11 Valuable Life Lessons I’m Carrying With Me Into My 30s

As I approach my 30th birthday, I reflect on the lessons and experiences of my twenties.

Birthdays, in general, have never affected me the way they seem to impact others, but I understand the vulnerability that comes with this milestone, especially as a woman. It’s a shared experience, a universal feeling of our biological clock ticking, prompting questions from both ourselves and others about our careers, relationships, and future as potential mothers.

These past weeks, I’ve been pondering over the endless possibilities and lessons that lie ahead. Am I truly content in my career, or is there a new path waiting for me? When is the right time to start a family, and will I be a good mother? Is it true that life ends when you have kids, or is it a narrative of those dissatisfied with their choices? Will I look back one day and regret the decisions I’ve made?

I vividly remember being 18 and feeling like I had it all figured out – my future career, lifelong friends, spouse, and the timing of starting a family. However, as I reflect on the past decade, I realize that while I may not have accomplished everything I had envisioned, I’ve achieved things my 18-year-old self never dreamed possible. That’s the beauty of life – embracing the unexpected and the growth that comes with it.

As I embark on this new chapter, I carry with me the valuable lessons I’ve learned:

1. “No” is a complete sentence. You have the right to decline things that compromise your joy or comfort without justifying your decision.

2. Embrace new friendships, as you never know what opportunities and memories they may bring. Remember, there are countless people you have yet to meet who will love you.

3. Your role as a spouse or parent doesn’t define you. While these roles may be significant parts of your life, you are a whole person on your own, and those in your life are fortunate to have you.

4. Your job is only part of your life. If you’re unhappy, take time off, leave, or pursue a newfound passion. Remember, if you were to pass away, your job would mourn your loss but quickly seek a replacement.

5. People will inevitably disappoint you, but don’t let that prevent you from letting others in. Life is too precious to go through alone. Allow people to disappoint you because, eventually, you’ll find those who won’t.

6. Family is important, but only those who treat you like family deserve your tolerance. There is no obligation to endure mistreatment or discomfort simply because of blood ties.

7. While you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends. When you find genuine ones, cherish them.

8. When you fall in love, the initial years may feel magical. As you settle into a rhythm, the magic may fade but don’t run away or become resentful. Communicate with your partner, for life is much more beautiful when you find the person you love.

9. Don’t limit your life to weekend plans. Embrace dinners with friends on Tuesdays and midweek dates. You’ll never regret choosing a fun outing over extra sleep.

10. Express your love for others regularly, not just on special occasions. You never know when it might be your last opportunity.

11. Prioritize your own happiness. We only have one life, so we should make the most of it.

As I step into my thirties, I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the next chapters and lessons of my life. It is the end of a decade but the beginning of a new era. I understand that this milestone may bring about questions and uncertainties, but I choose to embrace them with an open heart and mind. I will not let societal expectations or pressures dictate my path. Instead, I will trust my instincts, pursue my passions, and make decisions that align with my values and bring me joy.

I will embrace my wholeness as an individual, knowing that my worth is not defined by my roles or relationships but by the person I am at my core. Here’s to the next decade – a time of growth, love, and endless possibilities.

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