You are exactly where you should be.
No one is going to believe in you as much as you will if you would just let yourself. You attract what you put out there, so start having faith in yourself, and thinking as highly of yourself as you do of others. Take out the word “can’t” and “won’t” from your vocabulary when it comes to your own capabilities and worth.
13. I hope you learn to let go of self-loathing.
You’re 30, babe. Make this your year of self-love. Go into this decade of your life with a light heart. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind in how you think about yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made and for the destructive behaviors that brought you pain. Remember you’re human and being human means being imperfect. There’s nothing you should cherish more than the relationship you have with yourself. Don’t allow that relationship to become a toxic one because you can’t stop putting yourself down. No amount of love you receive from another person will get through to you if you can’t let your own love get through.
14. Your insecurities.
Stop it. Seriously, stop focusing on all the ways in which you don’t feel good enough. You’re feeding yourself a false narrative by picking yourself apart. You are giving life to things that don’t exist and poisoning your own mind and heart with a fake reality.
Be the best possible version of yourself, do what is right for you, and stay true to who you are. Believe that this person you are has nothing to feel insecure about.
Stop doubting the respect, love, and affection others give you and believe they give it to you because of who you are.
15. I hope you learn to let go of comparing yourself to others.
This is a recipe for perpetual dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
Know that it isn’t just you that feels like other people are better than you in some way, or that other people have it better. What’s important is that you stop indulging in these thoughts and start appreciating all the very spectacular things about you that make you who you are, as well as all the things you have to be grateful for.
Most people give the appearance that they are happier than they truly are, so we all live under the delusion of how wonderfully other people’s lives are. Stop desiring you were more like or looked more like someone else, or that you had the things other people do because the truth is no one has it as perfect as you believe.
Focus on living a genuinely happy life you don’t have to fake.
16. I hope you let go of hating your body.
You’re beautiful. Yes, you – you’re beautiful. Fuck what Instagram or any magazine you pick up may be telling you. Fuck what anyone else may have to say about your body. Your body is perfect. Your body is your body, and it’s the only one you have – the home of your soul. Take care of your body, be gentle in the thoughts you have about your body, and love your body. Look in the mirror every day and tell yourself how beautiful you are until you wake up one day and believe it.
17. I hope you learn to let go of destructive behaviors.
Maybe you developed unhealthy habits in your attempt at survival, or when you were going through a rough period in life, and maybe these destructive behaviors stayed with you. I hope you learn to let these go. I hope you are able to be honest with yourself about why you react and act how you do, and I hope you are able to address that pain to develop healthy coping mechanisms. I hope you realize there is no shame in needing help to accomplish this, and you love yourself enough to seek it from a professional.
18. Irrational decision making.
I hope you learn to let go of your need to be impulsive. I hope you learn to slow down and think critically before reacting to something or diving into something. I hope you have enough passion for the things that really matter to you, that you are able to tell when it’s best to go into or approach something slowly. I hope you have enough love for those things crucial to you that you learn to think before you speak or act.
19. I hope you let go of your sense of entitlement and learn to take accountability in life.
Sometimes the toxic person is you. I hope you become self-aware enough to be able to recognize when this is the case, take accountability for it, and not just apologize, but make up for it.
I hope you learn to stop blaming others for your troubles and are able to see that the only person standing in your way is the one in the mirror. Your life is in your hands, and your hands, only. Stop waiting for things to fall into your lap when you aren’t putting in the work for it. That includes professional success, success in love, and success with your mental well-being.
You are solely responsible for your own success, every action you take in life, and the very condition your life is in.
20. I hope you let go of the idea of the “perfect moment.”
I hope you stop thinking you’re not ready. Stop letting fear prevent you from acting on your desire to do something. Jump into the unknown, even if you don’t feel ready – you will never feel ready. Stop looking out your window waiting for the stars to align, because they may never will. Start the business you’ve always dreamed of starting. Ask out that guy you can’t stop thinking about. Say yes to the things you desire.
21. I hope you learn to let go of your fear of being happy.
Maybe feeling joy is strange to you because you’ve never really known it. Maybe you don’t think you deserve it. Maybe you’ve been through so much heartache that you have a difficult time believing in happiness. Let go of that fear, and simply let yourself feel it. Happiness is real, and it may scare you because you’re used to it getting ripped away from you, but that’s no reason not to learn to rejoice in it. Happiness is real, and it can be something that sticks
22. Fear of love.
I hope you let go of your fear of love and stop self-protecting and self-sabotaging when it comes to it. Be honest with yourself about why you’re afraid of love and afraid of intimacy. Take the risk and let yourself be vulnerable. Don’t let past pain or trauma from former relationships dictate how you live your life now. Opening up to someone is terrifying, and you do run the risk of being hurt, but it’s a risk worth taking when the best possible outcome is that you’ll finally know love the way you were always meant to.
23. I hope you learn to let go of your pride.
I hope you don’t let your pride be the reason you lose something or someone important to you. I hope you learn that there are more important things than pride, like letting yourself be happy, loving someone else the way they deserve, and having the power to not only ask for forgiveness but grant it.
24. I hope you learn to let go of the apologies you never received.
Stop giving people who hurt you any energy at all. Don’t think about them. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t preoccupy yourself with thoughts about all the ways you were wronged and the apologies you never received. You deserve to move on and to truly do so, you must stop letting old wounds fester. Live a life that isn’t weighed down by the tragedies of your past.
25. Let go of the idea that there is anything wrong with solitude.
Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, “We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
I hope you learn how to be content with your own company. Value the time you spend alone and the moments of introspection you are able to enjoy. Give yourself the opportunity to get to know yourself as well as you strive to get to know others. Though you may be surrounded by others who love you, I hope you learn to find fulfillment and comfort within yourself and stop looking for it in others.
26. The idea that you should follow your brain over your heart.
It’s simple: follow your heart, always.
27. Possessiveness and jealousy.
People aren’t property. Your relationship isn’t something that belongs to you, but something you share with another person. Stop spending so much time worrying about what you may lose and actually enjoying what you have. These ugly emotions will only push away the person you love and erode your connection.
28. The false narrative you were fed.
If you were invalidated in your childhood or in a relationship later in life, you probably had your reality and perception of yourself skewed. I hope you are able to see yourself through your own eyes and not through those of the people who made you believe you were anything less than what you are. Stop buying into the idea of who they brainwashed you into believing you were and the way they painted the world. You can’t control when your trauma resurfaces, but you can decide to stop consciously feeding into the cycle. Take the time to know and be sure of yourself.
29. I hope you leave the job you hate.
I hope you stop being afraid of pursuing your real passions. You’re never too old for anything, and that includes starting over. Don’t let a job you loathe and don’t care for run you ragged; stop letting it kill you. Take some serious time to consider what you really want to be doing and plan for it.
30. Your comfort zone.
I hope you truly start living and step outside of your comfort zone. I hope you flourish seeing yourself grow doing so. Your comfort zone isn’t a cell, but a place you can come home to at the end of the day.