I turned 35 years old on July 30th, 2016. I’ve been in my 30’s for 5 years and still can’t believe it at times. My 20’s were a wild time. I was a party girl. I spent all of my free time dancing and drinking away at the clubs. And I loved every minute of it. I have zero regrets. I lived life to the fullest.
Even though I loved to party, I wasn’t irresponsible. I started working when I was 15 years old. By the time I was 18, I was working and going to school full-time. I had a clear focus on what I wanted but had no idea I’d be where I’m at today at 35. I worked my ass off and today I can honestly say I live my dream career and my life is pretty irresistible. Sure, I’m far from perfect, there’s still a lot more to achieve, and plenty that I haven’t accomplished yet but I’m happy. Right. Where. I. Am.
I used to let every little mishap or negative emotion ruin my day, my week, etc. I’ve learned to accept things, create a plan of attack, and then let it roll off my back. That’s really all you can do or you’ll be consumed with negativity and fear 24/7. I don’t plan on wasting my life that way. Do you?
Back in the day, I was the poster child of the work hard/play harder philosophy. In my early 20’s, I worked for a large well-known travel company. That gave me so many amazing opportunities to travel around the world for free or really cheap. It was the perfect job for a wild girl in her 20’s.
I still have that wild streak but it’s calmed down over the years. I still love a fun night on the town but I also love a calm/peaceful day out on the water in my kayak or just being at home with my boys. It’s all about balance.
I don’t believe that just because you turn a certain age you have to stop doing all the things that you used to love. You know those “things women over 30 shouldn’t wear” lists? Yea, I hate those. Age really is just a number. All of my friends started calling ourselves “old” when 30 was approaching. Seriously?! WTF where we thinking. We were 28 and 29 saying how “old” we were. Gahh. But side note, could I have all the wisdom/knowledge and success of my 35 year old self while always looking like my 29 year old self? If only!
Going from your 20’s to 30’s is weird. You can’t wait for your 20’s when you’re a teenager. You have so much youth in your 20’s. It’s ok to fuck up in your 20’s. You can party all night and go to work the next day with little to no sleep and never skip a beat. Nobody really cares if you still live at home at 23 or if you haven’t quite figured out what you’re doing with your life. It’s like you’re given the invisible “20 something hall pass.”
Once you’re in your 30’s, you’re officially an adult. You can no longer joke about not knowing how a 401K really works. You need to actually have a retirement plan and life insurance. You need a solid 5 year life plan! The safety net of that hall pass is long gone. BUT, it doesn’t mean you’re dead or that you have to life some boring excuse of a life. You’re still that same person from your 20’s but more mature and hopefully with a few dollars saved.
Birthdays make us nostalgic. To celebrate, I’ve put together my list of 35 life lessons I’ve learned in 35 years.
1. If you want something in life then hustle and work your ass off for it. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you.
2. Don’t ever depend on a man for money. Make a name for yourself and build your career. Even if you’re married. You need to be your own person and keep your independence.
3. Don’t waste your early 20’s in a dead end relationship. If he needs to know what you’re doing 24/7, run. Run, fast!
4. Use birth control until you’re actually ready for kids. Yes, what an amazing concept.
5. You’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did do.
6. Some days you just want to stay in pajamas and watch Netflix and order take out. That’s ok too!
7. You can never travel too much. Seeing the world opens your eyes to other people and cultures and that YES there’s more than one “right” way.
8. Have a few wild stories that you can take to the grave.
9. Don’t miss out on life worrying that you’re “too fat” to deserve to have fun. Go skinny dipping! Ride that roller coaster. Buy the dress. Do ALL the things!
10. Take a lot of pics. Even when you feel “too fat.” Trust me, you look way better than what you think.
11. Don’t be afraid to take up space in the world. Don’t apologize for it either.
12. Don’t drink and drive. There’s Uber now. Use it!
13. Friends are sometimes only in our lives for a season and that’s OK. Not everyone will be a lifelong bus passenger.
14. Spend the extra money. Yes, it’s good to have a savings but you can’t take that money to the grave. Buy that thing you really want.
15. Find a signature style that you become known for. Brand yourself.
16. Find your go-to hairstyle for those mornings that come out of nowhere when you just got home a few hours ago.
17. You deserve to pamper yourself. Schedule that regular manicure/pedicure. Upgrade to the spa pedicure. Add the Swarovski crystals to your nails.
18. Live like a dog and enjoy the every day moments even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it.
19. Get a dog or a pet. My Chuy changed my life. A pet can do wonders for your emotional and mental health. Even your physical health!
20. Take a chance on something that terrifies you. If you don’t, you’ll still be miserable anyways and wondering “what if.”
21. Find that one thing that fires you up from the inside and don’t ever let it go.
22. Tell your friends and family that you love them and spend time with them.
23. Don’t waste time worrying about every possible horrific outcome that could and probably won’t happen.
24. Spend time doing something you love even if for 5 minutes a day. The time will pass anyways. Use it wisely.
25. Success is the best revenge.
26. Never be too proud to ask for help. It’s actually a sign of strength.
27. Take a vacation alone at least once.
28. The “secret” to losing weight is not physical. It’s all mental. Fix yourself on the inside first and the rest will fall into place.
29. Your pain is your gift to others. You can either wallow in your sorrows or use it to empower other people. What will you choose?
30. Eat the cake. With ALL the icing.
31. It’s never too early for champagne and you don’t need a reason.
32. Spend your life with someone that is your number one fan and empowers and inspires you to go after your dreams. If they don’t, get out while you still can.
33. Success doesn’t always look like it did in your head and that’s ok. Live YOUR version of an irresistible life. Only you can define what that means.
34. Never stop learning, reading, and dreaming. You are never too old to quit. Learn something new each and every day.
35. Live in the moment. Be present. Feel the pain. Feel the joy. Take the good with the bad. Create the irresistible life that you dream of. Be grateful for another birthday, another year of life. It’s a blessing not a curse.
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What has been your biggest life lesson? Leave it down in the comments below.
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