Wednesday, February 3, 2016

30 Years of Lessons

When you turn 30, it's like you're old enough to start giving advice.  Advice that you might have given in your 20s, but no one would have taken you seriously, because, "Pffthh, you're only in your 20s.  Pack on a few years and get back to us, Baby-Breath."

But now that I AM 30 (as in today), I feel like I'm obligated to be the adult, despite the fact that I'm constantly on the lookout for the adult in the situation, then there's that awkward realization that I am the adult in the situation.  Woah, scary.

Happy 3 decades of aliveness to me!

Let me tell you about what I've learned in the last 30 years:

Always tell your Mom/Dad/Parental Unit(s) where you are going.
Ok, I learned this lesson at like 4 or 5 or something, but they tend to freak out when they don't know where you are for extended periods of time.  Granted that time period gets longer as you get older, but telling them saves you from a spanking.. or being grounded.. or stern disapproval.

Learn to be self-sufficient.
One day, you will have to rely on yourself for basic things like food and shelter.  You may be the type of person who loves living with roommates who help make those basic things come a little easier or you may be like me and prefer not to live with someone who is going to eat your Oreos and leave their laundry in the washer every.single.time you need it.  Learn to take care of you and you'll go far in life.

Don't expect the education system to teach you everything you need to know about life.
Know what I didn't learn in school?  Anything related to real life adulting.  Oh I learned all about long division and cursive and interest rates and semicolons and balancing chemical equations and dealing with other assholes, but I didn't learn about what a pain in the ass it is to find a place to live or that it was so incredibly expensive to move!  I didn't learn how to buy a house or build my credit.  I didn't learn how to open a retirement account or how much money I should put into.  I learned nothing about investing my money (other than that interest rate part of whatever math class that was).  I didn't specifically learn that PE class (aka working out) was about taking care of yourself so you don't die at 40.

Be kind.
Kindness costs nothing and goes such a long way.  When you give more than expected (your time, your talent, your money, etc), most people respond positively.  That's when you learn that the way you treat someone is more memorable than the thing(s) you once gave someone (unless it's Frosted Mini Wheats, they'll always remember the Frosted Mini Wheats).

Never apologize for who you are/Own your quirks.
There will always be someone telling you that you should do something differently or that you're doing things wrong.  Those people haven't walked in your shoes to get where you are.  Be proud of the person you are.  Whether you're 7, 15, 19, 24, 30, 37, 41, or any other age.  When someone doesn't like your rambunctious personality or your loud laugh or your corny jokes, it's their problem, not yours.  #YouDoYOU

I'm unbearably inappropriate sometimes.  I love corny puns.  I'm short.  I have big boobs.  I'm extra efficient at laziness.  There have been times in my life that people have made fun of all of these things about me.  Those things make me who I am, if you can't support me, get out of my way.

Don't put your pets before your significant other.
Your fur babies are adorable, we know.  But they love you no matter what because they depend on you.  You are their pack leader.  Your significant other doesn't depend on you, yet they choose you, just like you should choose them.  First.  Every time.

Keep an open mind.
You will grow in and out of things.  You will be introduced to new things.  Don't turn down things that are unfamiliar or things you "already know of."  Not all cake is the same, even though it's all cake.

Work smarter, not harder.
Doing things right the first time will save you so much time down the road, so don't halfass shit.  Take pride in the things you do and do them well.  Impress everyone else and you might even impress yourself at the same time.

It's not always about you.
Are you paranoid that someone is talking about you?  Judging you?  Giving you a look?  Yeah, well they probably aren't.  Yes, you are shiny and important, but not 100% of the time to 100% of the people you interact with.  So when people stop talking when you enter a room, say hi and strike up a conversation with them, rather than be paranoid they were talking about you.

Accept yourself.
While you're looking for all your flaws in every photo of you, other people are looking at how green your eyes are, how awesome your hair looked, how cute you are together, how happy you look, etc.  You are definitely way more worried about your arm flab than anyone else.  Remind yourself of this every day.

Listen to your body.
Not like, ouch that hurts because you ran 13.1 miles.. or 1 mile.. or you burned your finger on a hot surface; we all know those things hurt.  Listen to patterns.  Every time it rains, do you get a headache?  Or do you get really angry/irritable/frustrated/indecisive when you're hungry?  Are you teeth always clenched?  Do your shoulders pull up to your ears?  These are things that are fixable, you just have to acknowledge the issues and listen for them when they happen so you can counter them.

It's not that complicated.
If you want to, do it; if you don't, don't.  But definitely don't commit then not do something.  That's the worst.  You want to learn to cook?  Do it.  You want to run a marathon?  Do it.  You don't want to deal with that person?  Don't.  Also, if it doesn't make any sense, read the instructions, and if it still doesn't make sense, ask the internet, it's 2016.  Someone else has probably already done it before you did.

Finally, if you're not happy, fix it.  The solution is NOT in what you're enduring.

Read receipts and social media lie.
Sometimes it says someone didn't read your message, but they did.
Sometimes it says someone read your message, but they didn't.
If you want to talk to someone, call them or talk to them face-to-face.  If they don't respond after 3 tries, move on.  There is no substitution for verbal communication.

Everything isn't always picture perfect and despite all the baby, wedding, cute animal, and sappy photos, there are way more times that aren't picture perfect that aren't distributed for everyone's consumption.  Just remember, even if they are prettier or smarter or funnier than you.. we all poop.

Don't read shitty books.
Shitty books = life wasted.  Shitty books to you may not be shitty books to someone else.  Don't feel obligated to do something because of someone else's opinion.. and that doesn't just apply to books.

But the most important thing I've learned in 30 years has been:

Treat people the way you want to be treated.
I know it seems so cliche to say it, but people often tend to forget.  You have no right to complain about things that infuriate you, if you do those same things.  Do you yell at people that don't use signal lights, but then you don't use your signal lights?  Yeah, that makes you a hypocrite.  Don't be that guy.  Also, no one wants to clean up after you either.  Common courtesy towards other humans goes a long way.  Finally, you don't know what other people are going through, so before you judge them, step back and think about the situation from all angles before you start making assumptions.

This is an adult.

Inspiration found here.


  1. Happy birthday! I love the tips. Especially the last one.

  2. happy birthday!! and these are 100% spot on. also: give no fucks..but that ones' a given.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! This list was beyond perfect. I agree with so many of these and need to work on others (like putting the BF before the fur baby, oops). But I'm with you on treating others like you want to be treated, ultimate kindness and giving of yourself, and working smarter not harder!

  4. Happy birthdays! Love the advice. Several of them remind me of something I heard the other day: "Dance like no one is watching...because they aren't, they're looking at their phones." Haha.

  5. That Golden Rule. It gets me every single time. So true! And, the only one I disagree with is the first one. There are plenty of places I go and things I do that I don't tell my parents or sibling. We've always been a pretty independent group. It kinda annoys me the ones that feel the need to tell their parents/siblings everywhere they are. Sorry. BUT, for safety purposes, I think it is necessary that SOMEBODY knows where I am. So, if I get kidnapped or in an accident or hit my head and get amnesia, someone knows where to start looking for me.

  6. Happy Birthday to you!

    Amen to all of these, but especially #YouDoYOU

  7. So swamped at work and meant to comment on this yesterday but wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! Also, great post. Birthdays and New Years Day are both times when we tend to reflect on the past to look at what we learned, what we could do better, what we're proud of. Wishing you an amazing year ahead!


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