For some folk, turning 30 is a horror show, it’s a culmination of all kinds of anxiety about ageing, for me however, it’s the thing I’ve been looking forward to since I was a kid. You ask my wonderful mum and she’ll tell you, when I was asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always, a grown up.
Being an adult is brilliant and the last 30 years have taught me so much, so rather than see 30 as a challenge, I see it as a chance to embrace being a proper grown up. I’ve learnt so much, and rather than listing all the things I wanted to do/have before I turned 30, instead I’m going to share with you the 30 things I know as I turn 30…
1. No boy is worth your tears
Not one of them is, if they make you cry, feel inadequate, or anything else that isn’t positive, you need to get rid.
2. Know he’s cheating, tell your friend
This is a tough one, and one I’ve lived and learnt. If you know your friends spouse is cheating, tell your friend. Sure the messenger may get shot, but in the long run your friends heart is more precious, believe me.
3. Take your makeup off
It’s such a simple thing, but the older you get the less your skin copes with being mistreated. Get a cleanser and a moisturising and treat your skin kindly
4. Feminism isn’t a dirty word
You want to shout about it, that’s fine. You want to quietly mull it over, also totally cool. But, know this, if you believe in equality of the sexes, equality regardless of gender, then you are a feminist. End of.
5. Buy clothes that fit
Duh, obviously. But seriously, I mean don’t worry too much about the label. Just because you can fit into it, doesn’t mean you look good in it. I’m not saying let yourself go, I mean don’t let the numbers on a label define you as a person.
6. Have an opinion
Know something about politics, religion, sport, current affairs. Be able to hold a conversation, having an opinion helps you be a part of the world, not just an observer.
7. Don’t simply observe
Life is for living, so get involved, don’t sit in the cheap seats and watch others flourish, get in the game, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t
8. Have a little fear
Fear isn’t always bad, for some it’s the things that spur you on, that push you that much further, just past the point where you think you can’t go past. Just the other side of those fears tends to be the most exciting parts of life.
9. Be kind
Be kind to people in your life, remember birthdays, return calls and say thank you. Hold doors open for strangers, help lost tourists and smile, you never know how crappy someone elses day is and how that smile might just help.
Put a little aside every month, for broken boilers, tax or because you know full well that you’ll need some rainy day money for those days/weeks/months that need a treat a little bigger than a coffee.
Whilst saving is awesome, so is spending. Spend money on a great sofa, going to the dentist, good jeans and shoes, not to mention buy a good serum, your face will thank you.
12. Learn to travel alone
You’d don’t have to go round the world alone, but you totally can, try to travel alone though. Stay in a new city, be around a language you don’t understand, learn to be happy in your own company. The older we get, the more being comfortable alone matters, to me it’s the best thing I’ve ever learnt to love.
13. Dye your hair all the colours
Ignore the people who told you as a kid that one day your hair would fall out if you kept dyeing it. It’s not strictly true, hair grows back, so dye it all the colours, shave it off, do whatever you want. Let your creativity and personal style develop, don’t let others stifle you.
14. Wear short skirts
If you want to. Wear low cut tops too, high heels, tonnes of makeup. Or wear head to toe black, long sleeves and biker boots. Wear whatever the fuck you like, don’t allow yourself or any one else to define you by the way you dress.
15. Be reckless
Trust without thought, fall in love in hours, say yes to that party invite or trip abroad, quit your job. My favourite quote in the world sums this up;
16. It’s not you
Believe me, it’s not, people have baggage and regardless of how much they love you, sometimes it really just doesn’t work out. If you treat others well, with respect and honesty, then chances are it really isn’t you.
17. It’s you
However, sometimes, it is you, and you know it. Sometimes you’re going to be a tosser who breaks another persons heart, or is cruel unnecessarily, that’s life. Don’t begrudge that person moving on from you, accept what’s happened, learn from it and make damn sure it doesn’t happen again.
18. Not better or worse, just different
There’s no such thing as “better than” or “less than.” there’s only “different from.” We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Remember that, not only for yourself, but for others.
19. Be a good friend
Don’t bitch about them, have their back, be the one who gets drunk with them, provides a shoulder to cry on. Be the kind of person, your friends are grateful to have in their lives.
20. Failing doesn’t mean failure
Woah this is a big one. Failing once, does not a failure make. That old adage that says, it’s not the number of time you get knocked down, but the number you stand up, is very fitting here. Remember, a bad day, does not a bad life make. Be brave, get up, dust yourself off and get on with life.
21. People will let you down
It’s that simple, some of those people will be people you adored, who you thought felt the same. People change though, and sometimes there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. It says more about the person you are, in the way you act, than it does about the person letting you down. Cry a little, have a moan about it, and then try your best not to let it taint your ability to trust in the future.
22. Learn to say sorry
Five letters, so much power. Learn when to use them, and when actually you’re well within your rights to be in a mood. The time to say it is when you know your only not saying it out of stubbornness, the time not to say it is when some arse bumps into you in the street and doesn’t apologise to you.
23. Learn to mean it when you say sorry
The word can roll off the tongue, but making sure to mean it is what matters. An empty apology, is without doubt, infinitely worse than no apology at all. Only say it if you mean it, learn how to say it honestly and with conviction. But always remember, if you break a plate, saying sorry doesn’t fix the plate.
24. Your beginning, someone else’s middle
Your life, is your life. No one else’s, even if you’ve travelled the same path, don’t worry if your destinations aren’t the same. You keep focused on what you’re doing, and let others focus on themselves. By spending time envying others, you’re wasting valuable time you could be spending getting to your middle.
25. Swear, if you want to
Fuck anyone who tells you it isn’t ‘lady like’ fuck them, fuck, fuck, fuck ’em!
26. Define yourself
If you don’t others will. If you want to be known for something, make sure you’re working your arse off to be known for it. Show people who you are, have conviction in yourself, stand your ground and define yourself.
27. Sleep around
If that’s what you want to do. Shag 100 men a year, if that’s what makes you happy. Or save yourself for the person you marry. There’s no right way. Don’t hurt people, or yourself along the way, and use protection, the rest is up to you.
28. No one’s getting out alive
Sorry kid, but it’s true. The only definitive part of life, is that at some point it will end. Now I’m not saying you have to live each day as if it were your last. What I am saying is consider it, do you tell the people you love, that you love them? Do you really want to carry on working in a job you hate? You have all the power to change it, if you so wish. Believe me, no one gets to the end of their life and wish they’d stayed in their shitty job, relationship etc.
29. Find hobbies
Knitting, boxing, kayaking, bake bean counting. It doesn’t matter what it is, find something that’s yours, that makes you happy, that keeps you entertained and regardless of other people’s opinions, you just crack on with it.
30. Ignore everything on this list
If you wish, remember it’s your life and although your beginning might have been written by others, the only person who can write the middle and end, is you.
So here’s to you 30, I cannot wait to meet you, to be in you and to rock the shit out of you!
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