30 lessons I learned in the first year of my 30s

At this same time last year I wrote about the closing of a chapter — which was my twenties. I felt it was great to put these lessons out there and move on to the next year with a clean slate and fresh mind.

Continuing with this tradition this year, I want to reflect on 30 lessons I learned in the first year of my 30s.

  1. I felt a bit ashamed about being 30 but throughout this year I learned how to feel proud of the fact that I’ve made it this far in one piece.
  2. Perfection is not everything — not having everything I thought I should have by now or that society says I should have is fine.
  3. Everyone’s path is unique and mine has had a lot of twists and turns but I had to go through all of that to get me to the place I am today.
  4. I realized that I really want to surround myself with a strong tribe and people that are positive and on a similar path to become a better self.
  5. The causes that I care and stand for are now more entwined with my life and I want to do more to help make a difference.
  6. Learning to be more vulnerable means letting go of fear and shame. I’m not quite there yet but I know I want to get there.
  7. I have stories in me that I want to put out into the world but I have to slowly build up the courage to write them.
  8. I can learn so much from podcasts and listen to intelligent, smart, emotional and touching conversations (I know I’m late to the game!)
  9. It’s ok to feel emotional, vulnerable and it’s ok to cry — there is no shame in that.
  10. Deciding to stop feeling sorry for myself really turned around for me this year and helped me start to feel like I’m getting somewhere.
  11. The path to self love is long but I have made significant progress in one year by taking true care of myself.
  12. I now understand many of the lessons my parents taught me when I was younger and ignored in my rebellious years.
  13. I have a problem with Netflix and procrastination that holds me back from doing more of the things I should be doing.
  14. Speaking up and voicing my thoughts and ideas is not scary and this has helped me demonstrate my value at work.
  15. I appreciate people that are authentic and true to themselves on social & life, than people that want to portray something they’re not. And I also realized I need to be more real when it comes to that.
  16. I learned that taking a step back and jumping off a cliff can be very scary but can teach you a lot and that the wind will always carry you onwards and help you land on your feet (this is obviously metaphorical — still not quite thinking of jumping off a cliff, check back in a year!)
  17. I have the right to choose to do more of what I like and I don’t need to spend my time doing things I don’t want to do.
  18. My connection to my family is highly important to me — knowing that I have that love keeps me going.
  19. I recognized that I have lingering things I experienced as a child that I need to deal with but that I have ignored & put off.
  20. Coming to the realization that religion is not something I agree or identify with but that spirituality is something I feel works better for me where there is less judgement and where I can still believe there is a God or something greater than us.
  21. When you are doing work you believe in and feel passionate about in some way, it’s easier to shine and demonstrate your talents.
  22. Friendships are becoming harder as I get older- whether it’s being too far from friends or not seeing enough of them. They get harder to maintain and I have to make more of an effort.
  23. Being an introvert is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve survived six and half years away from my family because I feel ok spending time along but on the flip side, I often spend too much time along now where I have started to feel secluded and disconnected from the world. So I need to make more of an effort to get out there.
  24. Taking the time to self reflect on the mistakes I’ve made in my 30 years and which ones I want to start changing as I navigate through this new decade.
  25. I recognized that my relationship with alcohol has not always been a healthy one and that I want to make changes about it.
  26. I realized how low my confidence was and I decided to build myself up over this year through various ways and although I know I still have a lot of insecurities-working on them little by little is helping me get there.
  27. Meditation, journaling, smudging, creating a scared space at home and other wellness trends really work for me and help me feel more balanced, in a better frame of mind, calmer and less angry. Embracing wellness practices has been more than a phase and turned into more of a lifestyle. Experimenting this year with energy cleansing, reiki and guided meditations has had a huge impact on me and I want to continue embracing these in my life.
  28. I have to do more of what scares me because it’s the things that scare me the most, the ones that will help me live life to the fullest.
  29. Love is not just found in another person, it’s found in myself, in friends and family and in what I do every day.
  30. I have to let go of the past-things that hurt me, that I regret, that I wish I did, etc. As long as I hold onto these, I can’t become the best version of myself.