30 Things That Took Me 30 Years To Learn
Self-reflection can be a natural part of life, especially when approaching certain milestones. In my case, that milestone is turning 30. It sounds strange when I say it out loud, not just because I don’t feel 30, but because I thought that I would have been in a different place in my life when I hit the big 3-0.
Most of the kids I graduated from high school with – 12 years ago – are now married homeowners who have started filling those homes with kids of their own. I, however, still drive the same Toyota Corolla that is as old as my high school diploma, live in a small apartment that I rent, and have been single for almost 7 years now with only my 9-year-old pug, Missy La Rue, by my side.
This is my life… or rather, this was my life. My life before I let go of the negative “grass is always greener” way of thinking. This self-sabotaging state of mind is what used to scare me the most about turning 30. It is only now that I realize that 30 isn’t a feeling so much as it is a state of mind.
After doing some recent soul-searching and self-reflecting, I’ve compiled a list of 30 things I’ve learned that have made me the woman I am today. Thankfully, I am at a point in my life where I can honestly say that I am proud of who and where I am and perhaps even more importantly, 30 looks damn good on me.
In no particular order, here are 30 things I have learned for you to do with as you please:
- Embrace your insecurities. They made you who you are, and who you are is who you’re supposed to be.
- Love yourself. As you are, flaws and all. This is easier to do when you embrace your insecurities. If you don’t love you, how do you expect anyone else to love you?
- Know who you are. This sounds obvious, but I had no idea who Jessica Rose really was until I took a long, hard look at myself, accepted my insecurities, and found her right where she had been all along. Know what you believe in, what you stand for, and what you want to do while you’re here.
- Stand tall. Hunching screams “I’m insecure, don’t look at me!” I spent my entire childhood walking around like Quasimodo because my insecurities controlled me. Not a good look.
- Be open-minded but have your own opinions. You will make new friends that can help broaden your horizons and offer different perspectives when dealing with the every-day world.
- Dreams are just goals that haven’t developed yet.You have to work at them to turn them into accomplishments – they will forever stay dreams if you just keep them in your head.
- Fear is just a mental hurdle. Jump over that shit.
- “Just do it” applies to anything good for you. Nike is really on point with this. Stop thinking about it already!
- Actions speak louder than words. Enough said.
- Do what you love. I LOVE baking. It is my passion and self-therapy. I don’t bake for a living but I do bake for my blog. This is my creative outlet that brings me joy. If you aren’t doing something you love with your life, your life will feel meaningless.
- Know when to walk away. There has to be a point when your happiness comes first. If it isn’t happening, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.
- It’s okay to have your guard up. Provided you know when to let it down.
- Admit when you are wrong. This has gotten easier to do as I have gotten older because I have accepted that I am human and that I make mistakes. I don’t let my pride get in the way of righting my wrongs with the people in my life.
- Everything happens for a reason. I have “Reason” tattooed on the back of my neck because I truly believe this.
- Have your own style. It makes you unique. I can’t afford my style half the time, but I know what I like and I feel centered when I can express myself through my style.
- Appreciate what you have earned. I work hard for what I have. Life in L.A. is expensive and can jade your soul if you aren’t strong enough to keep reaching. I appreciate the home I have made for myself here, the career I have, and the friends that surround me.
- Appreciate what you have been given. I don’t know where I would be without my family. They have given me life and the tools to create a path that is right for me and I’m so grateful to have their support. I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a great family but we are all given something. Whether it’s quality friendship, sound advice, or even just shoulder to cry on, appreciate it.
- Give Back. It doesn’t have to be monetary. You can give your time – as long as it’s selfless.
- Ask for help.This can be hard because our egos get in the way when we need help the most. Kick your ego to the curb; everyone reaches a point where they need help in life.
- Offer help. If you are aware of your surroundings and your ego is in check, you can see those around you that need help but are too afraid or prideful to ask for it. Offer it up.
- Your ego is your biggest enemy. Get out of your own way; you are only competing and fighting with yourself. Your ego can be like a miniature devil that likes to perch on your shoulder and yell bad advice into your ear. Flick that little fucker.
- Listen with your whole heart. I honestly love listening more than speaking. I want my friends to come to me with both their highs and their lows. No matter what they are saying, I listen intently. Not just with my ears, but with my heart. That way, I can feel with them.
- Live life passionately. Passion is my favorite word. Without it, life is mundane and hardly worth living. It doesn’t have to be anything deep, B-rated Horror is one of my biggest passions! Find what you are passionate about and incorporate it into your daily life.
- Treat yourself. It’s okay to indulge in moderation – you’re only human after all. This is the hardest thing I have come to learn because whether it’s junk food or designer shoes, I want all the treats all the time! I’ve learned that a little moderation will satisfy you without making you feel too guilty for splurging later.
- Trust your instincts. Keep your gut healthy and listen to it. If you can’t even trust yourself, how are you supposed to trust anyone else?
- Call your mother. Really, at least once a week (I talk to mine a few times a day). It means the world to her and you love selflessly, remember?
- Listen to your mother. Most of the time she’s right. I hate to admit it, but she is.
- It’s okay to cry. I spent half my life fighting back tears because I thought crying was a sign of weakness. Crying means you are feeling and you shouldn’t fight your feelings, even when they hurt.
- Smile and make eye contact. People in L.A. seem to have a strange aversion to this, but I came from Rohnert Park, “The Friendly City.” Make someone’s day.
- Allow yourself to fall in love. I let my ego get in the way for so long that I didn’t let myself embrace real feelings for fear of rejection. Counterproductive nonsense on my part and now my ego can suck it because this 30-year-old is ready to fall!
Boom! There it is, the list that has given my life a makeover for the better. I am glad I could share a few of my successes (and a few of my mistakes) with you to hopefully help you keep your head up when you reach 30. Embrace it, this is in the beginning of your best self!