May 4, 2015

30 Things I’ve Learned (Before Turning 30)

My 30th birthday is this week. Woah. I’ve been kind of dreading the whole thing for the past couple of years to be honest. Big milestone. Older. Closer to wrinkle creams, arthritis, and inevitably death. Feeling cheery yet?? Ready to celebrate???? But, I have to say that at some point it hit me. Turning 30 actually feels so much better that it did when I turned 20. When I was about to turn 20, I felt so unsure of what I wanted. I had pretty low self-confidence and was heartbroken and pining after a boy who didn’t love me back. Now, I feel much more in tune with myself and know my strengths (and weaknesses too) and that reluctant love of mine eventually came around to be just as crazy about me as I was of him. When I look back at pictures of myself, all I can think is, “hang in there little guy, you’ll figure it out.” Not that I have all the answers now or anything, but there’s certainly a fog that eventually lifted for me and I feel so glad to be on the other side. In the spirit of looking back though, I was thinking about what types of things I’ve learned over the last ten years and what advice I wish I would have known then, so here’s my super cheesy list of 30 things I’d wish I’d known:

1. Being jealous is a waste of energy. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel jealous, but don’t let that feeling stay. It’s poison.
2. Get a couple really good friends. You don’t need a lot, a few will do.
3. Take all your makeup off before going to bed. No exceptions.
4. Strive to be a better listener than talker. This. Is. Really. Hard!
5. For every emotion felt in life, there is a song on the “Funny Girl” soundtrack that fits the moment perfectly.
6. There actually is such a thing as having too many cats, so know your limit. I don’t know if there’s a ratio-per-square-footage equation, but if there isn’t, there should be (we definitely can’t go past two!)
7. Marry your best friend.
8. Don’t worry whether or not you’re the best, worry whether or not you did your best.
9. Make brunch happen.
10. I can’t speak for Paris quite yet, but Italy is always a good idea.
11. Candy bars always taste better frozen.
12. Be generous—either with your funds, or your time, or your talents, and work your way up to giving away all three.
13. When clothing says, “hand wash only,” you should probably listen.
14. Being scared is never a reason not to go for it.
15. I can now pinpoint almost every quality of mine as coming from either my Mom or my Dad (and for some reason that makes me really happy).
16. Traveling to different countries makes the world so much bigger and so much smaller all at the same time.
17. Buy a totally impractical (but totally awesome) car while you can. There’s always time for the minivan later.
18. Exercise so you can eat more pizza.
19. Marry someone that you could both talk to forever and sit in complete silence with. Neither should feel weird.
20. Israel will change you forever.
21. Kitty hiccups are the cutest hiccups.
22. Do your best work in every task. You really never know who’s watching or taking notice.
23. Have a personal style. It doesn’t have to be the coolest or most expensive, but just don’t let it happen on accident.
24. It’s ok to be lonely sometimes. You don’t have to always fix it. Just cry if you need to and let it be until it moves on.
25. Clean up immediately after your last party guest leaves. Sleeping in and waking up to a clean house after a big night is the best feeling!
26. Don’t ever give in and look at the people promoting business while flipping signs or wearing furry costumes in 100 degree weather. You will rear-end the car in front of you because you stared too long out of pity.
27. The more knowledge you have, the more you realize you don’t know. This will probably hit you before a big exam during graduate school, but don’t worry, you got this.
28. Try and make it to the Saturday Farmer’s Market if you can, but if they close at noon and you like to sleep until 11:45…well, maybe sleep is more important for you than humanely-grown free-range tomatoes.
29. Find your best hair color (hint: it may not be the one you’re born with!)
30. Know if you’re an introvert or extrovert, what that means, and recharge your batteries accordingly.Phew, quite a list huh? Maybe I’ll get a chance to look back on this list in 10 more years (through the computer chip Apple will have installed in my eyeball no doubt) and add a few more, cross some out, or underline key words. Either way, I think the comparison has really helped me feel more confident and excited for this next decade. From what I can tell I think I’ll be pretty busy during it though, I’ve still got a lot more learning and growing to do!



