Well, its official. This girl is now thirty years old. THIRTY! Does this mean I’m finally a real adult? because I never don’t always feel like one. Thirty used to scare the shit out of me. So anytime someone asked me how old I was last year, I told them 30, just to start getting used to the idea. (A little trick for you!) And guess what? Nothing horrible happened. I went on living my life, and if anything, I’m feeling more fabulous then ever. I’ve done some serious reflecting since the big 3-0 and came up with some life lessons. Some of these I’ve been figuring out for a while now, but some I just recently discovered. So pour yourself a glass of wine, this is a long one. Which I guess is proof I actually have been learning some things after all.
Don’t dread birthdays, be thankful for them.
Birthdays are a luxury some people don’t get. Don’t be sad about the passing time, be happy you get to be here to enjoy it. Whether you’re 13 or 83, own it and rock it out. Getting older is a privilege.
Stop rushing to the next step.
Here’s a brief summary of my life: When I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to move out and go to college. And when I moved out and went to college, I couldn’t wait to graduate and get married. And when I graduated and got married, I couldn’t wait to start PA school. And now that I’m in PA school, I can’t wait to graduate again, and have a real job, and buy a house and have babies . . . Wait a minute. Hold the phone.
Do you see a toxic pattern going on here? If we are constantly longing for the next step in life, then we’re not really enjoying the now. How much of my life have I squandered looking so forward to what comes next that I didn’t enjoy the here and now. Someone smart said “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. Let that shit sink in for a moment.
There is no “right” way to live your life.
There is no time line that you have to follow. I used to get really down on myself for not doing things “like I was supposed to”. I didn’t finish college in four years. I changed my mind about my career path several times. Now I am 30 and still do not have my “big girl job” yet. While this used to really discourage me, it doesn’t anymore. This is the life I created for myself and it is amazing. If things would have went differently, I might not be where I am right now. Maybe I wouldn’t have met Husband, or maybe I wouldn’t have figured out I wanted to be a PA. You can’t get down on yourself for mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
Stop comparing your journey.
The only person you are in competition with is yourself. If you’re too focused on what other people have going on, then you’re not working on your own goals. I have watched every single one of my friends have careers years before me. Most of them have children, and own their own houses. I don’t have those things yet, but I have never been anything but happy for other people getting what they work for and deserve. You WILL get where you are going, just gotta keep moving forward.
Social media is not real.
While we’re talking about comparing our lives to others, let me take a minute to remind you that so much of what you see on social media/the internet is not real. Don’t ever feel bad because you are comparing yourself to an airbrushed and photoshopped model 0n Instagram. Don’t ever feel bad because you’re comparing your home to the perfectly neat and impeccably decorated houses you see in magazines and blogs. Under the layers and filters there are wrinkles and cellulite. On the other side of that tablescape from heaven are professional lights and a camera with the mess shoved into a corner. We only put on the internet what we want you to see. The “real life” is so often not shown.
There’s room for everyone to succeed.
Other people’s success does not dampen your own. There is room for everyone to accomplish their goals.
Stop putting down other women!
It’s kind of hard to be a woman in this world sometimes. So why make it harder for someone by being ugly? Just like someone else’s success doesn’t lessen your own, putting someone else down doesn’t make you better. Strong women lift each other up.
Stop worrying about what other people are doing.
That girl is wearing an outfit you think is ugly? Mark wants to marry Matthew? Katie wants to praise Jesus, but you don’t believe? John wants to be called Joann? Who the f&!# cares?? As long as Matthew isn’t your husband, then it’s probably not affecting you. If it makes someone else happy, and it’s not harming you, WALK AWAY and don’t let it bother you because it’s not your business in the first place. There is so much negativity and hate in the world. If someone finds something that makes them happy, then damn, let them be happy and you go and find what makes you happy.
Stop worrying about what other people are thinking.
Looking at the big picture, life is pretty short. So I’m not going to spend any of my precious time worrying about what others think. You do you, boo. Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind, right?
You do not have to be friends with people you don’t like.
We’re not in first grade anymore, y’all. There was a time in my life when I thought that if I didn’t like someone, it was because there was something wrong with me. Well guess what? Sometimes two perfectly fine people just don’t mesh, and that is OK. This does not mean you have to be an asshole to people. You can still be an adult about it without being “fake”. It just means if I’m not your cup of tea, then go have some coffee, I’ll do the same. And we will all live happily ever after.
There are no rules in fashion.
Wear what you love. Wear what you’re comfortable in. It doesn’t have to be the trendiest piece that everyone is wearing. If people don’t like it, well, refer to number 9. With that being said . . .
If you’re gonna do it, OWN IT.
Whether in fashion, or whatever in life. If you’re going to do something, do it well. If you want to wear those stiletto knee high boots or the plunging back dress, wear it like you were born to wear it because . . .
