Guess who turned 30 on Monday? If you said me, you got it right. Whaaaatttt?!! *doing the milly rock*
Note: In real life I can’t do that dance to save my life but anything is possible online, right? Right? No? OK, then; moving on!
So, how does it feel to be 30? Hmm…I honestly feel great. Life is a gift and I’ve always tried not to be that person who obsesses over the things that haven’t been achieved. I make sure to count my blessings. There’s always something to be thankful for and I’m genuinely grateful to God for the gift of life. It’s easy to put yourself down after you realise that all the things you’ve wanted to achieve by a certain point in your life are yet to be. Please don’t. You’re alive, so there’s still a chance that those goals would be met. You may not get there at the time you’ve projected, but relax. Your time will come. And if after you’ve tried and tried to make your dreams come true and you can’t, it could be that that thing isn’t for you. It means that something better is in store. So breathe, darling. Don’t be so consumed with attaining a certain goal that you forget to live. One day you look up and you see that life has passed you by and all you’re filled with is regrets that while trying to gain a handful of things, you missed a thousand other great experiences. Learn that instrument or that language that everyone seems to think is useless. Travel as much as you can. Try salsa. Give to charity. Start a charity. The most important thing is to enjoy every point of your journey.
I’ve learned a ton of things in my thirty years on earth that compressing it to this short list was such a chore. You have no idea. These are certainly not the only things I’ve learned. I’ve previously written about two life lessons which are important to me—that life is in stages and the beauty of starting small. Some things that didn’t make this list will be developed into blog posts. Actually, I may still decide to develop posts on anything on this list if I feel the need to. Why not?
So, without further ado, here are thirty things I’ve learned in my thirty years of being alive:
1. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of people’s opinions is the beginning of foolishness.
2. Trust. Your. Gut. Always…always…
3. Family is important. Also, appreciate and respect your parents but don’t live your life for them. Realise that a time should come when you, YOU become responsible for your life and every decision you make. Also, don’t be angry with your parents over certain choices they made for you, which have affected you negatively. They most likely chose for you because you couldn’t choose (you weren’t old enough). A lot of times they meant no harm and if they had known better, they certainly would’ve done better.
4. Save. Save. Save. Do it often; the amount of money doesn’t matter. Save. I wish I’d learned this really early. It is one of my big regrets.
5. Health is wealth. Take care of yourself physically and mentally—eat healthy, exercise and drink loads of water. Also, REST!!
6. On friendship—quality over quantity. All day, everyday. The quality of the friendship has nothing to do with the length of the friendship. At all. Also, the quality of friendships you have are sometimes dependent on the type of friend you’re willing to be.
7. Perfectionism is the thief of time. Procrastination can save your life.
8. You don’t belong everywhere you fit in and if you have to force anything, or transform into something you’re not, maybe it’s not for you.
9. It’s not that deep. Really. It isn’t. Why so serious?
10. Nobody owes you anything. *singing ‘No, not one; no, not one’*
11. Don’t discard opportunities that you know would be great for you, just to please someone who may or may not be in your life in the long run. I say this mostly to the younger ladies, especially regarding romantic relationships. Don’t throw away chances that would open doors for you, help you grow and build your character for success, simply to please a partner that you may or may not get married to.
12. ‘But everyone is doing it’ doesn’t make it right. You may not get away with doing the wrong thing that other people have done and gotten away with.
13. Intelligence and the need to always be logical can steal from you. Because faith defies logic. Because 1+1 can be equal to 1000.
14. Some opportunities are just downfalls in disguise. Shine your eyes. Also, refer to Point 2.
15. There is a certain type of intelligence that makes you look silly and ugly. Everyone can’t know what you know but you don’t know everything, either. You CAN’T know everything and sometimes. You. Are. Wrong.
16. Forgiveness and letting go isn’t as easy as people make it out to be. Don’t hold on to the wrong done to you. Intend to forgive, but don’t rush the process of forgiveness, because it won’t happen overnight. One day at a time. The pain will begin to sting less everyday until one day, you wake up and find out you no longer hurt.
17. You are not superior to anyone. You are not inferior to anyone. You are you. They are them. You are not in competition with anybody. You shouldn’t be in competition with anybody.
18. You can hope and pray for the best as much as you want to, but the worst can still happen. Life will always be life, and curveballs are inevitable.
19. Privacy and secrecy are NOT the same thing. The former is healthy and essential. The latter can be deadly.
20. It’s OK to put yourself first sometimes. Do whatever you need to do to be happy, just don’t hurt anyone in the process.
21. People you love and trust can hurt you. Expect and give allowances for that. However, it’s OK to cut off anyone who deliberately and constantly goes out of their way to make you unhappy.
22. Please, please, please…not everyone who corrects or criticises you is a hater.
23. Excessive fear is a thief. It’s a material and emotional thief. It also steals chances—chances of happiness and self-discovery, chances for growth, chances for success, and even failure that makes you wiser.
24. Don’t always wait for anyone’s approval to do anything. Again, as in point 20, just make sure you or no other person is getting hurt.
25. Though an extreme amount of fear can be paralysing, a little dose of it can actually be healthy. It keeps you in check and removes the risk of complacency.
26. If you constantly believe you deserve better… you probably do—on friendships, romance, career. You name it. If you constantly feel you deserve better, you probably do.
27. Learn about yourself and always aspire to be a better version of that self. ‘But that’s just the way I am’ will never, ever be a good excuse for mediocrity and bad behaviour.
28. You will fail at some things but your failures don’t define you. Don’t be hard on yourself. Try again and again and again and again until you get it right; except you find yourself in a dead end. In that case, it’s OK to cut your losses, quit and be on to the next. It’s OK to let go of things that no longer work for you. I know you’ve put in so much time, energy and you’ve invested emotions. But you need to realise that sometimes, taking one more step further can be the death of you.
29. Having at least one confidante is expedient. Being tough all the time and keeping your emotions always bottled up will do more harm than good in the long run. Express your pain in a healthy way—have a confidante.
30. Never tone down your awesomeness or attempt to reduce your shine to protect anyone’s ego or low self-esteem. Never try to seem less intelligent or less talented. Don’t be smug about your achievements or privileges. Don’t rub your greatness in anyone’s face, but don’t try to hide it either. Own it. Celebrate it. You probably went through a lot for it.
Phew! I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed compiling it. I may not have everything I want yet, but I’m so grateful for life and the chances I still have to make my visions come to be; and I look forward to the next thirty years of my life.
How about you? If you’re already over 30, what important life lessons have you learned so far? Are you where you thought you would be at your current age? If you’re not 30 yet, are you excited or wary about it? What things do you hope to achieve by then? Please, share! I look forward to your comments.