I turn 30 this week!! Happy to be here, honestly.
I’ve always said I was born to be 30, lol. It’s a fun age, I think, because I’m just starting to get the hang of the world. I feel a million times more competent and confident than I did when I was 20. And I still have–God-willing, of course–a lot of life and learning ahead.
“Aging” doesn’t really bother me that much. In fact, I think it’s an honor to age. I think of the women I look up to and see a lifetime of challenges, heartache, and lessons behind them. They wouldn’t be the women they are today without those years of experience. It seems like there is a special kind of rugged empathy that comes only from years of observing, listening, and reflecting.
Our culture has this relentless obsession with being young, and while I’ll probably break the seal on Botox myself at some point this year, I think there’s really something to be appreciated about growing older. Just remind me I said all this if I start whining in a few years?
With each passing year comes an opportunity for growth and a fresh perspective. I feel grateful to have 30 years “under my belt” and can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store, as cheesy as that sounds.
I’ll never forget Taylor Swift’s essay she wrote on her 30th birthday, so today I’m being a little self-indulgent and sharing my own list of things I’ve learned in my 30 years so far.
Some of these are serious, a lot aren’t at all. I just always think it’s fun to reflect when milestones come around, so thank you in advance for humoring me on this. Oh and some are derived from people much smarter than myself, so I’ll do my best to quote the stuff I’m plagiarizing.
Hopefully, it goes without saying that I barely know anything at all. This list is just for fun.
Here are 30 lessons I’ve learned:
- Most of the time, it just takes one small word change to unlock a shift in perspective. I don’t “have to.” I “get to.” Things don’t happen “to” me, they happen “for” me.
- God is sovereign. It’s the truest truth I know, and it’s what I cling to when the world spins out, as it tends to do often.
- “The little things are the big things.” The extraordinary life is found in the ordinary, I think: taking time to build the block tower, dancing in the living room before bath time, and walking through the neighborhood right after the sun goes down.
- There’s nothing a spray tan can’t fix.
- Risk-taking is almost always worth it, even when it doesn’t work out as planned–sometimes especially when it doesn’t work out as planned. All of the most beautiful things in my life have been the result of a scary risk or leap of faith.
- It’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to ask for help–I’m talking to you, new moms.
- Waiting is GOOD. As my mom always says, waiting simply allows for “more lovely moments of anticipation.”
- Literally no one cares about what I’m doing. I used to be self-conscious about every little thing (including this blog!!), nervous about what people thought of me. Then I realized that no one really thinks of me at all, lol. It’s given me a lot of freedom to just create.
- Maybe I’ll finally master this in my thirties, but bodies should be celebrated and loved. My body has carried me through 30 years of adventuring, working out, serving, and cuddling. It’s been with me through two pregnancies and 30 months of breastfeeding. My body is badass and should be treated as such.
- A fifteen minute workout is better than a zero minute workout. And those fifteen minutes can make or break my mood for the rest of the day. Not once in 30 years have I regretted exercising.
- Speaking of exercise: strength training > cardio. Cardio is good too, though.
- Mothering is holy work. It’s a raw, humbling undertaking but it’s the single greatest privilege of my life.
- Fresh air = medicine. Also medicine: water, sunshine, FaceTimes with a friend, and green smoothies. And you know what’s also medicine? Modern medicine.
- The benefits of reading regularly are endless. On a grand scale, it fosters a love for lifelong learning and builds compassion for those whose paths differ from ours. On an everyday scale: reading helps me sleep better and centers me.
- It’s okay–good, even–to change my mind about something, to hear a new perspective and be open to a new way.
- Small changes add up. Tiny habits compound on one another to dramatically alter a lifestyle. Just start with one little thing, and then another thing the week after that.
- There is nothing more inspiring than travel.
- Tequila is not my friend.
- “We were created to be creative.” Creativity is a spiritual experience and an act of praise.
- There is no better feeling on the planet than the face of a baby resting in the crook of your neck.
- I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you are supposed to marry your best friend.
- How to clean a house: one room at a time.
- It turns out admitting I’m wrong is actually SO much better than scratching and clawing to “prove” that I’m right. As someone who is extremely prideful, this is a lesson I have to learn over and over again each day.
- A few things I thought I’d be better at by the time I turned 30: parallel parking. Also, parking. Shaving my ankles. Keeping a planner for more than 2 months.
- Silly beauty rituals that make my life better: tinting my brows at home, religious use of self-tanner, ice rolling my face the second I crack open my eyes in the morning. We all have our things, right?
- It’s possible to be a “bad” student and a voracious learner at the same time. Education is important and an immense privilege not to be taken for granted. But FOR ME, I’ve learned best outside of the classroom: through travel, reading, listening to podcasts, etc.
- There is never an instance in which I should not brush out my curls after they are done cooling.
- According to Instagram, there are 1 million ways I can mess up my kids. I try to just take everything I read with a grain of salt and trust my instincts. Just be normal about it, you know?
- There is nothing more valuable, in my opinion, than speaking truth to yourself every single day: truth about who you are, truth about who God is, truth about what you’re worth. This is a habit I try to practice daily in my morning journaling and something I hope to teach my daughters too.
- If nothing else, drink more water.