Ok so technically I turned 30 a couple days ago (where are my fellow Cancers????). I was hoping to get this post up before then, but, you know, life 🙂
I’ve had some insane experiences in my life and I never thought I’d live past 18. Turning 30 inspired me to reflect on all the things I’ve learned so far in my three decades on this planet.
So here are 20 things I’ve learned in my 30 years of being alive.
1. Your parents are imperfect people. Maybe they did the best they could. Maybe they didn’t. Maybe they were unenlightened pieces of shit who abused you (sorry, just read Dr. Alice Miller’s The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting, which I highly recommend!). You don’t have to forgive them. You do not owe them anything. And you are not responsible for their happiness, problems, or their general wellbeing.
2. Love will come in many forms. You won’t always recognize it or be willing to receive it. It could be in the form of forgiveness. It could be an animal that needs your help. It could be a person you just met. Open yourself to receive all love’s mystical forms. They will be the best decisions you ever make.
3. If you’ve had orthodontic work in the past, wear your retainer! Unfortunately, you need to wear it nightly for life to keep your teeth from shifting. Even if you can’t do nightly, do it as often as you can, even if it’s only once every few weeks. It’ll prevent your teeth from shifting and you from having to get braces again when you’re like 45.
4. Not everyone will understand you, and that’s ok, because you won’t understand everyone either. Be unapologetically yourself because there’s only one you, and you are completely magic.
5. Take care of your body. It’s really the only thing you have. Your care of your body affects everything about your life. Don’t shortchange yourself by neglecting your temple.
6. Don’t hold back. You will regret every second you spent making small talk or letting other people make you feel bad. Let go of the meaningless things and dig your hands into the deepness of life. It’s here that your growth will happen.
7. The moments that bring you to your knees and leave you struggling to breathe are your most profound truths. Don’t deny what you feel. Experience every flinching emotion that presents itself. You won’t always feel this way. Embrace it.
8. Take care of your skin just like your inner body and mind. Listen to what it needs. Only use pure products. It’ll thank you!
9. Your teachers are not who or what you think they are. They come in different forms. They could be a dying rabbit. They could be a child. They could be a rainstorm. They could be an abusive partner. LISTEN. Listen to what everything is telling you. Let it transform you, let it teach you, let it bring you closer to your truth.
10. Pay attention to what others’ lives are like. They will also be your teachers. Let their paths be mirrors to your own life. And remember that what you react to in others is also within you.
11. Trust your gut. Logic could be screaming that something makes sense, but if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You always have the choice to walk away. You always have the right to change your mind.
12. Only buy things that truly inspire you (and, you know, food). Everything else is a waste of your money.
13. FLOSS YOUR TEETH! And go to the dentist for a cleaning every once in a while! Your teeth will look whiter and you’ll help prevent so many common dental problems as you age.
14. Blood is just blood. If your family doesn’t respect you, they don’t deserve a place in your life, period. You deserve to be surrounded by people who truly see you and nourish your best self.
15. Be kind to people. You truly have no idea what someone else is going through. Think about how you would want someone to treat you on your darkest days. Maybe the person who cut you off was rushing to their sick or dying spouse. Maybe the person who gave you a nasty look in the grocery store was jealous of how magical you are. Maybe their rudeness has nothing to do with you.
16. That being said, don’t tolerate disrespect. You deserve to be respected.
17. Acknowledge your feelings. It’s amazing how much hurt, how much shame, how much negativity, can happen when feelings go unrealized. Recognize how you feel. You don’t have to name it, but do look at it full on. Let it know that you see it. Only then will it release its hold on you.
18. EAT GOOD FOOD (and by good, I mean healthy). You can pay for health insurance, but you can’t pay for your health. Invest in it now by nourishing your body. Inform yourself. Get tested for food intolerances. Listen to your symptoms. The common factor of all disease is inflammation. Keep it down by being smart about what you eat.
19. Not everyone is able to support you in the ways that you need. They may not be physically, mentally, or spiritually able to. Don’t punish them for this or resent them for the things they are not able to do or do not know how to do. At the end of the day, only you are responsible for your care of yourself.
20. The things that have broken you are not the things that define you. They are your teachers, yes. They are pointers to the truth. But they are not what makes you you. You are free to learn from them and let them go.
I’m interested to see what the next decade brings!