I know, I know. I look 21😛😄, but as you guys already know, I just turned 30. Birthdays are important to me. Apart from the fact that I get spoiled the entire month, I reflect on how far I've come and my hopes and dreams for the future. But this year, my birthday wasn't like any other. There's the COIVD-19 pandemic and life as we knew it is a bit different, but 30 is a milestone birthday. It comes with so many expectations. You are expected to have figured life out. Society expects a 30-year-old to have a formal education of some sort, a job, be married and have a kid or two or three or four but I like to think that age is just a number. In my head, I am merely transitioning from a baby girl to a confident adult with goals and ambitions. In my teenage years, I imagined all the things I would have done and been by the time I was 30. As I grew older, I realised life isn't measured by milestone birthdays. The last 30 years have been such a roller coaster. I have had some incredible highs and some terrifying lows. Life's experiences have shaken me up and broken me. I have loved, I have lost.
I may not have ticked all the boxes for an 'ideal' 30-year-old (I know this because a good number of birthday wishes came with reminders about getting married and having kids). Still, I am super proud of the woman I have become. This place I'm at now- this is the happiest I have ever been. I have a job that I love, the most amazing best friends who come through every time, a family that loves me unconditionally and passions that set my soul on fire. Each of our journeys and goals is different, and there are no timelines. We each have to embrace and own our story. I hope my past self is proud, and my future self will understand, appreciate, and be grateful for the choices that I make now.
Today, I'd like to share the 30 most important lessons I have learned in my 30 years with you guys. Here goes!
1. Be comfortable in your skin
I know this is a real struggle for a lot of people because I struggled with it too. I still struggle with gaining and losing weight but I have learned to love all of me and be comfortable in my skin. I am my kind of beauty and perfection is overrated anyway.
2. 'Find your tribe and love them hard'
I've found that all I need in this life are a few good people- people I can count on come rain or shine. And life is too short, so don't take it for granted. Make sure you tell and show the people you love and care for how you feel about them while you still can. Make time for them-check up on them, talk to them, listen to them, give that apology, go on that date, create memories.
3. Be kind and humble always
Kindness and humility will take you places. I now fully understand why my parents made me read The Sheperd Boy's Song all the time growing up.
4. Choosing who you want or do not want to spend your life with is a big deal
Okay, so I could dedicate a whole blog post to this topic, but not today. The point here is to be intentional about your life partner.
5. Forgive quickly
Holding on to anger makes you bitter, and it's so not worth it. You deserve to be free of that hurt and pain. I forgive not because whoever hurt me deserves my forgiveness, but because I deserve peace.
6. Walk your path
I remind myself everyday that the competition is between 'me and me.' I am my trendsetter. I am inspired daily by the achievements of other people, but all our journeys are different. Comparing your life with someone else's only leaves you frustrated and unsatisfied. Like I said earlier, there are no timelines. We're all taking on life at different paces, and that's okay.
7. Not everyone will like you, and that's okay too
I stopped trying to please people a long time ago. Some people will just not like you, no matter what you do or don't do. Don't be strung out on people-pleasing.
8. Education is important
So for me, I like reading, and I try to learn something new now and then. I believe knowledge is power. Whether it's for a business that you're running, doing your typical 8-5, or a side hustle, learning and empowering yourself is vital for growth.
9. There is power in praying
I'd be lying if I say I pray every single morning and night. But praying is good for the heart. It's a moment of connection, peace, tranquil, and clarity. I win, I pray. I lose, I still pray.
10. Protect your peace and your vibe
Over the years, my circle of people has grown smaller and smaller. I have learned to let go of whatever does not help me grow, pull me down, or do not give back the same positive energy. I protect my space, my peace and my mental health.
11. No matter what you do, some things are out of your control
I'm a planner. I create checklists and to-do lists for everything. If I have my way, I will plan the tiniest detail. However, very few things in life are certain. The rest we can only hope to go the way we want them to. I have stopped (or at least try to stop) worrying so much about all the small details. Worrying only makes my anxiety worse, and I still cannot control every piece in every situation.
