Wow. How am I even writing this post you guys? I feel like I should be introducing a guest poster who’s old and wise and can tell me about life. But it’s somehow ME who’s sharing the life lessons of a 30 year old.
I remember so clearly going to the movies and watching 13 Going on 30 as a 13 year old. I truly couldn’t even fathom being 30. It was just too old. Well, here I am, 17 years later, proof that time speeds up the older you get and age happens to us all.
While I’m so sad to be saying goodbye to my 20’s, as I so identify with the hustle and heart that defines that decade, I am so thankful for the decade I did have. My 20’s were filled with discovery, growth, trial-and-error, and so much learning. I look back with zero regrets. I truly feel like I did my 20’s right and milked those ten years for everything they were worth. I’m excited for what my 30’s will bring and the lessons I will learn in this new decade.
To commemorate and say au revoir to my youth (insert silent sobs), here are 13 life lessons I’ve learned in 30 years:
- You get one life. That’s it. This is not a dress rehearsal and you don’t get a do-over. One day you will wake up and have your last day on Earth. Time is the most precious gift we have. Make the most of it.
- Self-awareness is everything. Take the time to really get to know yourself, your wants and your desires. So often people do things because they think they’re things they’re supposed to want to do. Live your life for you. Do the the things that set your soul on fire.
- Diamonds are made under pressure. If you want to be an interesting person that makes an impact on the world, you’re going to have to go through some shit. See the hardships that you experience as gifts. They will make you stronger if you let them.
- Life is unfair. For some people, moderately. For others, immensely. Rather than complain about the hand that you were dealt, focus on the areas where you have an advantage and find ways to help those who don’t.
- Life is meant to be enjoyed with others. Find the people who make your heart smile and cherish them. Relationships are what life is all about.
- You are going to screw up. (In life, at your job, in your relationships.) Sometimes there will be consequences and other times there won’t be. Learn from these mistakes, the grace you’re given, and don’t repeat them.
- Everyone you meet is dealing with something. Have empathy for others. Be kind.
- You are the hero of your own story. Be brave. Fear usually comes right before growth. Believe in yourself and take the leap. You may not always stick the landing perfectly, but you’ll get better every time.
- Everyone is gifted at something and absolutely terrible at something else. Learn what comes naturally to you and lean into your strengths. Nurture and grow them. They are what will take you far.
- Fight for what you want. Work for what you want. Ask for what you want. Don’t give up on the things that matter for you. Tenacity and resilience are everything.
- Never stop learning and exploring. There is more wonder on this Earth than we can possible experience in a lifetime. Soak it up like a sponge.
- We ain’t nothing but mammals baby. Try not to take things too seriously. At the end of the day, we’re all just animals chilling on a big rock that’s floating through space.
- Confidence comes with age. I truly feel like I’m just stepping into my power. Don’t apologize for all the things that make you uniquely you. Be proud of who you are.
Question of the Day: What are the biggest life lessons you’ve learned so far?
Britt K says
Happy Birthday! I hope that you had a great celebration!
My biggest life lesson came with the realization that I had spent much time during my 20s trying to be who I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I looked around at society and tried to fit myself into the ‘norm’. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I really questioned this. What came from that? I left my career, went back to school, started my own business and dyed my hair blue hahaha I have never been happier!
Kelly Martin says
Happy 30th birthday! Great points you’ve listed. I must say I enjoyed my thirties much more than my twenties. You’re in for a great decade ahead.
Melissa @ Always, Lissa says
Happy Birthday! I actually wrote a similar post last night (late this morning) on my thoughts about turning 40! It’s pretty awesome that I just found your blog. I love the lessons. Number 13 is my favorite.
happy Birthday! I think it is great to reflect on your life and experience come birthday and milestones.
Happy birthday Erin! I’m finding my 30s so much better than my 20s – I can feel so much more self-assurance and faith in my self now.
Great life lessons – love the one on life being unfair. A lesson sooner learnt the better – instead of a pity party, focus on areas where you are advantaged.
Lauryn Hock says
Happiest of birthdays to you! I love all the advice you shared here– especially about hardships making people better and more interesting.
Neely Moldovan says
Yes to all of these! I especially love the never stop learning. I feel like that is so very true. Happy birthday!
Happy Birthday, Erin! Even our 30s can be scary I have heard so many people saying the their 30s are better than the 20s.
Jennifer Prince says
So true about “you’re going to screw up!” We all need to learn from our mistakes and not beat ourselves up over them. Such a fab list!
Stephanie S says
Great post! I loved #5. — People who make your heart smile make everything better.
Loved your post! I, too, feel like I’m still under-experienced to be giving life advice, but the truth is we’ve lived! And when we reflect, as you’ve done, we see how much life has taught us. Thank you for your reflections!
Happy birthday, and it sounds like you have learned a great deal in our 20s and had a fantastic time. We’re all so different, and while some people achieve their ambitions in their 20s, many are just getting started in their 30s! Wishing you a wonderful next decade.
Scott DeNicola says
My 30th was so long ago as I’m 52 but I never really gave much thought to age other than my body feeling a bit more broken. It’s just a number. Take care of yourself and enjoy every day. And Happy 30th
Erica (The Prepping Wife) says
Happy 30th birthday, Erin! I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed my 30s so far and have grown so much as a person. I hope you enjoy them just as much.
Well, first of all, happy birthday! I hope you’ve felt celebrated and loved! Secondly, I’m loving this post. You have a lot of wisdom to share and you definitely did a great job putting it into simple terms that made an impact. Inspiring me for sure! Here’s to another year of YOU!
College Apps Abroad says
Happy birthday! You are so wise! Thank you for these thoughtful reminders. I especially loved #3 that diamonds are made under pressure. I’m feeling the pressure now and hoping a diamond is the result!!
Kathleen Wonders says
Such amazing tips! I’ll be turning 30 next year, so definitely wanted to read this. Thank you for sharing; I feel so inspired!
These are great lessons! I turn 30 next year so I will definitely try and remember some of these!
Candace Hampton says
Welcome to the 30 club! It is honestly great over here. Like you, my 20’s were full of self discovery and awesomeness. But, I can really say that I am so glad to be here!.
You have a wonderful outlook on life. And, in so many words as you say things do get better. We learn as we age and everything improves. Great going!
Happy birthday! These are all great lessons for everyone to learn at any age!
Savannah Rose says
Happy birthday! I liked your 12th tip. Sometimes putting things in a global (or I guess universal?) perspective helps to take the pressure off, and be present.
I totally relate! I just turned the big 3-0 in July. I also remember watching 13 Going on 30 and it seemed sooo far away. Time really flies.
Megan Elliott says
These are fantastic life lessons and I can whole heartedly agree with them all! By the way; I’ve absolutely loved my 30s so far! I’m sure you will too 🙂