This year on May 2nd I turned 30 years old. This is an age that I have been thinking about for the last two years. Entering into a new personal decade is a big milestone. When I was a child there were so many things that I envisioned myself having by the time I turned 30 and so many goals that I felt I had to accomplish by this age. Although there are still many things that I would like to check off my goal list, there are many things that I have learned and goals that I have accomplished. I want to make this new chapter a progressive one. One where I grab the bull by the horns and make significant head way in the things that I will accomplish this year. It is time to take action as I venture into this new decade and before I do, I am going to take inventory of all of the lessons I have learned so far.
1. Surround yourself with positive people.
I have always heard people say this but I have never realized how important this lesson is until I decided to let go of a toxic friendship. Every time I finished spending time with this person, I felt negative and taken advantage of. When I started to invest in friendships with people who were giving and supportive, I started to feel more positive and happy.
2. Ask for what you want.
You don’t know the answer to a question if you don’t ask. I have learned that sometimes if you want something you need to ask for it. Whether it be as simple as asking a friend to go for lunch or as nerve-wracking as asking your boss for a raise at work, you might never have the answer to that thing you are wondering about until you ask.
3. Take action.
I have always been taught that if you want something that you have to take action to get it. You miss all of the chances you don’t take. When I was 23 years old, I was determined to have an internship in New York City at a fashion magazine and I got one! If I decided to never act on this dream, I would have never spent the summer in the Big Apple interning at one of my favourite teen magazines, Seventeen!
4. Don’t spend beyond your means.
After spending a good portion of my twenties going through this vicious cycle of raking up my credit card bill making a slew of impulse purchases, only to later deplete my savings account just to pay of credit card debt, I decided that if I don’t have the cash to buy something then I can’t afford it. I realized that the money that I was using pay off my credit card debt could have been saved for something that I wanted to buy without having to worry about it later.
5. Take advantage of the exciting opportunities that come your way.
Life is short and you may not always have the opportunity to take that really cool job opportunity or go on that dream vacation, so when the opportunity arises sometimes you need to take it. One year my mom wanted to go on a family summer vacation to Rome and I remember not wanting to go on the trip because I would have preferred to go on a trip with a boyfriend, even though I was single at the time. After I realized that I was willing to miss out on a great opportunity to visit a beautiful city because I didn’t have a boyfriend, it made me realize that I shouldn’t miss out on an exciting opportunity just because my love life was not where I wanted it to be. I ended up going to Rome and had a wonderful time!
6. Don’t be afraid to dream big and try something new.
As I mentioned, life is short and time really does fly by so try not to spend too much time being afraid and venture out and set big goals for yourself. By dreaming big, you give yourself something to look forward to and something positive to focus on. The feeling that you get once you achieve that goal is incredible. I know that some people are afraid to try new things because they are afraid that they won’t succeed but I believe it is better to try and fail then to not try at all.
7. Take care of your health.
Like my mom always, “your health is your greatest wealth”. The best thing you will ever invest in is your health. I know that I always feel my physical best when I eat better and exercise. However, that is not to say that I don’t enjoy sweet treats or sitting on the couch, but if you want to live and feel your best you have to take the time to take care of your health.
8. Save your money.
As I mentioned before, I was once an impulse shopper who realized that it was better to save my money instead of using it to pay off debt. Once I started to prioritize saving money, I began to feel satisfied every time I checked my bank account because I actually had money that I could use towards a vacation or purchasing a home one day.
9. Sometimes you need to put your needs first and that’s OK.
I consider myself to be a giving and thoughtful person that often puts the needs of others first. Maybe it is because I am the youngest of three or that I am a Taurus. Being a giving person is a wonderful quality to have but there have been times when I felt that I was prioritizing the needs of others before my own, and that wasn’t fair to me. I realized that sometimes you need to be your own best friend and there is nothing selfish about that.
10. Wear what makes you happy.
Life is too short to wear something that does not make you feel your best.
11. But always try to remain modern.
While I believe in wearing clothes that make you feel good, I think it is also important to choose styles that are fresh and modern.
12. Don’t buy something just because it is on sale.
Sure, that deep discount may seem appealing especially when you are on the fence about whether or not you should buy something but I guarantee if you buy something solely because it is on sale you most likely will never wear it. Instead save your money and buy something that you really like regardless of the price.
13. Don’t buy something just because it is trendy.
One summer crop tops were all the rage. I liked them because they looked really good with pencil skirts and I didn’t have to worry about the extra fabric that would sometimes bunch up underneath my skirt when I tucked my shirt in. I bought about five crop tops that summer, wore each of them once and as of today they have all been donated to charity. Sure, I had good reasons to purchase those crop tops but truth be told I didn’t need five of them and I hardly wore the said crop tops. I have learned that trends are meant to played around with and not something that you fully commit to especially when you are limited with what you can wear those trends with.
14. Invest in quality pieces.
After throwing out a few bags of old, ratty sweaters that made my skin itchy a few years ago, I decided that it was time to invest in some quality sweaters. What was the point in buying something that made my skin irritated and didn’t wear well, when I could use that money to purchase something that would feel soft on my skin and last for years to come.
15. Wear the size that you are, not the one that you think you will be after you have lost the last ten pounds.
My weight has fluctuated a bit throughout my twenties. When I would go shopping and try something on that I liked but was a little snug, I would always say to myself, “I am going to buy this skirt because I will start working out every day and not eat any sweets for the next month so the skirt will fit me soon”. After buying the skirt, I would go home and typically not wear it because it didn’t fit and by the time I had lost the weight that skirt did not interest me anymore. Now I buy clothes that fit regardless of what diet and exercise program I plan on doing in the future. It is much better to have clothes that fit you in your current shape instead of buying clothes that you hope to fit into at some point in time.