Confidence is the sexiest thing you can put on.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you wear. Don’t tell the fashion industry that, though. Being confident can make anything look good. Maybe you have some insecurities (like everyone does), but people are less likely to notice them when you exude confidence.
Be yourself, love yourself.
Everyone go look in the mirror. That is the YOU you are stuck with. God made you with all your flaws and imperfections and there isn’t much you can do about it. Stop picking yourself apart and bringing yourself down. You must learn to be comfortable in your own skin if you’re ever going to be truly happy. Good healthy relationships with other people can only come when you have a good healthy relationship with yourself.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
A patient actually told me this and it really resonated with me. As women, we often find ourselves trying to take care of every one else. But when you’re neglecting yourself to the point where you have nothing left to give, you’re not doing anyone any good. You have to take care of yourself first.
Take care of your body.
I see so many patients who could have saved themselves a lot of heartache by taking care of their bodies from the beginning. Hypertensive patients losing kidneys because they didn’t keep their blood pressure under control. Alcoholics losing their livers from drinking too much. Countless people with lung cancer or COPD from smoking. I assisted in the leg amputation of a non-compliant diabetic the other day. Trust me. You want none of that. Get yearly check ups. Take your prescribed meds. Keep your vices in moderation. You only have one body. And yes, I am aware that terrible medical problems can affect you even if you are the picture of health. But a lot of what I see is preventable.
“Laying out” might have been cute when you were 13 putting Sun-In in your hair in your mama’s backyard, but you know what’s not cute? Wrinkles and leather bag skin. Skip the sun and find one of the million self-tanning products out there. And for the love of God, STOP GOING TO TANNING BEDS.
Be nice to your parents.
They’re the only ones you have. And they won’t be around forever. And some people don’t have any. Cherish them, call them, tell them thank you, tell them you love them. This extends to grandparents too.
Personal growth comes at the end of your comfort zone.
You know that nauseating feeling that comes from doing something you’re scared to do? Well, next time you do it, it will get a little better. Before long it won’t be there at all. BOOM. It’s called growth. Embrace it. Seek it out.
You’re going to make mistakes, but it’s the recovery that counts.
We all make mistakes. I’ve done some pretty stupid shit in my life. I’ve also spent A LOT of time feeling bad about theses mistakes. It’s going to happen, but it’s how you deal with it and what you learn from it that really matters.
Don’t take any shit.
Being a nice person is a great thing, and the world needs more nice people. But don’t be the nice person that gets walked all over. The sad truth is no one respects that person. Stand up for yourself. Find the balance of being nice and being strong.
Bitches get stuff done.
Some of you will take this the wrong way, and that’s fine. But when nice doesn’t cut it, sometimes you just have to be a bitch. I’ve found that people may not like you, but at least they will respect you.
Every now and then take a step back and look in on your life. It may not be perfect, but I’m willing to bet you have something someone else would kill for. Don’t lose perspective. Be thankful for where you are and the people that helped you get there.
Get a hobby.
Where my workaholics at? It’s great to have a good work ethic. Actually I think it’s downright mandatory. But you have to have some time to yourself. Find something you can use as an escape when your brain needs a breather.
It’s never too late to change something about yourself.
Go back to school. Quit a bad habit. Learn how to cook. You will never be too old to make self-improvements.
Rid yourself of toxic people.
We all have them. Those people who make us feel bad about ourselves. The ones that make us cringe when their name pops up on our phones. The ones that can take any good moment and turn it into something negative. Learn to identify those people, and get rid of them. If those people happen to be your family and you can’t exactly disown them, then let me introduce you to your new best friend: BOUNDARIES. Healthy relationships include healthy boundaries.
If you want a good friend, be a good friend.
Husband actually taught me this one. Maybe your friends don’t call enough, or forget your birthday. Life gets busy. Don’t wait for someone else to be a good friend, YOU be a good friend. The true friends will reciprocate and the not-so-good friends will weed themselves out.
If you want a good partner, be a good partner.
I’ve learned that when I feel a little neglected by Husband, it’s probably because I’m not being the best wife. Instead of telling him what I need from him, I try to first ask what he needs from me. You will be amazed at the results.
Sometimes you have to be the strong one even when you’re not the strong one.
This goes for any relationship in your life. Sometimes you have to be the rock for someone even when you feel like you’re the one who needs it.
Life isn’t perfect, so stop expecting it to be.
Nothing will ever be perfect, and this is coming from a self-proclaimed perfectionist. If the only way you can find joy in life is when everything is perfect, you might find yourself a bit unhappy. Learn to find something to cherish even in the chaotic moments, because life is really very beautiful.
Woah. If you made it through all of that, congratulations and thank you. Pour yourself another glass of wine! I know this post has been chock-full of cliché’s, but obviously there’s some truth to them if you’ve heard them over and over again. Hopefully I can remember all of these for my next 30 years.