Wait, what? I’m how old? When did that happen?
Thirty sneaks up on you in the same sense that an elephant could sneak up on you. You know it’s coming yet still are surprised when it hits. I don’t really feel any older. I don’t think I look any older. Would like to think I’m a little wiser though… With that being said I’m about to dive down this proverbial rabbit hole and hopefully share with you some words of wisdom. Read through it and mull it over. I’d love to hear your input as well so please leave a comment if you notice anything I may have forgotten or have something to add. H’okay, here it goes;
1. Express yourself!
I wish I knew that it was okay to express and let out emotions rather than bottling them up. Instead of being so concerned with what others perceive or think of you to the point where you pack-rat and hoard your emotions and put on such the façade that even you no longer know yourself; let it out. Believe me when I say the inner you will thank yourself for it. Stress will melt away, you can kiss those random angry outbursts goodbye (hey, it’s cool, we all have them), and you’ll be a much more rational person in general. Let it out! If the people around you can’t handle it and love you for the person that you are then they don’t deserve you. Plain and simple, stop wasting your time and precious life on those that don’t have your back when you need it the most.
2. Choose who you invest your time in wisely.
Never, under any circumstances, invest your time into people that make it blatantly obvious that you’re merely an option or just someone to hang out / talk with here and there whenever they see fit. Life is not so one-sided so why allow that to be an acceptable way to interact with you? It only ends in a feeling of rejection and heartache. Yeah sure, you’ll bounce back and go on to find people that value you and have a much more balanced friendship / relationship with. You’ll still have a scar from that wound though… but it does heal. Eventually there’ll come a time when someone walks into your life and shows you how you should be treated. They’re the ones that will be there for you and lift you up when you’re down or need a shoulder. Be grateful for them, but also grateful for those that didn’t do those things. It’ll allow you to truly appreciate the ones that do. This correlates a bit back to number one on the list but it’s still a valid point. Stop wasting your time and energy on those that don’t have your back.
3. Treat yourself right.
You are not invincible. You’re getting older, you’re going to start having all sorts of aches and pains and weird stuff going on physically. I know it sucks but start taking a vitamin now (presuming you’re currently in your twenties or teens). Take care of yourself, you only get one body to last you to until you’re old and grey. Okay, just old. Hell I’m already grey but you get the point. There’s people out there that drone on and on about how your body is a temple and blah blah blah. Newsflash: They’re right. Cliché phrase aside, they are absolutely without a doubt correct. Take care of yourself, take your vitamins, drink water, exercise, get your sleep, rest when you’re sick, and love yourself. Seriously, take care of yourself.
4. Talk candidly with your medical professionals.
Seasonal affective disorder, anxiety, depression, moodiness… all very real things. Some of you suffer from these and some of you don’t. As someone who has suffered from a few of these before, I feel the need to really drive home the point that something changes when you hit the thirties mark. It’s okay to hate everything in winter. It’s cold and miserable and your vitamin d levels are low. The older you get the more affected you are by these things. Call your doctor if you need to and discuss how you’re feeling. For the love of God go to your annual checkups. I promise you can tell your doctor everything (I know some stuff is awkward) but it’s much better to be safe than sorry. I’m now much more open with my medical staff and over the moon happy that I’m feeling better. Sure, anxiety still sucks when it hits, but my attacks are now much more manageable and fewer and further between. It wouldn’t have been like this if I hadn’t been candid and honest.
5. Haters gonna hate, doesn’t mean you have to…
You know that angel-headed hipster in the skinny jeans and thick rimmed glasses with the beat up clunker car sitting in front of you at Starschmucks? The one taking forever to order their Skinny-Soy-Venti-Caramel Macchiato shaken over ice but no ice in the cup? Guess freaking what… they are people too. At one time you were the bane of someone’s existence much like they are to you. You are not everyone’s favorite book nor are you their favorite cup of tea. Haters gonna hate – just take it with a grain of salt and rise above. You’re never going to win an argument with those people on their level because they’ll beat you with experience every time. Rise above, be the classy one. Suck it up, stand tall, and get over it.
