30 Things I’ve Learned by Age 30

I’ve read many of these lists written by other people, so I decided to write my own. I have been completely dreading turning the big 3-0, so much so that I hadn’t given any thought to what it really meant. When I sat down to make this list, I realized that turning 30 is actually pretty awesome. It means that I know a lot more now than I did a few years ago. I know who I am now and I’m far more confident with myself now than when I was 25 or so. No one is going to peer pressure me or make me feel bad about myself. Bitch, please. I’m 30 freaking years old. Been there. Done that. Will never do it again. Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the things I’ve learned over the last 30 years. Keep in mind that just because I’ve learned these things and I know them to be true, it does not mean that I’ve mastered the concepts. That’s still a work in progress. Check back with me at 40. For now, I’m feeling ready to embrace my new decade!

  1. The older you get, the older your parents get. You never know how much time you have left with them. Cherish each and every minute.
  2. No amount of makeup can make you pretty if you’re mean.
  3. Just because someone is a good friend to someone else, it doesn’t mean that she is a good friend to you. It’s ok to let her go once you realize this. Someone may be a toxic person to you and your life, but not to anyone else. Not everyone is allergic to peanut butter, but, to those who are, it can be toxic.
  4. On that note, just because someone has been your friend for a long time, it doesn’t mean that you have to keep the friendship going, especially if it no longer fits your definition of the word “friendship.”
  5. Respect and loyalty are the most important qualities in a friend. They are much more important than just being able to have a good time. If someone disses you for someone who is “more fun,” then she is not your friend. Bye Felicia!
  6. Never apologize for being who you are, as long as you are being true to yourself. My true self just so happens to be a cross somewhere between Jay-Z and Jwoww. And, I intend to embrace my true self each and every single day. Holla!
  7. It’s ok to be a tomboy. Not all girls like to dress up, do their hair, or wear makeup. Like, ever. And, many do not possess the ability to walk in high heels. This doesn’t make you butch or a lesbian. It just makes you a tomboy.
  8. Don’t judge people based on their race, religion (or lack thereof), beliefs, lifestyle, sexual preference, etc. These things don’t make a person an asshole. Being an asshole makes a person an asshole.
  9. It’s ok to be childless by choice. Not every married woman, who is capable of having children, wants to have children. You don’t have to explain your reasons to anyone. To each, his own.
  10. On that note, it’s ok to treat your fur babies like they are your children. I have two, a boy and a girl. My family is complete.
  11. Not everyone knows what he/she wants to be when he/she grows up. Take your time to figure it out. There’s no point in getting stuck in a job that will suck the life out of you if it’s not what you want to do. It’s ok to be uncertain or indecisive. Don’t be afraid to take some time off. It’s your life.
  12. Go ahead and have dessert. Every night. As long as you don’t gorge yourself, it’s fine. It’s not going to kill you. If you die in your sleep tonight, you’re going to wish you had that last bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
  13. Being fit and healthy is about how you feel, not how much you weigh. When I was 22, I weighed about a buck twenty soaking wet. But, I am stronger, fitter, and much happier now at about 140…ok fine, 146.
  14. Get lost in your twenties. Embrace them. You’ll never get them back.
  15. Just because you don’t drink, it doesn’t mean that you’re not fun. It doesn’t mean that you’re uptight or that you need to “have a cocktail and loosen up.” If I’m not fun around you, it probably has more to do with the fact that I don’t like you and less to do with the fact that I’m not drinking. Bitch, please. I’m 30, not 19. I know who I am and no one is going to peer pressure me to be something I’m not.
  16. There is a big difference between changing and simply growing up. Calming down and settling down does not mean that you have changed as a person, and certainly not in a negative way. Anyone who doesn’t get that just simply has not grown up yet.
  17. Being a homebody does not make you anti-social. It just means that you prefer sitting on your couch, in your pajamas, watching Netflix, over forced social interactions with people you aren’t even sure you like. I have plenty of friends and I love spending time with them. Just during the day, preferably before dinner time.
  18. No high-heeled stiletto, pump, or peep-toed shoe looks as good as sneakers, flats, or flip-flops feel.
  19. Watching the Housewives, the Kardashians, or Snooki and Jwoww doesn’t make you a shallow person. You’re not a better person just because you refuse to watch trash reality TV. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. So what if I’m addicted to reality shows? We all have our own vices.
  20. Those jeans don’t make your ass look fat. Your fat ass makes your ass look fat. You really should work out. You only have one body and you should treat it as such. You shouldn’t complain about your body if you are not willing to do anything about it. Put down the cheese fries and get on the treadmill.
  21. It is far more rewarding to rescue a dog from a shelter than it is to buy one from a store. Adopt. Don’t shop!
  22. You will never feel bad about doing something for someone else. Even if the person never recognizes or thanks you for what you did, the way it makes you feel will make it worth the effort.
  23. Never pass up an opportunity to use the bathroom. You should always at least try to go. I learned this one from my husband and five plus years in law enforcement, where clean bathrooms are scarce and you never know what will happen from one minute to the next.
  24. There’s nothing wrong with going to bed at 8:30pm. Sleep is a beautiful thing.
  25. People who constantly talk about how great or important they are usually have nothing to back it up. They are mostly just trying to convince themselves of how great they are, when, in reality, they have nothing to brag about. The great ones typically don’t want anyone to know how great they are. There is a lot to be said about being humble.
  26. Not everyone you meet in life is going to like you and that’s ok. Stop wasting your time worrying about why someone doesn’t like you or, worse, changing who you are so that they do. There are plenty of people who do like you. Spend your time on them.
  27. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. Laugh loud and often. Accept your flaws and make fun of yourself. No one is perfect, so stop pretending to be. Life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Plus, nothing is better than a good, hard laugh. The kind where you’re bent over, laughing so hard it hurts, and you snort a few times. And, maybe a little bit of pee comes out, not a lot, just a tiny bit.
  28. Don’t be so judgmental of people and their decisions or mistakes. So what if they did something that you wouldn’t have done? You never know what someone else is going through, or has already gone through, that will shape their decisions. It will rarely, if ever, affect your own life. Live and let live.
  29. It’s ok to live in your gym clothes. It’s ok to own more gym clothes than regular clothes. And, it’s ok to spend more money on gym clothes than on your regular clothes. On most days, it is completely unnecessary to wear real pants. Unless, you have, like, a real job or whatever.
  30. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Take risks, take chances, seize opportunities. Make bad decisions, date the wrong guys, have a few toxic friendships. Drink too much, spend too much, stay out too late. Follow your dreams, take your dream job, but don’t be afraid to quit it once you realize that it’s making you miserable. Take some time off to find yourself. Move away from home or move two miles away from the house you grew up in. Live your life for you and no one else. It’s ok for things to fall apart. They will always find a way of coming back together. How else do you think I’ve learned so much?!

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