30 things I learned before turning 30

I turn 30 today. I can hardly believe it, but not for the reasons you probably imagine. Thirty still feels really young considering I've always felt like a 65+ old lady in spirit.  Maybe my age will finally start to catch up with how I feel on the inside. Or maybe I'll switch around and when I'm 65 I'll finally start to feel like a kid. Who knows...

I certainly don't have everything all figured out, and I hope I never do, but here is a list of things I have gathered along the way in my 30 years.

  1. A cast iron skillet is a kitchen staple.
  2. It is possible to live without a lot of common modern conveniences, like a dishwasher or large refrigerator.
  3. Try not to be so uptight... YOU are the reason why you're not having any fun.
  4. Never stop learning new things. Crafts, information, religion, whatever. Just keep using your mind and stretching it in new directions.
  5. Live in a place that your makes your heart feel like it's on vacation 365 days a year, even if it is expensive. Prioritize, live minimally, and make it happen.
  6. Not everyone is going to like you, and that's OK.  
  7. Take yourself out for dinner and/or a movie alone at least once a month. It is important to do some things in this world on your own.
  8. Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Just drink straight tequila.
  9. No one cares about your opinion. Most of the time it's better to keep it to yourself.
  10. Forgiveness is not easy, but it is necessary for long term relationships. Let that shit go.
  11. Your metabolism slows down very quickly before you realize it... try to stay ahead of it.
  12. Naps are not just for toddlers.
  13. Exercise both sides of the brain regularly. 
  14. Endorphins = happy feelings. 
  15. Some things really are worth spending a little more $$ on. Tequila is one of them. Did I really bring up tequila again?
  16. Don't let one crazy person at work (or in life) frustrate you. Focus on all the other people you genuinely enjoy being around.
  17. Never commute more than 1 hour each way to work... that is too much time in the car that you should be enjoying your life outside of work.
  18. There is a happy spot somewhere between not being stressed about bills every month, and having too much money.
  19. Don't wear your slip-ons barefoot... I know you think your feet don't stink, but they do. Your nose has just acclimated. 
  20. It's OK to be an introvert. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for not being a super-social, outgoing person.
  21. Don't bring up politics at a dinner party. Seriously.
  22. It is important to learn to negotiate for more money at work (especially true for women!), and make sure you remember you have to earn it, you are not innately entitled to it.
  23. Delete your Facebook. You'll feel liberated.
  24. Don't forget to put sunscreen on your ears. 
  25. Always focus on being selfless, never focus on your expectations in return. You will be a happier person for it.
  26. Learn to have that uncomfortable conversation sooner rather than later. Avoiding it will only drag on your unhappiness.
  27. Men aren't mind readers, and some aren't even all that good at remembering things you've told them. Learn to live with it and stop getting pissed.
  28. Living alone for at least a year is an important experience to have at some point in your life.
  29. You are not going to be good at everything. Don't hate yourself for it, move on and try something else.
  30. Stop seeking approval from others for your life and live it the way you want to, even if no one understands your choices.

I'm still not perfect at remembering all of these, but it helps to document them as a good reminder. Here's to the next 30!