16. Donate your old clothes.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. If you have clothes that you no longer wear or don’t fit, there is no sense in keeping them. I have always donated my old clothes to charity because I am sure someone out there will appreciate my old Joe Fresh dresses.
17. Have fun with fashion and don’t take it too seriously.
Fashion and style mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, fashion and style has always been about self-expression and storytelling. I love the way an outfit can tell you about an experience someone has had or a mood that they are feeling. There are so many serious things that happen in people’s lives and the world and fashion has always been a happy escape from those problems for me. Life is too short to take fashion and style too seriously.
18. Wear the comfortable shoes.
As someone with bunions and flat-inverted feet, I know how important it is to wear comfortable shoes. You may not have the foot ailments that I have but I assure you wearing comfortable shoes that don’t give you blisters and allow you to enjoy yourself in that stylish outfit are well worth it.
Shop some comfortable and stylish shoes below:
19. Dress for the occasion.
Whether you are going to work, a Hallowe’en party or a date, wear something that is appropriate for the occasion because it is just good manners. Besides it is fun to get outfit-inspiration based on the event that you are attending. In my experience, it has always been better to overdress rather than under dress.
20. Don’t look back and regret, look back and be grateful.
I have had my fair share of fair weather friends and boyfriends. There were times when I would look back and think, “What was I thinking?!”. But instead of regretting being involved with that person, I try to focus being grateful for the lesson that the bad relationship taught me and focus on the things that I enjoyed while I was involved with that person.
21. Be supportive
I find in friendships it is better to be supportive rather than not. You may not always agree with everything your friend chooses to do or says but unless that friend is doing something to hurt themselves or somebody else, it is better to trust that they know what is best for them. However, that does not mean that you should not voice your opinions either. Good friendships are the ones where you can openly share your opinions and beliefs without being judged.
22. Don’t judge
Speaking of which…like the old saying goes, “Treat others the way you wish to be treated”.
23. Treat yourself
Take the time to treat yourself. After all the hard work that you put into school, your job, your responsibilities, you deserve to have an indulgence for yourself. I have come to realize that if you don’t take to time to reward yourself for the things that you are proud of, you may never do so make sure to take time for yourself.
24. You can accomplish all the things that you want but you may not be able to do it at the same time
If you are anything like me then you have a habit on taking on too much responsibility all at once and subsequently getting overwhelmed. What can I say? I want to do it all and have it all. Thankfully, I have realized that when I have taken on too much responsibility at once I often get burned out, sick and I do not give each of my responsibilities 100% effort because I have too much on my plate. I have learned that the best thing to do to combat that overwhelming feeling is to approach one responsibility at a time, that way I am able to give each task my full attention and eventually accomplish all the things that I want to do.
25. Stand your ground
As I have gotten older, I have realized that if I don’t stand my ground then no one will. I don’t mean literally but my point is sometimes if you want to accomplish something and you experience opposition from others but you really believe it what you want to do, then you must stand your ground. I am a Taurus after all.
26. Make time for fun
The older I get, the more I realize that I need to schedule time for, well, fun! Fun times aren’t as spontaneous as they used to be. The bright side of scheduling in good times in your calendar is that you always have something to look forward to.
There is a whole world out there just waiting to be seen. Travelling is such a wonderful way to expand and open your mind to new bright experiences, cultures and opportunities. Almost every time that I have come back from a vacation, I have felt like I have gained a new perspective and feel refreshed. No matter how you like to travel or what your budget is, find a way to see the places in the world that you have always wanted to see. You will feel better because of it.
28. You are never too old achieve your dreams
As you get older you may feel as if it is too late for you to say travel or start a new career or play a certain sport, but trust me it’s not! As a child, I took ballet and jazz classes because it was my dream to be a ballerina and as I got a little older, a Spice Girl. I loved performing at my dance recitals and in my spare time my friends and I would put together little Spice Girls-inspired dance performances for our neighbours and family. I just loved dancing and performing.
As I got into my teen years, dancing took second place to calling boys and hanging out with my friends. I then decided to stop dancing so I could hang with my friends after school. A few years later, I started to really miss dancing and performing. For the longest time, I regretted quitting dance and wished that I could perform on stage once again. Fortunately, a few years later that opportunity came when I joined a dance performance group called Army of Sass. With Army of Sass, I have been able to dance on stage and live out my childhood dreams and as an adult I cannot tell you how good that feels. Just because you are an adult it does not mean that you cannot have mindless, silly fun. I would not call dancing with Army of Sass mindless, oh no, but it allows me do something that brings me so much carefree joy.
29. Be kind.
Being kind is the easiest thing to do and not only will being kind brighten up someone else’s day but it will brighten up your day too! I know that when I am having a bad day and a stranger holds the door for me it adds a smile to my face and when I can in turn hold the door for someone else, it makes me feel good that I could do something to make their day a little bit easier.
30. Be positive.
In my thirty years, I have had good times and bad times. In the bad times it is easy to feel negative feelings and truthfully, I like it is healthy to allow yourself to experience those negative feelings as I believe that it is part of the life. However, once you have worked through those feelings it is time to move on and not wallow in negativity. At times when I have felt frustrated or disappointed, my mom would always encourage me to be positive which I would sometimes respond to by rolling my eyes. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that my mom was right. Being positive really does make dealing with difficult circumstances so much easier and gives you hope that that things will get better!
Thank you so much for reading! I really enjoyed sharing these 30 lessons and I look forward to learning more lessons as the years go by!
Share some of the life lessons that you have learned in the comments below and let me know if you would like to see more blog posts like this one.
Have a lovely day!