I have given too much importance to this number, this age, this new decade, this monumentary birthday.
“I need to travel to xyz before I turn 30.”
“I need to fall in love before I turn 30.”
“I need to earn xyz before I turn 30.”
But after 30 trips around the sun and not hitting 50% of my “I need to… before 30” goals, I have realised that I have grown more than what I haven’t achieved. And I’m still fucking alive. I can travel to New York when I’m 31, too. Right?
So with that and as a somewhat wise 30-year-old, here are 30 things I’ve learned over the years; read for mockery, contemplation, realisation, and/or enjoyment:
- Meditation is the biggest healer. So is wine. But meditate first, and then pour yourself a glass of wine. And if for any reason you can’t meditate for 5 days in a row, don’t kill yourself for it; get back to it on the 6th day (and open another bottle of wine).
- Your mistakes, your past relationships, your grades, your productivity, your appearance or your weight are not the things with which you value your worth.
- Podcasts are great. Subscribe to the kind that will challenge your relationship with your thoughts.
- Never be conscious about going to the movies on your own. Doing things on your own is FUN and it doesn’t mean you’re lonely.
- Also, travelling alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. It means you’re a badass who doesn’t wait around for people. Be selfish. It’s great.
- It’s okay to be 30 and unmarried and childless. This is 2019. There’s no deadline for these things. Don’t give yourself one.
- There is no such thing as a job for life. If you are fired or made redundant tomorrow, thank them and move on. There’s a lot of great stuff out there.
- Always remember to tell your parents, and other elderly people you’re close to, how much they mean to you and how much you value them in your life. They are not going to live forever…
- When you’re offered a new job, always ask for more money than you think you’ll be offered. Always always always. Because it’s very hard to negotiate and prove your worth when you’re in the role.
- Go to a dentist. Especially if you think you don’t need to.
- Grandparents are the best! If yours are still around, give them a hug (or drop them a note on Facebook because apparently that’s a cool thing for their generation now) straight after you’re done reading this.
- You don’t have to have just one home. Home doesn’t have to be where you were born or where your belongings are. Home can be where you find yourself, or where you feel truly at peace with how you’re living your life. Never connect a ‘home’ to the soil.
- Workout. And not just for abs. Exercise more on your ‘off days’ than on the days you’re feeling your best.
- Nobody is having as much sex as you think they are.
- But even if they are, don’t think they are superior. Even the most sexually liberated people have their stuff. Everyone does.
- That being said, comparing yourself to others is asking for anxiety to come inside and rent the biggest room in your house. I still do it. Try to catch yourself when you’re in that zone.
- Don’t avoid yearly health check-ups. Even if you’re feeling like a million bucks. Know what’s happening inside your body.
- Online dating can be awful. If someone is sending you dick pics or treating you badly by ghosting, breadcrumbing, benching or any other millennial dating term, block them. Don’t let men or women treat you badly. You’re not the reason they are being the way they are, that’s all on them.
- Speaking of perfection, people’s lives on Instagram are extremely filtered. Nobody is that skinny, that tanned, that happy and that rich. And if you are still shocked by this, then you don’t deserve to go into 2020. Know the limits of social media.
- If you have a good boss – tell them they are good. There aren’t many good leaders out there, and the good ones deserve to know.
- Get yourself on an air miles program. I still don’t have one. I’m stupid.
- New Year’s Eve is always terrible. Do nothing. Wake up fresh on January 1 when the world is hungover and do your favourite activity followed by a big breakfast.
- When friendships fall out, don’t cry over them for too long. Smile that you had those people in your life for however long and move on to the other people in your life who have stuck around. People grow. You’re growing. That’s life.
- Protect your energy for the right arguments. Choose your battles.
- You are bigger than what is making you anxious. Mental health is not a joke.
- Naps are fucking great.
- Care for our planet. Stop using plastic. Mother Earth is crying right now, and we are the ones who need to change things around. Yes, even that ONE plastic water bottle you bought on your travels changes everything.
- Always be on time. You’ll be a better human for it in every aspect of your life.
- If you have friends in other continents, make an effort to check-in on them and catch-up with them. Everyone is busy, but it takes 40 seconds to send a text or less if you voicenote like I do. But don’t give up because of geographical and timezone reasons.
- Stand up for things that don’t align with your value system. Politics, asshole behaviour, gender inequality, chauvinism, racism, casual cultural stereotyping, body shaming, slut shaming, bullying in the workplace, abuse in relationships — anything and everything. Speak out. Make some noise. Shut them up if you have to. Never give up on what you think is right or wrong.