Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On turning 30 and the world not ending.

Those who know me know how obsessively terrified I was of the big 3-0. Oh. Em. Gee. I honestly thought it might be a bigger catastrophe than the one we all expected from Y2K. But I am pleased to announce that I did, in fact, turn thirty on January 3rd, 2014 and the world did not end. Maybe I feel a little foolish now, but the more I shared my feelings with others, the more I realized that this is a common fear. A lot of people out there experience anxiety about turning thirty. So, I wondered, why exactly did I

As I got to analyzing, I realized that perhaps a huge deal of my anxiety and feelings of inadequacy came from a lot of past regrets. I was nowhere near where I thought I would be by the time I turned thirty. I hadn't done half the things on my life plan, my bucket list was virtually untouched, the people I thought would be in my life forever weren't, I was not a prima ballerina or a princess and I didn't live in a castle with 5 ugly maids! I had planned out an exact life plan for myself and I had gone in the complete opposite direction. I mean, how could I tackle the rest of my life when it was such an unsorted mess thus far? I got to thinking of all the things that I've done and haven't done and realized that I was looking at the end of my twenties as if it were the end of my life. Part of me thought whatever I hadn't done, was gone. I was looking at thirty as a little death, not the beginning of something bigger. Up until early November, that was my biggest problem in life: turning thirty. Those of you who follow my blog, know what happened next. After an agonizing month of November and suddenly losing my grandfather who was more like my father, everything changed. Life as I knew it was no more. It's funny how tragedy has a way of minimizing the once seemingly important petty things. Suddenly nothing else mattered. Life was so precious and I hadn't had a clue for all these years. After that, turning thirty didn't mean all that much to me. The closer it got, the more I thought about all the things that I've actually learned over the years. I realized that my life hasn't been a waste. My life has been a phase of trial and error and lessons and mistakes and experiments. I'm wiser now, stronger now. I'm happier now. Why on God's green earth would I ever want to go back in time? Sure there are things I would do differently, but I realized that when something really mattered, when it really counted, I had no regrets.

With that said, I decided to make a list of the top things I've learned over the years.

30 things I've learned in 30 years:

1. Don't rush to grow up.
2. Sunblock is your best friend. 
3. Spend time by yourself, get to know you. If you don't like being with you, why should anyone else?
4. Listen to your instincts.
5. Eat the good stuff. 
6. When love knocks, answer.
7. One true friend is better than twenty acquaintances.
8. Find one thing you're good at and perfect it. Talent only works when you do.
9. Never tell people your problems, half of them don't care and the other half is happy you have them.
10. When someone loves you, nothing can keep them away. When they don't, nothing can make them stay.
11. Pray about everything, worry about nothing. - Philippians 4:6
12. Music is the best therapy.
13. Travel is the best education.
14. Your childhood, as much as it may have sucked, is over. Let it go.
15. Take lots of pictures. I mean lots. And print them.
16. Learn to let go of possessions. Real sentimental value is in your heart, not in material things.
17. Set goals that scare you and do everything in your power to reach them.
18. Wanting more for yourself doesn't mean you think you're better than anyone. Don't listen.
19. Money can't solve real problems.
20. Give back. Recognize those who helped you along the way and do the same for others. 
21. It's okay not to know everything.
22. You can't please everyone.
23. Your health is your most prized possession.
24. Not everyone will be happy for you when you do well, and that's okay.
25. Pay your debt, the shoes can wait.
26. Admit when you're wrong. 
27. Class trumps swag. 
28. Don't save things for a special occasion, life was meant to be lived.
29. You. Will. Fall. Get back up. Every time.  
30. Spend time with those that matter. Don't waste time on those who don't. Learn to tell the difference.

I look forward to what the future holds. I've been very blessed in my life thus far and know very well that, through He who strengthens me, I will conquer whatever life throws my way. It's what I've learned to do. 

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”.  -Michael Jordan

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