30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30

I turned 30 this past June, which is weird because part of me still feels 18 and part of me acts like I’m 60. Regardless, I’ve been told your thirties is when you have some of your best times, so I’ve got a positive outlook for the next decade ahead of me.

If you know me, you know I love celebrating my birthday. I’ve always loved celebrating it because it’s a day where I can get my favorite people together all in one place, which can be hard to do. The plans for my 30th were in the making before we even rang in 2020. Then, COVID-19 hit and I came to terms with the fact that all of my original plans were cancelled. It wasn’t until almost two weeks before that I made the decision to have a smaller gathering with some of my closest friends. It evolved into a Hawaiian themed pool party and was the best time I could have asked for.

With 30 being a milestone age, I did some serious self-reflecting and goal planning for the future. Turning 30 also made me realize that I already learned a lot of important life lessons. So, here they are, the 30 things I learned before turning 30.

  1. Communication is key.
    Every argument or misunderstanding I’ve almost ever had has always come back the fact that there was a “miscommunication”.

  2. Find the time for YOU.
    Take the time to focus on you so you can become the best version of yourself.

3. Spend more time in the kitchen.
I love to eat and 98% of the time the best food you’ll ever eat is homemade. Spend more time learning to cook and diversifying your recipes and less time ordering out.

4. Capture those important and not-so-important life moments.
You’ll be happy to look back on those memories’ years from now, because chances are, you’ll forget about some of them.

5. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings – acknowledge them.
Just because you don’t understand how someone is feeling, doesn’t mean it’s wrong for them to feel it. Take the time to understand and acknowledge someone else’s feelings, putting your own aside.

6. Always show up.
There are always things in life you don’t want to do, but you show up. Sometimes that’s all you need to do, because it’s not about you and it’s all the other party ever needed.

7. Know the difference between lifelong friends and “siutationships”.
In your twenties you are figuring out your life which throws you into different situations where you can meet a lot of fun people. At the end of the day though, the people who show up and have always been there are the ones who matter. Invest more in those lifelong friends, your ride-or-dies, and a little less on the ones you only drink with.

8. It’s okay to say no.
Everyone has their own lives they are living, so you can’t be with everyone at every time for everything. It’s okay to say no. Don’t stretch yourself too thin.

9. Always go with your gut feeling.
Because, no one ever said “I shouldn’t have gone with my gut feeling”.

10. Ignore the noise.
Learn to block out the negativity and focus on the positive.

11. Stand up for yourself and your loved ones.
There are too many times where it’s been easier to say nothing than to say something at all. If you feel strongly about something, say it. If it’s affecting your loved ones, make it known. Stand up for yourself and the ones closest to you, because who else will?

12. Money isn’t everything.
Find that work-life balance that works best for you. Sometimes it means taking the lesser paying job to create a happier and healthier life for yourself.

13. Pick up the phone.
Communication is best when it’s face-to-face or verbal. Ditch the long texts and emails and pick up the phone. Stop hiding behind a screen.

14. Be the bigger person.
Trust me, it always pays off and you’ll never regret doing it.

15. Focus on people and memories and less on physical items.
As a kid you’re usually most excited about gifts during holidays and birthdays. Now, I’d rather enjoy the people around me, making memories I’ll always cherish, rather than receiving something I might forget about in a year.

All my girlfriends that came to celebrate my 30th with me. Having them there was the best gift of all!

16. When in doubt, talk it out.
I’m guilty of getting in my own head about things. I’ve found that the minute I can verbalize it to someone else and express my emotions, I’m already 10x better.

17. Attitude is everything.
“I love their negative attitude they’re so fun to be around”… said no one ever. So, don’t be a negative Nancy and try to always see the positives. My favorite thing to do to people when they’re being negative is to ask them to now say something positive about what they were talking about – it really changes the mood.

18. Find that “thing” that helps you manage your stress.
For me, it’s running. Which is funny because I’m not a runner. But the minute I put my headphones in, and my sneakers hit the pavement, my head starts to clear. Almost always I come back feeling better, with a clearer mind, and ready to keep moving forward. Find that thing that gets you to this place and helps you manage your stresses.

19. Be nice to everyone.
You never know what someone else is going through. Kindness is cool and karma is a bitch.

20. Don’t buy cheap!
I can’t tell you how many times I had to buy something two or three times because I bought the cheaper option. Trust me, it pays off to buy the more expensive, well-made item, from the beginning.

21. Create good habits and routines.
I live off of routine habits. They keep me on track and focused. Need to organize some of the chaos in your life? Get yourself some good habits and routines.

22. Listen more, judge less.
Judgements are instilled in us as children, so sometimes it’s hard to not judge something or someone. Take the time to listen and understand someone or something before you immediately judge them – you never know the full story until you do.

23. Never assume anything.
Unless you’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth, stop assuming that you know. Assumptions are the stem of gossip and rumors, two things you never want to be the starter of.

24. Someone else success doesn’t diminish your own.
Stop comparing yourself to someone else’s success. There are different kinds and ways of being successful, and you are your own author of that.

25. Don’t throw away the handwritten cards and notes you receive.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve looked back at letters from my deceased grandparents they’ve written me, notes from my husband when we first started dating, and birthday cards when I was 5. These items are priceless and something I will always cherish.

26. Change isn’t always bad.
There is a misconception in our society that change only happens because of something negative. When, in reality, a lot of change occurs for the better. Learn to embrace change and take advantage of the opportunities it presents to you.

27. It’s okay to show your flaws.
We all have flaws, that’s a fact. Embrace them, learn from them, and don’t be scare to expose them.

28. Your home is a reflection of you.
The reality is that people learn more about who you are when they see your home. Therefore, make your home be a reflection of who you are and don’t be afraid to share it.

One of my birthday rules – There must be a candle I can blow out to make a wish on my birthday. Always.

29. Read more!
Knowledge is power. Put down your phone and pick up a book. Not every good story comes from Netflix or Hulu.

30. Age is just a number.
So, I’m 30… woohoo! In reality, I still feel like I’m 21 when I get together with my friends and 60 when I have my pajamas on by 7pm. Don’t let this number define you because you’re only as old as you want to be.

One thought on “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30

  1. I love ALL the lessons you’ve already leaned in your short life so far!  But I’m definitely going to take your “Negative Nancy” one an ask that question to one of my negative friends.  I wish I had that question last night! LOL!!!  Good Advice all around! Teri 


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