It’s official…I’m 30! I thought I’d be dreading this day (and the inevitable grey hairs and wrinkles that will come with it) but to be honest, I’ve never felt better. It might have to do with the fact that I spent most of my 20’s pregnant or postpartum and caring for babies so it wasn’t the carefree decade most people experience. But maybe it’s just that I’ve learned a few things about myself that I didn’t really know 10 years ago and that helps me feel more settled and confident going forward. Click through for the 5 life lessons I’ve learned in my 20’s….
- You can’t makes everyone happy, so don’t try to. I used to be the peacemaker, always apologizing and compromising my beliefs if I thought it would settle the problem. I thought I was being the “bigger person”. As it turns out, I’d rather just be me and honest with myself. It’s okay to have boundaries and things I will no longer compromise on just to make other people happy. And you know what? It feels really good.
- Life is short, eat dessert. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I spent wasting my life on counting calories, negative self-talk, and feeding into the shame that I had around my body. No one cares what you look like. Once I realized every girl in the room, even the skinniest ones, all had that voice saying “you shouldn’t have had that cookie” or “ugh I feel so fat today”, I realized I’d rather just eat that donut and be happy than not and be unhappy. That being said, I also started to take care of my body a little more, after all, it has to last me awhile. Working out, running around with the kids…it helps me feel alive.
- Be kind. You’re not going to get anywhere in life being the mean girl. And if you do, it won’t last long. I’ve learned that whatever I put out in the world in kindness, I get back ten fold. It takes so much less energy to be kind and considerate than it does angry and resentful.
- Friendship takes work and it’s worth it. I’ve never valued my friends the way I do now. Having a community that supports me and celebrates me and that I can put that energy back into is invaluable. It’s a group of women that I can be my truest self around and being that honest and vulnerable feels oh so good for the soul.
- Live in gratitude. If there’s nothing else I’ve learned, its that an attitude of gratitude can shine a new light on any situation even in the darkest of times. I felt this most when my father passed away last year. It was the saddest day of my life, but as I lay in bed that night, I feel gratitude. I was grateful for the ability to be there, present and in the moment, for him. I was grateful that he knew I was okay in my life and able to stand on my own two feet. I was grateful I could be there emotionally for my mom and siblings. I smiled feeling grateful for the wonderful memories I have of him and of having had the opportunity to know a man that amazing.
Dress c/o Free People.
Photos by Julia Elizabeth for Lucky Penny.