I’ve officially hit my thirties. This passed February, I turned 31 years old. I look forward now as if 31 is still young, but I will admit that when I was 18 years old, I thought 31 was grandma-like territory.
I look back on my life often, and sometimes beat myself up for what I’ve done. I have my regrets. But, don’t we all? They are regrets that I have to learn from in order to move forward.
Here are eight (not so obvious) things I wish I knew in my twenties.
Don’t be ruled by money, or a lot of other things that you think are important right now. Don’t be ruled by your mobile, your Insta likes, YouTube likes, the guy you like, the hipsters, the hippies the hip hop groups, the hotrods, the hooligans, the hang-outs, and the hangovers. You get the gist. Don’t lose yourself by being at the mercy of anyone or anything but yourself.
THINK. Get off your phone once in a while. For just 30 minutes each day, you should unplug, and take the time to think about your life and the choices that you made that day, or are about to make.
Don’t sleep with your ex. This one you’d hope is pretty self-explanatory. Just because you’re sleeping with them doesn’t mean your relationship is going to change or improve. Remember the Henry Ford quote: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Fake tan, fake nails, fake boobs, fake food, fake people, fake things of any kind kill your soul, not to mention your wallet.
Care for yourself. Your body is more than just your physical appearance. It’s the body that is going to give you children and carry you across diseases and illnesses. It’s the body that will see you through your life, and if you’re lucky, it’s the body that will enable you to live until you’re ninety years old.
Debt is crappy. I know you’d like those new kicks that you saw your best friend’s cousin’s bae wearing on Instagram; the ones that had to be flown in from Sweden after two nuns religiously made them by hand. I know your heart aches for them to arrive at your doorstep in their tiny echo friendly wrapping paper. But you don’t need them if you’re going to be putting them on your credit card. If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.
Don’t commit too young. I am so grateful that I never settled down with any of my ex-partners in my twenties, because looking back, they make me vomit. Your needs change, the type of person you thought you liked changes, you change. Be prepared to say ‘no’ to settling down, and if need be, walk away.
The world is big, and it’s not over just yet. It seems like so many gen X’s and Y’s feel connected to what’s happening around the world. And most think (and have thought) that most things have been done before. Sure, Lady Gaga has been done before, and the Hunger Games, done twice before, but not everything has been done in the way you’d do it. Stay open, curious, and hungry. Your life is just beginning, you can do and be anything (cliché – so whatever!?). Your life just ain’t over yet.