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!