Three Decades In | Thirty Things I Learned by Thirty

I turned thirty this month.

Admittedly, I started lathering my skin in coconut oil and cleaning out my closet of high stilettos that scream twenties, because what new mom wears 5-inch heels??

But as I found myself staring at a sheer crop top I once rocked when I was 22, I started to question whether we all seem to place this weird stereotype on 30? Maybe my skin has a few more fine lines and I probably shouldn’t wear the bunny costume my husband once found allllll too attractive at a college Halloween party. But ultimately, there’s no rules for this new decade, and I don’t think any of us should feel pressure to transition into something we’re not. So I kept the crop top.

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At thirty, I am a wife. A mom. A sister, an aunt, a friend. I am a writer. An editor. A blogger, a contributor, and my own boss. But the real beauty of thirty is the realization that none of these titles give me more or less worth. None of it determines my happiness, my success, or my future.

Instead, I feel free. Free of all the expectations I set for myself when I was 20, naively unaware of how life actually happens. I have a lot more faith in the process over the plan, and I don’t feel so attached to that list of childhood dreams I once thought equated to happiness. Instead, I know the joy of life is found settled into quiet moments that I’ll easily miss if I’m not present —  morning coffee with my husband, quiet stroller walks with my boy, and little victories in my career no one will really celebrate but me.

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Here are 30 more lessons I learned by 30…

  1. Don’t get too attached to plans.
  2. Life is imperfect and imbalanced (always).
  3. Motherhood is more magical than the fairytales promised me.
  4. I can be a good mom and a working mom.
  5. Accept help.
  6. Take the risk, because failure doesn’t hurt.
  7. Eating well is important…
  8. But indulging in a non-organic cupcake won’t kill me.
  9. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  10. I can have it all, just not all at once.
  11. Forgiveness is freedom.
  12. Love is uncomplicated.
  13. None of us have it all figured out…
  14. But everything can be figured out.
  15. Dry shampoo is a survival tool, because #momlife.
  16. Stretch marks and pimples and fine lines and cellulite are not emergencies.
  17. It’s easy to be nice.
  18. Friends change, but every friend is a part of my story.
  19. Happiness is not up to the universe…
  20. But I still don’t like when Mercury is in retrograde.
  21. Dreams change, drive doesn’t.
  22. Hard work doesn’t always give me what I want.
  23. Comparisons steal our joy.
  24. I can have an opinion without silencing others.
  25. Photos look better with a filter. They just do.
  26. I am in awe of what my body can do…
  27. So it’s worth taking care of it.
  28. I can change my mind.
  29. Family is fuel for everything happy in life.
  30. People will steer me in the wrong direction. I’ll always find my way back.

Thanks for being part of my journey. Here’s to three more decades of best days ever…