So, this is IT! Today’s the day I turn 30 (though I technically have until tonight, when it’s official). Of course, I’ve known this day is coming, and it’s something I have thought more and more about as it’s gotten closer. One minute, turning 30 seems so inconsequential, and the next it feels like a big milestone. I go back and forth… but time goes on and HERE WE ARE. When I look back at my life when I was twenty, it is truly amazing to think about how much I have grown in the past decade. So, today I want to take a moment and share my honest thoughts and reflect on the biggest lessons from my twenties.
Lessons from my Twenties
#1 – If you want to move forward you have to let go of the past.
I started my twenties in a toxic relationship. I was confused about my path forward because I was so tied up in taking care of other people and wanting to fulfill other people’s expectations of how I should live my life. I feared breaking up with that person because I felt so responsible for their well-being, and yet I didn’t understand at first how or why it was holding me back. It wasn’t until I really let go of that relationship that I was able to move forward, and find clarity and confidence in who I am.
#2 – Stay in your lane.
At the end of the day, we’re all unique. Spending time and energy comparing other people’s accomplishments and life timelines to yours is a total waste of time. I remember graduating from college and comparing myself to everyone else’s first jobs (even when I had no desire to be on the same career track as others). Now I can look back at that and laugh, but moments like that still pop up for me! I have learned to re-direct those moments into something positive and focus on goals that support the things I truly value and my specific life circumstances.
#3 – Don’t diminish your light out of fear of how others will feel.
This was a hard lesson for me because I used to feel very responsible for how my actions or accomplishments indirectly made other people. There have been times where I hesitate to share a personal accomplishment because I feared misunderstanding or feelings of jealousy from the other person. But, I’ve learned that letting my light shine can actually encourage others to shine; and your true friends will encourage you and be happy for your accomplishments!
#4 – You’re much stronger than you think.
I tend to be my own worst critic, but the things I got through in my twenties are a true testament to my strength and the steadfast support of those around me. I graduated from college and landed an amazing first job. I went to school part-time for my Masters Degree while working full-time. I moved four times. I was let go from job, and somehow came out the other end. I got married. I started my own business. I cared for my dog Maddie. Will and I remodeled our home, which included quite the water leak! Somehow, I did these things and more.
Taking a minute to reflect on these things make me realize that one of the biggest blessings about getting older is a new level of self-confidence that you gain through new experiences. I feel much more confident at 30 about the things I’m capable of tackling in life ahead, than I did at 20!
#5 – Grace is KEY – for yourself and others.
Giving myself grace and giving others grace during difficult periods in life is so important. We all make mistakes, no one is perfect and no one has it all figured out. These things felt like no-brainers at the age of 20, but I’ve learned that knowing these things doesn’t really matter if you don’t also know when it’s time to exercise grace with others and with ourselves.
I remember a few years ago, I made rash comment to a good friend, and what came of that is one of the healthiest resolutions I’ve ever had. She pointed out how it made her feel, and though we I didn’t see eye to eye at first we talked it out. Then, she told me that she forgave me and that she knows my heart, knows I didn’t mean any harm. It was one of the healthiest disagreements I’ve ever had, and it taught me grace at its finest; something I am still learning to exercise it with myself and others.
At the end of the day, today is just another day. We’re all a work in progress and I know there are many more lessons for me to learn and ways for me to grow. I’d love to know if any of these lessons resonated with you! If you’ve gotten through your twenties – what were the biggest lessons from that decade? Any advice for the thirties?! I’d love to hear what you think.
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