Because I’ve been 30 for all of a week and a day, I feel quite qualified to express a few things. So, I thought I’d bang out a list of things that I’ve learned, plan to implement, and/or have observed thus far. A list quite personal, more of an “about me”/don’t forget this stuff/encouragement/teach your kid this type deal.
On being me:
1. You are enough period.
There are people in your life who will criticize, condem, love, encourage, support, demean, and be plain old mean down right kind to you. Sometimes for a purpose (self ambition or out of a loving place for you) – accept that. Good, bad, and ugly – you are who you are at this very moment but do realize that just because you are “you” doesn’t mean that you can’t (or shouldn’t) improve in areas of your life. Not sure what those areas are? Take note of the spots that cause constant frustration for you & other people. Telltale sign. Oh, and everyone isn’t out to get you. But, everyone doesn’t love you either. Use the negative to build you – not deter you from thinking you aren’t good enough for a certain something or someone… we all have flaws and they never stop anyone who really wants to get somewhere.
2. Be your best friend.
Not your worst enemy.
To piggyback on the above….. a best friend will call you on your horrible attitude, not so cute outfit, horrible hair, and bad taste in boys. Your best friend will push you when you need some fire under your butt, make you go after something you may not think you’re quite equipt for, and make you laugh when you’re down. They’re the truth when you need it and the arm around you to get you through whatever comes along. Learn to be your to see the best in yourself and the possibilities/potential inside of yourself because there are times you will be alone, you will have to figure things out.. dig deep and know that YOU know that YOU know. And, not depend on another person for that knowledge & self awareness.
3. Go and Do.
Opportunities come and go. Some present themselves. Some are found and created. Do not limit yourself by limiting experiences and opportunities that will retard your emotional/spiritual/mental growth. You never know what will come out of an opportunity – be wise about what you choose to do but take full advantage of the good and scary. Get out of your comfort zone and do – you’ll appreciate you did the next day.
On real friends:
4. They’re kind.
Real friends don’t and won’t make you the butt of all of their jokes. Will support you in and through everything you go through. They will mess up, hurt you, and miss out at times but that won’t be “who they are” and it won’t characterize your friendship. Real friends won’t put you down for fun. They last. They hang on. You can let your guard down around them and you won’t have to worry about what they find when you do – because they’ll care enough to love who you are but not enough to judge you.
5. They’re supportive.
These girls and guys won’t always agree with you but they will hang in there when the good turns bad and you’ll wipe your brows together when the tide shifts and all is well again. You won’t feel like you’re always chasing them. You shouldn’t have to look for them when you need a friend. Every friend you have won’t be your friend on the same level. Some you won’t go a day talking to. Some you can go weeks without talking to them and you pick right back up. But, your friends should push you in the right direction and towards God, they should inspire and encourage, cause you to grow and THINK. They should be motivated. They are a reflection of who you are. Choose wisely. Not based on outer appearances (though you should help each other out!) but who they are on the inside and who they desire to be, to follow, and immolate. They should support your morals and values even if they differ somewhat from their own.
On a mate:
6. Just like a friend, the good should greatly outweigh the bad.
Your ultimate mate, your spouse, is the person who you will spend the rest of your life with ministering to the world about God’s love and who you believe God to be in ACTION. That won’t be easy all of the time. But, it’s a lot easier with someone you LIKE and generally get along with. Someone who generally treats you better than you treat yourself and believes in you enough to push you to be a better person. Now, rewind to how you get to that person…. Those who find it humorous to be mean, degrading, arrogant, rude, and selfish need not apply. Yes, people change and people grow. You will change and YOU will grow. But, you do not want the person who is naturally mean. Who is mean by default. You have a choice. Consider and choose the good ones – the ones who are good on paper and in real life. They will mess up just like you will, but does the good outweigh the bad? Are they kind? Do they truly love and pursue God? (this matters more than anyting else as it will guide the rest of their behavior.) Choose the ones who are (usually) good to you in any and every circumstance – no matter who is around or what is going on.
7. the loud and proud.
The loudest, most visible person in the room isn’t usually the best option. Not that you should choose someone who is quieter than a mouse, but if this choice is visible because of poor behavior and an arrogant mouth – put him back. You don’t want someone who feels the need to constantly be the center of attention – think spoiled and bratty. You want honorable, accomplished, and gentlemanly.
8. work. learn. enjoy.
