By the time I turned 30 a couple of years ago, I probably mentioned more than a handful of times that I thought 30 was the new 20. It might have had something to do with me trying to accept I was no longer in my 20s, however, as these two years went by, and I thought more and more about my 20s, I realized 30s are not the new 20s. They are different, and in my opinion, better. It took all of that decade for me to truly find myself. There are 10 things that are better in my life now, maybe 1 for each year of my 20s. Cheers to 30s!
- I know what I want out of life: I remember being in college not knowing if I was studying the right thing. Being in a relationship and not knowing if it was right for me, not knowing what I wanted to do or be. Then I graduated, started working at my dream company, then realized the corporate world was not for me, only to fall into photography full time, where I truly felt fulfilled in my career and life.
- I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone: Oh the pressure of being young. I love the confidence that comes with time. Finding friends who respect you and your personality. It’s priceless.
- I can take care of myself: In all honestly I’ve been taking care of myself since I was much younger. However, at the age of 32 I am living a much different life than I was able to in my early/mid twenties. More comfortable, less worrying, more preparation for the future, and for enjoying life now.
- I’m eating better: And by better I don’t mean more. I’ve just learned to pay more attention to what I put in my body. I’m eating more protein, learning to read labels, and take care of what I use of fuel my body.
- I’m exercising more: I’ve learned that exercising makes me a happier version of myself. It’s hard to believe I only started doing yoga a little over 5 years ago. Today I not only practice, but I am also a certified Yoga Sculpt/Barre teacher, and teach Yoga Barre.
- I learned how to say yes: There’s stress that comes with life, and sometimes I find myself finding excuses to say not to things, events, parties, things that are fun, because… why? 9 out of 10 times I should just say yes and live a little. This is something I’m working on everyday.
- I learned how to say no: Being self employed means I want to take every single client that comes my way, for obvious reasons. However, I make sure to never take so much work I feel too overwhelmed. I want to live a positive life!
- I accepted it’s better to regret doing something, than not: I was robbed 4 times before the age of 18. Once at gun point. Those experiences left me full of fear. Going out at night, going somewhere new, meeting new people… Those things always made me nervous. The last 5 or so years I have decided I want to fully live and experience things. I want to go on adventures, and if something bad happens, well, that’s life. It won’t be the first time. The point is, I would rather live, truly live, than live in fear, which to me would mean not living at all.
- I learned what things really matter: I want to invest in memories, adventures, things that have meaning. I get photos done of myself once a year around my birthday to celebrate my life (can you imagine how fun it will be to look at those when I’m older, and show my kids?), I go on as many trips as I possibly can during the year, I try new things and push my limits. Those things will always stay with me.
- I eat the “cake:” It’s a simple concept I learned in my late 20s, that is now a huge part of my life. I take the time to do the little things that make me happy. I have a list of things I like to eat and do, and I try to do at least a few of them of a daily/weekly basis. I love to eat cake/cupcake/macarons, so I make sure to go out and do that often. I love going to the movies, eating Punch Pizza, Matt’s Bar Juicy Lucy, so many things. I make a point to do those things often. It makes life better, happier.
I don’t know how old you are, but I hope you are happy. I hope you are learning and making a point to do the things that make YOU happy, even if they are little. I hope you learn from your mistakes, and I hope, REALLY hope, you are LIVING a beautiful life and making beautiful memories!