Here’s the thing. I’m not going to sit here and complain about turning 30…
I’m not going to lament over the unfulfilled fantasies I had planned for myself in my youth, or what my perceived sense of “where I would be” falls comparable to reality. The truth is, today, I’m the luckiest person I know. Turning thirty is the ultimate privilege and a gift I’m so willing and grateful to receive.
It’s easy to look back at the “what-if’s” and “if only’s” with the looming curiosity of whether things would be different, or categorically, better here and now. There’s nothing shameful about maintaining the gumption to be imaginative, but regardless of subject matter, comparison truly is the thief of joy and cold-blooded killer of gratitude.
At 30, I’m overflowing with love. So much so that often I can feel my heart start to swell up as if it’s crying actual tears of joy. You know that gut-wrenching pain of your first heart-ache? It’s like that but rooted in the opposing sensation. I think that’s how real, tangible gratitude feels. So good, it almost hurts. Keep in mind that I’m a total empath, so when I say I feel, I REALLY feel things, so don’t question your innate reaction to gratefulness.
Today is just another day. Another day to reflect, to learn, and to grow. I like to look at each year that passes as a love letter to myself, chock-full of enlightened advice through experience.
Just the other day, I was sitting with my now 16-year-old sister (they’re twins, but one takes more kindly to my advice than the other, naturally). Somehow we arrived at the topic of intelligence. At her age, she’s the kingpin as far as smarts are concerned, as most teens perceive themselves to be, but she entertained my two-cents-worth, nonetheless. I explained that while street smarts and book smarts are valuable, genuine intelligence and indisputable know-how stem from living life. Making mistakes, feeling the pain from the wrong turns, and the gratifying feeling of coming out on the other side. Everything can be taught, but experience yields wisdom, and that, is why this birthday is such a profound gift.
So, as an exercise of reflection and a willingness to share (30 years of oversharing), I’ve decided to catalog my love letters of lessons.
*sometimes I forget that I’ve learned this stuff, so I’m glad to have a reference next time I need a reminder <3
30 Lessons In 30 Years
- Don’t Invest In People, Thoughts, or Things That Don’t Yield A Positive Return.
- Give People Grace.
- Happiness Is Not For Sale.
- What You Think You Deserve, Is What You’ll Get.
- Say YES.
- Attitude Is Your Life’s Work.
- Be Kinder Than You Feel.
- Treasure And Invest In Your Relationships As A Priority
- What People Think Of You, Is None Of Your Business.
- Water Is Your Best Friend, Drink It, Float In It, Love It.
- Jealousy Is A Waste Of Time.
- Adversity Is Important, You Need It To Grow.
- Show Up For People.
- Make Like Frozen and Let It Go.
- Marry The Person You Can Be Happy Doing Nothing With.
- People Are Generally Good.
- Create Something To Look Forward To.
- Don’t Hesitate When You Should Act.
- If It Was Easy, Any Asshole Could Do It.
- Have Faith.
- Life Isn’t Fair. Duh, so have a good attitude.
- You Don’t Have To Do It All or Be Everything.
- Stop Overestimating Your Expectations Of People, Places & Things.
- Everything You Own, Owns A Part Of You.
- Help Those Who Help Themselves.
- There Will Always Be Somebody Who Has More. Flipside, There’s Always Somebody Who Has Less
- Give Thanks, Everyday.
- Comparison Kills Your Spirit.
- Disneyland Will Always Make It All Better.
- Never Stop Making Mistakes. A.B.L. (Always Be Learning)