I began the countdown to 30 days before my 29th birthday. Years earlier, a guy I was dating told me he was excited about his 30s because he believed it would be a decade during which he’d settle into who he was (which, of course, we tend to spend our 20s sorting out). Many girl friends had told me they spent their 29th years dreading 30, only to arrive and discover it was their best year yet.
The first six months of 30 probably were among my best yet, but the second half of the year was filled with challenges. Still, as I turned 31 this week I looked back on the year past with a lot of gratitude. I’ve learned a lot, and as one friend said in her birthday wish, I get to spend this year (and the rest of my life) putting it into practice. That really is quite a gift.
Lessons from 30
It’s OK to let go a little bit. It actually feels pretty great not to perfectly plan every situation.
But it’s also OK that I am such a planner. That’s part of who I am, and it’s also part of what makes me good at my work.
I don’t have to be best friends with everyone. There’s a difference between close friends and acquaintances. Both are great.
Sitting at the brewery with a book isn’t only a good way to spend an hour; it’s also a conversation starter.
Some things are options, not obligations. Learn to differentiate, and give yourself the freedom to say no.
Taking care of myself is about more than small indulgences such as a cup of coffee at my favorite coffee shop.
I am stronger than I believed.
That goes for both physical and emotional strength. I’ve learned that lessons learned on the yoga mat often translate to life off of it.
Sometimes the sweetest sound isn’t a song, but instead the quiet of my house and thoughts.
People care about me more than I often believe they do. And they go out of their way to show it.
Teaching others also teaches me a lot about myself. It gives me confidence in management and also encourages me to assess how I interact in both professional and personal settings.
There’s no greater decision than opening up to love, even when the outcome isn’t what I hoped.
There’s so much left to learn.