Search This Blog

Monday, September 3, 2018

Turning 30 (A Recap) and 13 Pieces of Advice for 20 somethings.

This blog is full of trail guides, trips to breweries, scuba diving spots, and travel itineraries.  But once in a while I find myself sitting behind my Mac, typing out events going on in my life behind the veil of summit photos and casual candids.  I've written about lessons in losing, yearly recap posts (
201420152016 & 2017), and even my thoughts on 28.  Given my occasional dabble into things that are serious and often hard, I knew I had to commit to something good for 30.  I will let you be the decision maker if this is that "something good".  

I had been planning on writing a post on turning 30 for a long time, but 30 came and went and I still wasn't finished with this post (can't hit publish, can't hit publish).  I am glad I had writers block because as it turns out,  I learned a whole lot after the day I turned 30 (I learned a whole lot more these past two months.....).  I suppose leaving your 20's isn't as transformative as you think.  Lesson 1a?

80s Child - Growing up in Fall River, Massachusetts

I was blessed to have an amazing childhood.  As a kid, I remember the version of myself with braces or coke bottle glasses wondering what I would be like as a proper 30 year old adult.  Doesn't 30 feel so old when you are a kid?  Let me tell you it does... especially when you are a smack dab in your ugly duckling phase with young parents who are in their 30s - that is so old.

18 at my High school graduation 2006 

Having crossed the "threshold", 30 feels a whole lot like my 20s, but better in the best ways possible.  I am talking to you growing IRA, mid-century modern furniture, and shopping bags full of organic veggies from Trader Joes.  I was excited to embrace this new decade of my life.   First off, 29 got WEIRD and I was so excited to kick that year in the teeth (pun intended).   I also told myself that somehow, likely by aging magic, you'll finally have it all figured out, you will start to feel less like a silly child in front of your older friends, you will be so much more established......30 is going to look so good on you.  

Turning 30 wasn't something that happened this week and a whole decade of decisions, good and bad, had led to me where I am in my 30s.   


Good Decisions:  Maintaining awesome relationships with childhood friends and family, dating the RAs to stay out of trouble, graduating college with a B.S., moving west and experiencing a crazy new culture and landscape, starting an IRA, traveling, attending (and graduating from) graduate school, running a marathon, and obviously, maintaining this blog.  

21 year old me ringing in the new year 
Bad Decisions:  Drinking dubra like it was water, staying in relationships much longer than I should have, not being honest to myself and others, drinking manhattans (plural) at Noahs on hot summer days, wearing 4" heeled boots to my high school reunion, and the list goes on.   

22 spending time with friends in Block Island 

23 years old in 2011 Graduating with my B.S. in Marine Science, giving the speech at our mini UCONN graduation 

They tell you not to let society put your life on a timeline.  You don't have to have X by 28 or Y by 30.  But oh isn't that easy to say.  The second that 2 turns into a 3 and you are standing smack in a new decade of your life all of those stereotypes start to creep in.  Shouldn't I own a home?  Be married?  Have a kid? The beauty of 30 is you've probably grown up enough to realize that those timelines are crap and as long as you continue to grow as a person -those guidelines are shit.  If I learned anything as I stepped into my 30s its as simple as that.  Let me scream it, loud and clear. 

 T h e   r u l e s   d o   n o t   a p p l y   

24 in 2012 Weekend in the Hamptons when we first got Olive 

So on that note, let me share some words of advice and what I feel is some grand advice for someone leaving their 20s behind.

1.  Don't follow a path that isn't yours - This is one of the most important ones that is so easy to say yet so hard to do. I have seen my friends do it, heck, I have caught myself doing it.  Society and social media pressure us to follow this normal trajectory of marriage - house - kids.  While that is great for many, it's not for all.  If thats not where you are, don't force it.  Don't sacrifice your happiness to hit some marks that don't really matter.  Whichhhh leads me into the idea of settling. 

2.  Don't Settle - It's so easy to settle.  To go with whats comfortable.  To be afraid of the unknown.  And while I find myself doing this to a degree, I am happy to say that overall, I never chose a route because it was easier.  Settling doesn't always mean that person, or that job is bad for you, to me, it means its less than what you want, or what you deserve.    For me, a big part of this was to sit down and reevaluate my relationships, romantic and otherwise - Its amazing how many toxic people can exist in our lives.  If these people aren't helping you grow, they do not serve you.  They bring nothing to your life.  Relationships take work, time, and effort (all of these nouns exist on a two-way street).  

