If you’re human, then you know that turning thirty can be quite a scary thought. We may have these expectations in our minds of what we believe we should have already accomplished at twenty-nine years old – be it a relationship, a career, a car, a house, a child. Not having at least one of these at twenty-nine years old can send us into a spiral of fear and doubt. You begin to wonder if you will ever find that special someone, if you will finally figure out what you want to do with your life, and will you actually have those five kids you’ve always wanted?! As we get older, we may begin to wonder if our lives are truly how we want them. Among this journey called life, we learn a great deal about ourselves and the reality we live in. The world is such a negative place – we know this. We see the negativity on the streets, on television, in movies, heck even in our own experiences. But I believe it is our own experiences and how we choose to see the world that can make the difference. I’m sure most of us can say we’ve seen a thing or two in our twenty-nine years, what have you learned from them?
1. Surround yourself with good people – Drop the negative people in your life and don’t worry about what other people see or don’t see, expect or don’t expect. There’s always going to be that one person who will never approve of what you look like, what you do, and how you do things. You can be perfect and people will still think it’s never good enough – and you know what, that’s their issue, not yours. We have no control over what someone else says, does, or even thinks about you. So be the best you can be for your own standards, and screw everyone else – just maybe not literally – unless that’s your thing, then go for it! Surrounding ourselves with those who accept us for who we are, what we believe in, and who cheer us on every step of the way can make going into our thirties much easier.
2. Have an outlet – Our minds and more importantly, our sanity, can be tested and broken down amongst all of our trials and tribulations. We may not even realize we need a moment to breathe until we find ourselves in the corner having those infamous panic attacks we seemed to have suddenly developed in our mid-twenties (and for the record, what’s up with that??). Having a friend and/or even a counselor to talk to can help de-clutter our minds and bring things into perspective when we’ve lost our own. Yoga, exercise, pets, movies, music, books, games, parks, lakes, journals, paint brushes, instruments, and what ever else you find to be stress relieving for you, do it. The more we focus on doing what makes us feel good, the less we feel dragged down by negativity.
3. Sense of humor – Laughter has been an incredible source of light for me through out my twenty-nine years. It’s been there when I needed to break a sad, angry, anxious and/or silent moment. Make a joke, point out the obvious, say that embarrassing thing that happens to everyone but no one ever talks about. We have to remind ourselves that though we may find ourselves drowned in pain, sadness, and/or hardship, finding humor and finding that silver lining in a situation can offer not only a gut wrenching laugh, but a flip on our outlook – a flip that can bring about a light, a hope, even a piece of faith (what ever that looks like to you) to our situations. We know it’s okay to laugh at ourselves, we know sometimes we have to. And if you didn’t know, now you do. At the end of the day, our hardships (be it small or large) are there for us to learn and grow from, to make us better people and to help others from what we learned. After all, we are all quite similar, and we all go through the same things in life, we just need to look harder to find our common ground. And if we can laugh with each other and lighten our already heavy loads, well, then taking on the world doesn’t sound quite as intimidating.
4. Take it one day at a time – As cliche as it sounds, it really does work. When we think about all of the possibilities and all of the potential situations that can arise in our lives, we become overwhelmed and end up with our hair in knots and a twitch we can’t get rid of. Stop. Be still and only consider the day you are living. Simplicity can be a beautiful thing if we allow ourselves to see it and let it into our lives. We live in a reality where ANYTHING can happen. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow, so why are we worrying about it? And if you choose to believe there is a tomorrow, then imagine all of the possibilities it can hold for you! Life is precious, live for today.
5. Take risks – Put yourself out there, with anything – a man, a woman, a career, a new color of paint for your walls, an opinion others disagree on. Heck, take a risk on black leggings. Life is about experience. This is a new one I’m currently learning. Sometimes we assume our end results will be negative, how can we not when the world has conditioned us to think as such. But believing in the possibility that something great can come from taking a risk can really change your thoughts and feelings about a situation and become quite motivating. Speak up and be strong. Believe in what you say and the choices you make – you just may surprise yourself.
I’m not an expert on this – not sure if I’d want the responsibility of being one – but what I’ve written above are just a few things I’ve learned mostly through out my twenties. We may not be where we EXPECTED ourselves to be at twenty-nine, but what I do know for sure is the more knowledge and experience we gain, the smarter we become at tackling our life questions and queries as to where we see ourselves and how to get there. We can drop those expectations and create what truly makes us feel good. And that my friends, is something worth taking into our 30th year!