This year a lot of my friends and I are turning the big THREE ZERO.
I remember when I was in high school, my friends and I would plan what we thought our lives would look like in the next five to ten years. “Well I want to be married, own a house and have a baby by the time I’m twenty-five“- yeah, good luck with that, kid!
I’m not afraid of leaving my twenties and with each passing year, I’m actually enjoying my life more and more. I feel more confident in myself now than I ever have and I really value the relationships I have. I think once you stop investing in a quantity-over-quality approach when it comes to friendships, you tend to realise you had friends you didn’t even enjoy spending time with. You appreciate how precious time is and you don’t want to waste on people who don’t make you feel good about yourself.
I thought I would reach out to eighteen amazing women from around the world and ask them what they wish they knew when they were thirty and send it to friends on their 30th birthday.
I hope you’re able to appreciate some of the wisdom below and implement it into your life now and in the future.
The best is yet to come. But not as you expect. You will struggle in ways you can’t even imagine, face down challenges with strength you didn’t know you had, and experience joy, happiness and contentment. Sometimes only fleetingly, sometimes it will be integrated into who you will become. You will find meaning in life’s small moments and uncover drive and ambition you didn’t know existed within you.
Life is too short to worry about petty things. Hang out with people who care about you and make you happy.
Mostly I wish I hadn’t worried so much about the things that I couldn’t control.
Tomorrow is a new day.
To try and remain present and in the moment as much as possible.
Always treat people the way you would like to be treated.
If you are thinking about someone or they come into your head, reach out to them, they will usually really appreciate it.
Get a dog or some type of animal. Animals are the best.
I love this quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi
I’d love to have known and accepted one of my favourite sayings: not a shred of evidence exists that life is meant to be serious. Life is literally a string of beliefs which unfold according to our actions. We are in control and when we’re not in control…we’re in control of our responses. Responses and reactions are miles apart. Also lower your expectations of others. Most significantly be kind to self, especially when you get it wrong- that’s when you need compassion for self the most.
I wish I knew at 30 how fast the next 30 would come around.
I wish I hadn’t worried so much about the small stuff and did all the things I wanted to do. (# Wog life. Wanting to do but being allowed to to do weren’t the same thing) 30 is the time you know you need to get your shit together. So the next thirty aren’t so hard. When I was 30 I had been married for 6 years and had 2 children so the 30 of today is like the 20 of my day. I remember thinking in 1981 (15yrs old) OMG in 1997 I will be 30- I thought that was SO old. But the saying is very true, you are only as old as your head tells you. At 30, you know who you are. Who true friends are. And how much your family means to you.
1. BREATHE – Don’t sweat the small stuff
2. Focus my energy into the things I can change
3. And most importantly- it’s ok to take time off – plan it and enjoy it – you’ve worked hard, you deserve it.
To enjoy your life to the max and not care about what others are going to think or what others are going to say. You do not live your life for others.
1. Just do it: As long as we have nothing else on, we always say yes. We always end up having a fantastic time.
2. That everything turns out okay in the end: It might not seem so at the time but it will be alright and usually better in the end.
For me- I wish I had the ability to confront people or at least speak my mind more freely (I’m doing it very nicely now) I tried too hard to be nice to everyone but it was futile and exhausting. Also: never do business or employ family.
Enjoy every day, don’t waste your youth, don’t sweat the small stuff. Time goes by so quickly, one day you will turn around and you will be heading for 60 and you will wonder where the time went.
I’m sure many of us can look back and say I wish I had known there was still time to do this or that. Maybe I could have been more adventurous, I always had an idea of hiking to Base Camp Everest, but it’s not a great regret (they have 1-day helicopter tours there). I would tell myself to take more photos- you look great at 30! When it comes to people, I’ve never really cared what others think, so no regrets there. However, I do wish I had been more discerning with some people I gave my time to, who did not deserve it. I wish I had known there were still plenty of great friendships you can make in your 40’s and 50’s.
I would tell any 30 year old that whatever you do don’t settle for something that does not make you happy, whether it is friendships, relationships, or career. I would also say enjoy yourself and don’t fret, it won’t be too late in another 20, or 30 years. So don’t think you have to experience everything in life while you are younger. Biggest thing I would tell myself is the older generation you love will only get older, so do more with them while they can still accompany you.
There are two things that I wished I knew at age 30.
First, to listen to “my inner voice” more- it was always talking but I did not hear. I have learned that women’s “intuition” is powerful and has helped me be courageous and fearless in times of challenge.
Second, the importance of silence and taking time to be still and quiet- letting my thoughts ebb and flow has helped me ground and focus my actions.
-Erma, over 50
My Thirties was nearly 30 yrs ago .. wow!
Well I would say stay true to yourselves. Be a strong woman with your thoughts and opinions and don’t ever think you need a man in your life as you need to stand on your own two feet. A man is there to complete you. Live each day as it was your last and love the people who have shown you love. You don’t need thousands of so called friends on social media. Count those friends that have been there when you’ve been down and out and hold them close. Love those that love you and get rid of toxicity in your life .
Overall be a strong woman with a beautiful heart.
Things I would like to tell my 30 year old self. Your job is important but don’t let it take over your life. Learn to live and enjoy yourself more.
Travel, travel, travel.
Begin saving and investing sooner than later.
Most important, make the time to spend time with your family and friends, but especially family.
Make memories that put a smile on your face when you reminisce & look back on your life.
Communicate honestly, without judgment, even if it’s hard. It’s hard often to share thoughts, feelings, opinions about things that go against the grain, or that are uncomfortable, for example with a partner, or to stand up to a boss who might be difficult. But if you take the ‘easy way’ out by clamming up, in the end you not only don’t get to resolve the issue, it can eat at you and once again – fester. Many of us are champions for everyone but ourselves, whether it be in situations with a partner, a job, even friends/family. That’s being unfair to the most important person in our lives – yourself.
That plus reaching out when you’re not feeling ok- that’s probably even more important than anything because when people keep things in is when the troubles take over.
How quickly time passes. Time with friends and family is so precious.
Make memories and don’t worry about material things. Work should not be all consuming. You can complete those things in the morning. They’ll still be there.
Having a child was more life changing in a good way than I ever imagined.
The only thing I can think of is that perhaps knowing that life would be both better than I could have imagined and more difficult than I could have imagined might have made it easier to navigate the ups and downs, and to understand that patience, persistence and compassion would be necessary. But ‘learning by doing’ or, in this case ‘learning by living’ – at every age – (even when it included making mistakes, failing, or having regrets) was always and continues to be, the most useful guide for me.
At thirty I would have liked to know ahead that every passing decade would bring different experiences into my life and that each new decade would be at least equally stimulating and satisfying if not even better than the last. I was helped in this viewpoint when, as an academic in my sixties researching disease prevention and health promotion, I was lucky enough to be invited to work in a couple of projects with wonderful Aboriginal women. They warmly addressed me as ‘Aunty’ as a mark of respect and treated me with gentle veneration for my ‘wisdom’. Thanks to them my confidence in my older self has been able to be strengthened. Thanks to the way they gave a boost to my ageing self-esteem I am still pottering in challenging research activities yet balancing that with spending much time with all my family.