3.  Reevaluate Relationships (especially friendships) - Don't hold on to friendships because of nostalgia, don't hold onto relationships because of a fear of being alone.  "Stick with the people who pull the magic out of you and not the madness".  I stopped giving my time to toxic relationships and it felt so good to surround myself with only the people who lift me up.  Pro Tip:  buy a fixer-upper and see who shows up with a hammer or a paintbrush (or even a bottle of wine) - this will help you reevaluate your relationships.

25 in 2013 at my Sisters Wedding 

4.  Set a budget
- It doesn't matter how much money you make (or don't make for that matter).  A budget will save your hide and help you plan for the future.  No one needs to go out to eat 5 days a week or spend each night on Amazon Prime.  Figure out where your money is going each month and how to adjust that number.  Learn how to budget, how to save, and how to invest.  You are 30 after all...

5.  Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it - time will pass anyway.  Go back to school, train for a marathon, set long-term goals, start something today.  The time will pass anyway.

26 in 2014 with my siblings

6.  Don't be afraid to shake up your routine - Its so easy to get stuck in a pattern that doesn't suit you.  Change is hard - I know - but on the other side of change, you will find growth.  Shake it up - Go Grow. 

Graduating with my Masters 

7.  Befriend your parents - I know this one sounds weird but after having a conversation with someone on a hike, I realized this was an essential part of redefining my relationship with my family.  I no longer needed them to establish rules or provide certain things.  I could hang out with them for no reason more than I enjoyed their company - and I do.  Plan some trips together, do something fun.  

8.  Don't take yourself too seriously - Ever sit at your desk, thinking you should be so much farther than where you are? So much more successful, more adult, more this, more that? Well, cut that shit out.  Life happens and life is messy, so so messy (my favorite saying of all time)  Sit back, enjoy the ride, and laugh at yourself.  Don't be afraid of hard work, but don't take yourself too seriously all the time, you will miss out on all the fun.

27 in 2015 getting ready for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon 

9.  Appearance matters - If you know me, you know I am not a superficial person and you are just as likely to find me in my running clothes as you are a nice dress and heels.  But in this new decade, appearance and first impressions matter.  Go through your closet and toss some of those outfits from your 20s, because you are probably never stepping foot into a nightclub again.  Invest in some good staples, and figure out what looks best on you.  30 is for really honing in on your style (working on it).

28 in 2016 in Puerto Rico for a friends wedding

10.  Wanting to leave is a reason enough to leave - I read this one in Cheryl Strayed book, "Tiny Beautiful Things", a summary of some of her best advice columns from Dear Sugar. God this stuck with me - it stuck hard.  This is one that you are going to have to repeat over, and over, and over again until it just makes sense.  This became my mantra whenever I was unsure.  This can apply to your job you hate, your lover you no longer love, or the state you are living in.  Just wanting to leave is enough reason to leave.  You don't have to list the reasons your job isn't working, or why your lover isn't worthy of your love.  Just wanting to leave is a reason enough to leave. 

29 in at a SECONN Event 

11.  Ask for help when you need it - No one has it all figured out.  No one can do everything on their own.  Your friends and family are there and waiting, but you need to ask them for help.  This is something I am horrible at but hoping to really excel at in my 30s.  

12.  Tell the people you love that you love them - This one really applies to family and friends.  I know we are all different, but I really feel that how much you love your family and friends may take until your 30s to develop.  Sure, you loved them in your 20s but as you all grow into the humans you are supposed to be, make cross-country moves, add to families, and wander the world, you will realize how much you really love these people and how much you love spending time with them.  Don't forget to tell them every chance you get.

13.  You have to make yourself happy.  Relying on people or things you can't control for your happiness is a proven and guaranteed path to unhappiness.  You, my dear, are the only one responsible for your happiness.  And you owe it to yourself to be happy.  Take this burden off those around you and really discover what makes you tick. 

Although I have barely scratched the surface of this new decade, 30 has been absolutely amazing so far, with some high highs and some low lows.  I bought my home on my own which was a high and a low all in itself (high:  I am an independent awesome woman who can do this on my own, low: this is an insanely stressful process I wish I had someone to navigate it with, WTF is an escrow account).  I got a promotion at work and gained legal ownership of my darling steed Bradley.  I also adjusted to living alone again and really sank my teeth into some loneliness (the good, the bad, and the ugly).  I have some big plans for my 30s, I have a lot of love to give and receive and I am trying to take my own advice and not worry about the timeline. 

If you know me, you know I love birthdays and this one is no exception. 
Cheers to 30 - and many more fabulous birthdays and milestones to come. 

Can't wait to see what the next ten years have in store. 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let's Chat!