Earlier this year I hit a milestone — I turned 30. They say with age comes wisdom and I’m really not that wise, but I’m also really not that old. I’m 30. Flirty. And thriving. Yes, I stole that one from Jennifer Gardner in ‘Thirteen Going on Thirty,’ but this line has resonated with me ever since I first saw the film. I am reminded of a young girl who thought life would be awesome if only she were 30. For the past few years I didn’t share the same view on becoming the age that ends your 20s and makes you half way to sixty. I fought tooth and nail to not feel old. When you turn 20, it’s cool — you are no longer a teenager and your twenties are bound to be the best years of your life. Then, a year later you turn 21 and you can legally buy a round at the bar for your friends and later bet it all on red around the roulette wheel. After 21, what’s there to look forward to? Nothing. Or so I thought. My 20s were filled with roller coaster rides of life for sure — what pearls of wisdom would my 30 year old self tell my 21 self if we met via time traveling?
Take really good care of your skin. This is rule one for not looking old. Don’t worship the sun unless you want more wrinkles than the clothes left in the dryer; spray tan is the eighth wonder of the world. Never go to bed with makeup on and invest in a good moisturizer with SPF because it’s cheaper than Botox.
Find something you really believe in, get passionate about it and share your knowledge with others. You have the ability to change the lives of others by one encounter even if you never really know it. Be the change in the world you want to be, man.
Take time for picking up heavy things in the gym and also for a little namaste on the yoga mat. The yin and yang in your physical health will return your mental health tenfold. Not to mention it will keep you from physically feeling “old”. Gain physical strength and mental strength and you will be unstoppable.
If it’s a nice day out, stop and smell the roses. Literally. Go sit in the grass by yourself, read a poem (or a trash magazine) and get in touch with nature. Unplug from the overwhelming electronic world and enjoy the silence.
Care about the food you eat. Eat to live not live to eat. Fill your body with foods that make you healthier and learn to expand your palate. Learn to fall in love with brussels sprouts and get really excited when you eat pasture raised chicken. You are a foodie at heart; get out of the drive thru and back in the kitchen so you can perfect the art of cooking for your future husband…...the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach after all.
Friendships should lift you up not bring you down. Just like that junk mail in your inbox, we need to filter our connections too. No one can make you inferior without your permission. If someone is not bringing out the best in you, then maybe they are not best for you. You need friends you can go out and have fun with and also cry on when you have had a bad day. You also need to take the time to be the shoulder to cry on too; it’s a two-way street.
You are never too old for fun. Pajama dance parties, jumping in a fun jump with your future daughter and perfecting a handstand are all completely age appropriate activities. And if you are out at a bachelorette party and Pour Some Sugar On Me comes on, it is also completely appropriate to “own it” no matter what anyone thinks.
Learn how to make a budget and stick with it. You will still be struggling with this as your inner Real Housewife self will loose touch with reality from time to time, but get back on track and step away from the Visa and no one gets hurt. There is also no shame in becoming a couponer to save a little extra for a new Louis Vuitton. However, resist the urge to stock up on a year’s supply of toothpaste.
Travel as much as you can when you have the opportunities. You are going to fall in love with the West Coast and get slight anxiety if you have to sit on the tarmac too long but the fun is in the journey, not just the destination. Don’t play tourist in a town, but rather try to live like a local and take an off-beat path.
And finally, be proud of where you come from and who you are. Never hide the real you; it’s ok to be different. People will love you for your transparent self. If we were all the same it would be a boring world. On the same note, embrace someone else’s differences because that’s what makes them interesting.
The lessons learned in the past eight years have made me wiser and well-rounded — I’d maybe trade a little of the tears and heartache for more smiles and happiness, but it all has made me who I am today, and I am proud of that. I guess I’m like a good whiskey: I’m getting better with age. Salud!
Soaking up sun and life in Northern California this past summer
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