As you will hear throughout your entire educational experience, these years are the most enjoyable, carefree years of your ilfe. You will never (hopefully) has as little bills, responsibility, and “requirement”…. you will never have the amount of never ending energy, ability to live off such little sleep, or recover from a crazy, fun-filled night (i.e. a hangover) as quickly. EVER. So. Take advantage of the fun times, learn to be responsible and manage your time early on so that it will be much more of a breeze later on in your life. Learn to balance hanging out with friends, significant others, school, work (if you have to), studying, and working out while you don’t have a lot of “heavy” responsibility to weigh you down. Have as much fun as you can, while you can. Learn as much as you can – don’t ever dumb yourself down. Take advantage of every club, group, experience, organization that you can without over working or stressing yourself or your schedule. Stay busy. Keep moving. Always challenge yourself. (You’ll meet some great people/friends during these times!)
8. figure out what you’re good at and what you enjoy.
They say work doesn’t feel like work when you enjoy what you’re doing. That’s not true – not all the time anyway. Work does feel like work – or else, they would call it play. But, I do agree that if you can find something you are both good at and enjoy doing while making a comfortable living – go for it. Go. For. It. Life is too short, demands too much, and is too taxing to spend your days doing what you don’t enjoy.
9. then, practice.
They say hard work beats skill when skill doesn’t work hard. And, they’re right. Never stop at being “good enough”… never relax because it feels as if you’re at the top of whatever list you’re on at the moment. Always challenge yourself. Work to be better and do more than you did the day before. There will always be something or someone else competing with you for ____ but do the best you can. Remember, exposure and challenges help you to grow! Practice, practice, practice. You may feel foolish or trick yourself into thinking that going the extra mile and doing what others aren’t is a waste of time and not necessary – but that’s only to those who are comfortable and content being subpar. Meeting the status quo. Not even trying to do more than they think they can.
On where I am today….
10. I don’t have a killer, ripped up bod and I’m okay with it. I go to the gym and work out with the knowledge and comfort that something just aren’t my calling. And, I move on.
11. I don’t eat organic. Oh, well. Or, drink milk. I eat veggies and foods of all colors & take iron supplements. I’ll be okay. Hopefully. 😉
12. I’m glad I spent so much time reading when I was younger. And, that I have an affinity for book buying – I was a sweet little, growing library that I love.
13. Talking to random strangers is becoming easier for me. A skill I’m quite proud of seeing as how I’m pretty much a shy, to-myself kinda gal.
14. I don’t care if my under garmets match perfectly. (Judge me. Who cares?)
15. There’s nothing like an eyebrow thead, Brazilian, and mani/pedi to make you walk a little taller… It’s just rough all in one day.
16. Vacations/breaks/siestas/mental health days are necessary. Take them.
17. I’m so grateful that my journey to kids has been what it is. I feel “ready” for life now.
18. There’s nothing cute about being a follower – have your own identity.
19. Love is amazing. The kind that gives you butterflies and makes you to feel as if your heart is going to burst from being so incredibly full. When that love is lasting and real makes it even more amazing.
20. A ton of friends is overrated. Someone is bound to stab you in the back.
21. Being mean is ugly and gross.
22. Growth and maturity come from uncomfortable situations and conversations. Embrace the awkwardness and desire to back away from criticism – you’ll appreciate it later.
23. If siblings are good for nothing else, they help you learn how to deal and get along with various personalities. The earlier you learn to like them, the better off you’ll be.
24. Michelle Obama types of women really are more desired than the Nicki Minaj types.
25. Learning to see various points of views/perspectives and being fair are skills you have to work at and learn. You WANT to know how to do this.
26. Travelling and exposing yourself to various peoples and cultures are the most important favors you’ll do for yourself. Start early.
27. Make friends with people who are more mature and wiser than you are and take heed. You’ll learn a lot and avoid lots of pitfalls. And, remember, age has nothing to do with maturity and wisdom.
28. The things you think are such big deals at 16 won’t be at 20…. and, recognize that when you’re in high school – there really are certain things you should leave to the grown ups. You’re still pretty young in college and you’re learning how to grow up so still be quite particular about what grown up activities you choose to take part in.
29. Learn to mind your own business and carry your own baggage. If another person’s life decisions don’t impact you – who cares. Don’t discuss the person or their issues. If it does, address it with kindness, love, and care. People are more important than issues.
30. Life goes on. Really. Do you best at what you can do today and leave the rest at the door.
31. Your home should be the most peaceful place in your life. It impacts both the beginning and end of your day. Make it beautiful. Comfortable. Welcoming. Pretty. Colorful. And, personable. It’s yours. Take pride in it…. that and your appearance. Very important. Don’t skimp.
32. The meanest people need the most love and require an unimaginable amount of patient. But, continue to be kind and show the love of God. Their life depends on it.
There’s my take on being 30.
So far, it’s been amazing and I’m loving it.