21 thoughts on “30 Things I’ve Learned (Before Turning 30)

  1. Carla

    Absolutely <3 everything about this list. 🙂 Happy birthday and I promise that turning 30 is the best! It was the first birthday I had that I actually felt different when I woke up that AM. Oh, and eat lots of cake. Duh. (This is where #18 applies too.)

  2. Charlie

    Wow, this is such a parallel to my own experience of turning 20, right down to being heartbroken over the boy that eventually became my best friend and husband! I’m almost 29 and the closer I get to being 30 the more excited I feel about it for the exact reasons turning 20 was so difficult – I was so unsure of myself and what I wanted and the last 9 years have helped to answer a lot of the questions I had. Your twenties are such a valuable time in helping you to figure all that out, but as they draw to a close I’m not looking back and wishing I could do them again, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings!

  3. kirsten

    Great list! I turned 30 this year also and it’s surprisingly been great! Have a great birthday!! 🙂

  4. mara

    Yay to May birthdays!! (mine is Wednesday!) Wishing you a Happy Happy Birthday!!! This list was great, and the Apple chip in the eyeball had me lol!

  5. Kaelyn

    My twenties seemed like such a train wreck that I was actually excited to turn 30! So far my thirties are treating me much better than my twenties ever could! Cheers to your birthday! You’re gonna LOVE being 30!

  6. LRS

    Great list. The jealousy lesson is so important – the well is deep and there’s art and life for everyone. Another thing I learned is the power of lady friendship, time to stop comparing and judging and realize we are stronger when we lift each other up. I love being in my thirties. Even though I don’t have a best friend to marry (yet perhaps), I realized the importance of self love and am empowered by it. Xo

  7. Kaja

    I really like this list! #7 and 19 are beautiful and so true.
    I’m nearing 30 myself and I find myself evaluating my life a bit and I’m really glad to say I like where I’m at right now. It’s a very nice feeling!

  8. Claire

    Awesome list, Laura!
    I really agree with #2 on having a couple of really close friends – so true. And I’m rather intrigued about #20 – perhaps you could blog about Israel sometime?
    Claire 🙂

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      I should! I need to get photos printed someday and make a scrapbook, that might be a good occasion to talk about it!

      Laura 🙂

  9. Julie

    I actually think you look way better with the brown hair above! But one of these on the list could be not listening to what others have to say if you like it.

  10. Anna Taylor

    I told people I can’t wait until I’m 30 and some of them get it and some don’t. I just turned 24 in March. I love my age but can’t wait to have things a little more figured out and be more confident in myself. Enjoy 30!

  11. Olivia

    Hi Laura!

    Happy (late) birthday to you! I absolutely love your list, and was curious about your hair color. I am with you – even if blonde wasn’t the color you were born with, it suits you so well (better than your natural brown, imo, but you’re beautiful always). I was wondering HOW you found YOUR ideal hair color. Was it simply trial and error? Did you use some sort of guidelines as far as your coloring / skin tone that helped lead you to super light blonde? Just curious how you made that leap and how you found a hair color that suits you so perfectly.

    1. thebandwifeblog Post author

      Oh thanks! Well, it’s mostly due to having the best hair stylist/colorist ever (Monica at Milk and Honey). I just trust her and do whatever she says pretty much. Lately we’ve gone a bit warmer toned blonde, but I like it so far! I would just do trial and error with someone you trust that is really good at what they do, they will have suggestions for you 🙂


  12. Laine

    Each line I got to was even more true. #1 and #2 are probably the hardest but most important to realize. Once you learn to let go of jealousy there is an immediate change in your life. As for the best friends, you get to a certain point where you realize that group of 12 “BFFL” girls isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You’ll learn who you can trust and go through the heartbreak of having a friend stab you in the back, but you come out on top when you learn all you need are those few friends that know you inside and out and you would do anything for.


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