Treat others with respect. This isn’t some new concept or trend going on. In fact this is one of the morals I was raised with. However, with the modern age of society and technology advancing at a break-neck speed, there’s a lot that’s been lost in translation. Did you know there’s actually relationships out there that only text?! No seeing one another…. strictly via text. I didn’t believe it either until I’d found myself right smack dab in the middle of one. I can guarantee you’ll never have a meaningful lasting relationship with someone that you cannot form an organic rawness to the relationship. With what society accepts as normal these days it makes it really difficult to formulate that organic aspect to anyone, let alone someone. Hate to break it to you but respect is part of that organic and raw connection with people. Put your damn phone away on a date night, if you’re a phoneholic like myself (hey, easy there… I admit to it), set it aside on particularly romantic nights. Treat others with respect, hold doors open for the elderly, say please and thank you, smile. Life doesn’t suck so stop acting like everyone is just a means to an end rather than an end in and of their self.
7. Knowledge is power.
Learn new things. My grandmother always said that she learned something new everyday. While she said this in a catch-phrase type of way it held a lot of weight with me. Learn new things, grow, stretch your mind, do something productive. Thankfully I figured a lot of this one out in my twenties, but my teens were a completely different story. Don’t know what you want to do with your life or what you want to get a degree in? Research. At least now days you don’t have to go pull the old fashioned index cards at the library to find a book on the topic. We have the internet and google and youtube, not to mention the plethora of other resources out there available to us. Pick topics you think you might be interested in and do a free MOOC course on them, read and study them, then decide if it’s something you want to devote your life to. EdX and Coursera are excellent resources for that. Personally, I love philosophy and law, and I never would have known that had I not done some research on it to determine if I liked it. I really loved psychology when I was younger… while I still enjoy it it’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life in a professional setting. You’re never going to know these things until you do it. So again I say, learn something new everyday.
8. Adulting kind of sucks sometimes.
Save and invest. Being an adult is sometimes really sucky. There’s bills, insurance, medical costs, the freaking IRS, not to mention having to slap new tires on your car, pet costs, etc. etc. How on earth are you ever going to be able to cover for yourself if you don’t at least have some sort of knowledge on saving and budgets? This lesson in particular has been a rough one for me to learn, thanks to my ex-husband for committing tax fraud that I’m still paying for half a decade later. I can see the silver lining though! Had it not been for the scary IRS audits and consequences I don’t think I’d be as stable as I am now. That new Kate Spade bag and Prada shades are hella cute, sure, but so is surviving in a society that makes it damn near impossible to survive by yourself. This is no ‘woe is me’ lesson, this is an empowerment lesson. Empower yourself to be stable and financially secure so you can enjoy the little things in life. You’re not broke if all your bills are paid and there’s no money left over. You’re surviving and getting your shit taken care of. Period.
9. Take precautions in public.
Don’t leave your drink unattended in public – even if it’s just to run to the restroom really quick. There are predators out there. While I’m sure you’re like me with the whole thought of ‘that would never happen to me’ let me tell you that it does. With enough frequencies of those sorts of things happening, you’re odds really aren’t that great. Sorry to burst your bubble but listen up and heed this advice. If you leave your drink with a friend to watch while you make your powder room break, make sure they actually watch it. Put a coaster over it, something. I was never of the mindset that would happen until it did. I can’t fault the friend I left my drink with because I would have done the same thing back then… hopped on my phone to check the latest post, tweet, whatever, and waited for their return. That’s when it happens though, you come back from the powder room and finish the drink. Not much longer after that it hits and makes you sick (seriously unsexy), you fight to keep your eyes open, you feel like you’re on fire at 1000 degrees. It’s awful. Luckily in my situation we got the hell out of dodge, unluckily, the drug hit in the middle of a restaurant. That was a night I would love to forget.
10. Enjoy this crazy life!
Just enjoy life. Please don’t turn into some uptight adult. Have fun with life. It’s a short time frame and we only get one. Make jokes and laugh at yourself when you do something embarrassing. Laugh for no reason. The next time you’re walking down the street, skip for a little ways. Just do something to keep your inner child happy and your soul pleasant. There are far too many dark and disturbing things in this world that can damage your soul and squelch your inner child. It’s important not to let that happen. Be the adult that gets excited about life in general, not the one that gets excited over a new kitchen sponge… (though sometimes that’s pretty awesome, too).
Just thought I’d share some knowledge and life’s little lessons with you all. Do with it what you will. I’m looking forward to hearing from you and listening to your input that I may have missed. Please leave a comment if you have anything to add to the above list.