It’s my birthday! Not just any birthday, but the big 3-0. Speaking candidly, I’ve been dreading this day for as long as I could remember. Turning 30 always seemed like this ominous thing. I had all of these things I said needed to happen by this age, but have come to realize that life is not a timeline that you can set.
When I really sit and look at my life, I have so much to be grateful for. I have a job that I love and that I am excellent at. I have real friends that always show up for me. I have a boyfriend whom I love immensely and is the person I see myself spending the rest of life with. Lastly and most importantly, I have an amazing family that is always a constant in my life. If I lost everything else I previously mentioned I would still have them.
Before I move on to the next chapter, let’s address the previous one. My 20s a.k.a. hot mess express. There are a lot of girls who had it together in their 20s, but I was not one of them. Not even in the slightest. Here are some of the lessons I learned.
When your parents say you’re not ready to move out…listen to them!
I drained my savings to move out of my parents’ house. While in theory I could afford it, I didn’t factor in clothing myself, feeding myself, a social life, etc. So, I supplemented with credit cards. There’s nothing wrong with credit cards if you’re using them responsibly…I was not. It’s a mistake I’m still paying for.
While being a broke 20-something feels like a right of passage, looking back I wish I had the foresight to stay for a little longer and wait until I had a job like I do now with much more disposable cash. I don’t regret moving out, but if I could talk to a younger version of myself I’d say, “Look girl, you can’t afford it yet. Period.”
The difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now
I was single in my 20s when my boyfriend and I broke up for one year. That was probably the most turbulent, dramatic, and disappointing time in my life. I’m not saying being single isn’t fun. It definitely can be! It just wasn’t for me.
Why? I went on every date thinking of what our future would be like. Even if it was bad date I was somehow hopeful. I was doing way too much.
The truth is, most people are not your person. Even the promising ones might not be. If you go in with the outlook of if it works out it works out, you’ll save yourself a huge headache and actually enjoy yourself. Sometimes he’s just Mr. Right Now and that’s perfectly okay.
In my case everyone I dated while I was single was Mr. Right Now because Mr. Right was there all along. We just needed a breather to figure that out.
Your circle gets smaller as you get older
One day in my mid 20s, a friend called me to let me know that a mutual “friend” spent their entire brunch basically stating all of the things she hated about me. She attacked my personality, my looks, and my style. It was so bad that my friend felt compelled to tell me immediately while I was on a trip.
I was in Miami for Swim Week and the “friend” had pulled up my Instagram feed to skewer my outfits and just bad mouth me in general. While the whole thing was petty and superficial looking back, I was LIVID in the moment. There wasn’t even a confrontation. I just never spoke to her again.
I use this story as example because it was a turning point for me. I started to take stock of my friendships and determine which ones were real and which were fake. I didn’t ice people out like aforementioned fake friend, but I let the friendships that needed to fall by the wayside go. This led to a much smaller group of friends.
I can tell you today that while my circle is my small, I feel rich because I am blessed with the truest friends. I’d rather have one true friend than a million who don’t have my back and/or wish me well.
FOMO is unnecessary
I spent the first half of my 20s going out most nights. I am sure people wondered if I was gainfully employed (I was) because I was at the club on a Tuesday. Fridays and Saturdays were never spent at home. I was living my best life.
The few occasions I stayed in, I felt like I was missing something important. The truth is, I wasn’t. Not even in the slightest, but try telling a 24 year old with a hyper-active social life that.
As time went on (and my hangovers got worse) I started valuing nights in. These days I spend more Saturdays in than out and I prefer it. Yes, it’s definitely an age thing, but I would more so say it’s maturity.
There’s nothing wrong with going out. If you’re doing it to avoid FOMO, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. You’re not missing out on anything!
Understanding the importance of self-care
For me self-care is deep conditioning my hair, doing a face mask, getting my nails done, or even taking a workout class. Sometimes, it’s just me taking a weekend, clearing my calendar, and binge watching a British crime television show from start to finish. Self-care is simply me time. Time for me to decompress and forget about my day-to-day stresses.
I did not put enough emphasis on self-care when I was younger. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve made it a priority. If you don’t take time for yourself, there’s no way you can give your all to others.
Mastering personal style
Now listen, you know I have to end this birthday post with style! My 20s started with me wearing shirts as dresses. While I’ve always been the friend in the group interested in fashion I didn’t really master my style until my late 20s in my opinion.
There was just a point where I said I am going just wear what I want a wear. Some days I feel preppy. Some days I feel glam. Some days I feel grunge. Somehow no matter what I wear I always look like me. That’s how you know you’ve mastered personal style.