A Squared: 30 Things I Learned Before 30

Friday, August 15, 2014

30 Things I Learned Before 30

I'm turning 30 this weekend.

When I was in my early twenties, 30 seemed like a big scary number. Like, this is the age when you need to have your life figured out and be less of a hot mess because you're actually an adult. Now that 30 is upon me though, I feel confident and excited about it. In a way, I feel like I was born to be 30. I've always been a bit of an old soul-- the big sister in a family of 5, the lone kid sitting at the adults' table at a holiday dinner, and the 'mom' of my group of friends always reminding girls to watch their drinks and dispensing life advice whether or not they asked for it. And frankly, when I think about myself at ages 16-21 I cringe a little bit at how petty and dramatic and superficial I could be back then. I don't ever want to go back there, no matter how good my skin looked, how few gray hairs I had, or how much I could drink and still wake up as a functional human the next morning.

#22. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22.

At 30, I am feeling comfortable in my skin, have experienced enough to know what's important and to steer clear of the drama (for the most part). And I am really proud of all that I have accomplished and the life that I've built for myself. I am so far away from accomplishing everything that I put on my 30 before 30 bucket list, but if I've learned anything in these 30 years it is to not sweat the small stuff.

#10. Prosecco even makes cupcakes better.

So, today on the eve of my 30's I would like to share a few things I have learned along the way-- some serious, some funny, and some just ridiculous... I'm looking forward to learning even more in this next decade:

1. How to properly poach an egg. Once you get the hang of it, there is no other way to make them at home.
2. Happiness is a choice. You can blame your past and your circumstances for your unhappiness as much as you want, but you are in control of your own life and have the ability to choose happiness. So, choose it.
3. Saving money sucks, but the peace of mind that it brings knowing you have it "just in case" is priceless.
4. Having more 'stuff' doesn't make you happier or richer. Having more experiences will though.
5. My mom's recipes will always taste better when prepared by my mom.
6. Tanned skin is beautiful, but sun spots are ugly and skin cancer is scary, expensive, and deadly. And it will make you feel like an idiot for ever oiling up at the beach or visiting a tanning bed.
7. When it comes to friendships, quality trumps quantity.
8. In that same vein, if a friendship does not make you a happier, stronger, and more fulfilled person then it may not be worth the effort. This one took me a long time to learn... and I'm still learning it.
9. Exercise is a necessary evil. It calms my brain and my body. And as a food blogger/lover, it is an essential part of my daily routine.
10. Chocolate makes every situation better. So does prosecco. And mac and cheese.
11. I am just not a gambler. I'd much rather spend my money and know exactly what I'm getting back-- like a great meal or a pair of shoes.
12. I love cooking and I find it to be really fun and relaxing-- except on Friday nights. On Fridays, someone else should be cooking for me (and for you too).
13. Hangovers are awful and they get exponentially worse with each passing year. Drink responsibly.
14. Carbs may make me fat, but giving them up makes me miserable.
15. Living in the city is crazy, expensive, exhausting, and smelly, but I have survived it and now I can't imagine life any other way.
16. The Freshman 15 is very real. It took only 3 months to gain, about 3 years to lose, and even longer to master the ability to keep it off. #TheStruggle
17. A nap or a good night's sleep is a luxury.
18. The most long lasting friendships you'll have in life are the ones that can fall out of touch for a while and then suddenly pick back up like no time has passed at all. I'm grateful for those girls.
19. If your circumstances haven't changed and you're still complaining about them, then you need to change them for yourself.
20. When your boss offers to buy you lunch/coffee/a cocktail, always always say 'yes.'
21. Marriage is a lot of work, but it's totally worth it to wake up with your best friend every day.
22. My twenty-second year was one of the best of my life and I wish I would have known it then. I lived in the big city and had a big girl income with no responsibilities. Life was good.
23. How to make a homemade pie crust. It is a challenge, but the outcome is well worth the practice!
24. 9 out of 10 things your parents told you when you were a kid (to which you responded 'you don't know anything!') were actually true.
25. Designing beautiful buildings is fun, but being an architect is a tedious, frustrating, and often very isolating career. I learned that the long and hard way.
26. If a man can make you laugh, he's worth a second date. And maybe a third.
27. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is: this rule applies to diets, jobs, apartments, items purchased via late night infomercials, and boyfriends.
28. Even though I didn't know it then, the few months in college that I spent living abroad in Europe really shaped the adult that I became. It taught me to be independent, fearless, mature, and opened my eyes to a big world that I'm still dying to explore further.
29. Not everyone gets along with their siblings and I'm very lucky to have 4 that I love so much.
30. Don't sweat the small stuff. Life is short, so enjoy it more and worry less. I have learned this, but I need to be better about putting it into practice.


4 comments:

  1. so many smart things... i 100% agree with #2-6!! :) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  2. Love, love, love this post! Happy Birthday!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Katie! It was hard to stop at 30 things. ;)

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