this is thirty

i look young for my age, or so i’ve been told. nobody has asked me for my age very recently, but whenever they do, they’re met with some sort of shock at how old i am. being told this has never really made a lot of sense to me. it’s like “thank you, i guess?” but i’ve lived all of these years; i’ve earned them. when i look in the mirror, i see each one of them (and those damn smile lines from my four years working at starbucks – thanks a lot, customer service). 

so, this is what thirty looks like. it doesn’t mean i have to be this or that sort of person. to have my finances in a row or own a house. thirty can look like this, too. and i guess, it does. even though i’ve had a few nights (always the nights when the fear goblins like to creep up; the anxiety dementors prefer the daytime), sitting up wide-eyed in bed thinking about the turn to this new decade with some trepidation, but i’m finally coming to realize – there’s no right or wrong way. and gosh, i love birthdays! there’s no reason to be nervous or to feel like you haven’t done all the things you thought you wanted to do. because you’ve already done so much! whether you’re turning twenty-five soon or sixty-two, look at all you’ve done and the person you turned out to be… it’s amazing, really.

so here’s to turning over to that new decade this weekend. the twenties were good but i am looking forward to the more settled feeling of having figured stuff out that the twenties by and large lacked. i suspect that no one really ever has it all figured out, so you just gotta ride that wave.

here are some important lessons i learned in my twenties…………

– go early, go early, go early. nobody ever wished they didn’t go early.

– being alone is preferable to being with people who you don’t enjoy their company just for the sake of not sitting at home.

– pursue your interests and passions, even if you have to do it alone and you’re scared. you will eventually find “your people”.

– your relationship is a team. if it doesn’t feel like a team, that’s not a good thing.

– it’s important to give gifts, even little ones.

– study something at university that you’re really passionate in and not what everyone tells you to do. if you love something enough, you’ll find a way to be successful rather than taking the safe but uninspiring route.

– do it now! procrastination is stupid and worthless.

– work in in a job outside of your university bubble. working retail/food service downtown in a major metropolitan american city introduced me to people i never would have met on the university campus. young and old, gay and straight, educated or not, your nationality or not. i am so thankful for the diverse sorts of people i met in the four years working at that job.

– working at a cafe in a big city is a pretty good place to meet a future husband.

– on that note, if you meet your future husband at a busy cafe, chances are you both will be able to work really well together outside of work, too.

– working at starbucks will kick your ass (and give you “anxiety rashes”) but will turn you into an incredibly hard-working person who you will barely be able to recognize afterwards.

– quitting your job to try to live abroad (or to achieve any sort of life dream), not as scary as people would make it seem. actually the most exciting thing i’ve ever done.

study a foreign language early and often.

– studying abroad is life-changing! do it.

– if you have two job offers at the same time, don’t decline one unless you’re absolutely positive the other is going to work out.

– on that note, don’t be too proud to come back to the first offer you declined if the second doesn’t work.

– if you want to be a barista, you will learn to love mornings, will reek of coffee most of the time, become more street smart, and will know how to talk to anyone.

– living outside the united states will make you a better cook by default.

– put (minimum) $30 aside into savings every week and you’ll be amazed at the money you have to do that (not cheap) thing you really want to do!

– stop drinking all that coffee; it’s contributing to triggering your anxiety, you idiot!

– it’s worth it to splurge on your honeymoon! you’ll always look back on what a magical time it was.

– nobody ever said “man, i wish i didn’t travel so much back then”.

– let bygones be bygones and forgive.

looking forward to a little birthday getaway to the big city today… follow along on instagram, if you’d like. thanks for being there, friends, and have a great weekend! xo

what are some lessons you learned in your twenties?