12. Time doesn't take away the pain of losing someone you love
In my experience, I have had to adjust living without loved ones that I've lost, but that pain and void in my heart, that is still fresh as ever.
13. 'Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.'
This quote from Jennifer Lee is my mantra. Often, we are limited and controlled by our fears- fear of failure or just simply not being good enough. This quote is my daily affirmation to get rid of negativity, get out of my bubble, and go after the things that fulfill my soul.
14. It's never too late to learn (and unlearn) stuff
The same way I am continually learning new things, I am unlearning the things that don't align with my principles, desires and beliefs. There were so many things we learned or were taught to accept as norms that are not right, not acceptable, or just go against everything we stand for.
15. Trust is a fragile thing
Be it in friendships, or relationships with colleagues, patients, or family, do not betray someone's trust in you. It's easier to forgive and let go of the hurt someone caused you but trusting them again is a whole different story.
16. Keep moving, even if those steps are small
I have learned to celebrate every little victory. Sometimes it feels like your progress is so slow- almost as if it's not happening. Be patient and realise that no matter how small those steps are, they push you a tiny bit forward to achieving that goal or that dream, that is all you need. Muster the courage to keep going- one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.
17. You will grow and outgrow people, and that's okay
I am not who I was five years ago, and I wouldn't be the same person I am today 10years from now. As we grow older, our paths, goals, and plans may change. We will outgrow or just simply lose connections with some people. Don't beat yourself up about it.
18. Any and everything is possible if you work hard enough
Some days are harder than others, but consistency and hard work really do pay off. That dream, that goal, it's not out of reach. Jordan Belfort didn't lie when he said, '' the only thing standing between you and your goals is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it''.
19. It's okay to ask for help
Knowing that you cannot do everything yourself is not a sign of weakness and it's not a flaw. We are all good at something, but not everything. Get a mentor who will guide you and help you grow. Having a mentor can be life-changing. In those moments where you don't have the strength to stand alone, it's okay to lean on someone.
20. Communicate your feelings
This is not always the most comfortable thing for me to do, but what kind of life would I live if I remain silent about the things that matter to me? There is so much power in communicating. Create boundaries and teach people how to treat you.
21. Speak and live your truth.
Be authentic, own your choices (be single, get married, have children or don't), hold your ground, embrace your flaws, protect your energy, and just do whatever you want, whatever makes you happy because people will judge you anyway. The world will adjust to your truth.
22. Don’t sell yourself short
Okay, so this is something that I am still learning. For the longest time, I struggled with the feeling that I am not good enough and the fear of failure and disappointment. Life has taught me that failure is a part of the process. I have stopped undervaluing myself because now I know that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. You are enough.
23. Family isn’t always blood
You would agree with me that there are many crappy people in the world but there are also a lot of incredible ones. And they are not always blood relations. For me, family are the people who claim me in good and bad times, the ones who came and have stayed regardless.
24. Money is essential, but it isn’t everything.
No one likes being broke, but money and things aren't everything. People and experiences are!
25. Coffee is important
Coffee is a whole mood😀.
26. Know when it's time to give up, move on or change plans
We are often terrified of uncertainties, so we stay in one place- in a bubble. Change is inevitable. Don't be afraid to try something new. Take risks. Take a chance on something. Or someone. Every day is a beautiful day to start over.
27. People make mistakes
At different points in our lives, we have all done something we wish we didn't. We are all human, and we make mistakes. So, say sorry when you're wrong and forgive other people's mistakes. Our past or our mistakes do not define us.
28. Create goals and figure out the path to attain them.
The path to success is not a straight line. But it always helps to have a plan. Set some goals, set the way, and work towards it. Then celebrate every little success along the way and share your success stories- you never know who needs to hear it.
29. We create our happiness.
It sounds cliche, but it is so true. Happiness is a state of mind- it's an inside job. I find true happiness in the little things and moments.
30. Choose your battles wisely
Not every comment or action warrants my reaction. Real strength is knowing when to walk away.
Your life lessons can be completely different from mine, and that's okay. Our journeys are different. Feel free to share yours. It might be all the motivation someone needs to get moving today. I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with positive energy!