I have never felt more alive and more powerful than the moment I turned THIRTY!
So here goes: 20 Things I’ve Learned in my 30’s (and still learning):
- Weight. I wish I was as skinny as when I thought I was fat. I wish I could smack younger me and be more confident as a teenager. I was dieting at 100 pds and extremely hard on myself every single day. No teenager should ever feel like they are not physically enough. I LOVE my body now, even after having a baby. My body is a road map of surviving cancer, giving birth to my son, and many more adventures to come.
- Confidence. The single most attractive characteristic of a woman is confidence. It is radiated through being utterly accepting of who you are. It’s accepting all the flaws and being undeniably happy about them. It’s walking into the room and knowing that you are fabulous regardless of physical appearance.
- Beauty. My definition of beauty is very different than before. I thought being beautiful was the most important asset. No, beautiful is not physical — its the whole package. It’s the kindness that shines out into the world. It’s being a respectable person inside and outside.
- Love. I learned about love — being with someone does not equal losing yourself to them. It’s being an individual and growing together. Sometimes love ends — and sometimes it’ll last for a lifetime. But the most important love is the one you have with yourself. Be kind to yourself.
- Education. Damn you loans. Damn you.
- Passion. Understanding your passions are vital in living an authentic life. What drives and pushes you to keep going? I’ve found my passion and it’s something that I cherish every day.
- Mediocrity. I LOVE this one. I’m so damn mediocre at life sometimes and THAT’S OKAY. Here is the thing, your going to suck at certain things even when you want to be an expert. You’re going to struggle when others have it so easy. Other times you’re going to be mediocre — just okay. Accept it.
- Jealousy. I’ve learned that jealousy doesn’t disappear with age, it just changes it’s appearance. When you’re younger you are jealous of “Becky with the good hair.” (Sidenote: I love that song, Bey). But when you’re older, sometimes jealousy strikes when you least expect it. I’ve learned to embrace the emotion and allow myself to feel it. It’s okay to feel jealous, as long as we don’t act on it.
- Fighting. ENOUGH. In my youth — I was a hot head. Ready to attack whoever disrespected me. Many of us are parents, employees, and ADULTS. The fighting thing is not classy and definitely not something we should be doing in our 30’s.
- Style. I used to say breast is best when picking a wardrobe in my youth. Then I went into different style phases. I’m not talking about when I was a child (I loved my timbs and baggy jeans — sorry, but it was our style back then along with maroon lipstick and hair that stuck to your face with pounds of gel). But I struggled as I got older with being an individual fashionista and respecting my body. I thought sexual attention was something I needed until I LOVED my body. I understand that people think a confident women is comfortable with displaying her sexy figure, but in my experience it’s insecurity. When we seek out validation from strangers with our bodies it’s not confidence — it’s LOOK AT ME PLEASE! I’ve learned that chic, classic, and sophisticated are just as sexy in a more mature way.
- Self-Awareness. By good ol’ 30 you should have some form of self-awareness. It’s the ability to acknowledge certain behaviors and traits that make up who you are. You know what triggers you and you know what makes you happy.
- Friendships. It’s all about genuine friends at this stage. It’s about the friendships that help you THRIVE as an adult and not hinder your growth. I’ve lost many friends for an array of reasons and those that are by my side now are who I will cherish for the rest of my life.
- Toxic Anything. Toxic relationships, friendships, family, employment are all things we deal with in our twenties. Okay, let’s be honest — we deal with them in our 30’s, too. But at this age, we KNOW they are toxic and its within our right to let them go.
- Children. I have a 1 year old son. I LOVE him beyond words and would go through the endless pains of labor again and again. At 30 — you own your rights to your fertility. Your choice. Your decision. Some people do not want children — EVER and that is perfectly okay. Some want only one little person to raise and THAT’S okay, too. And some are struggling to have a child and that’s the reality. At this age, fertility and our decisions are OURS only. This is a huge life lesson, fellow 30 year old’s.
- Health. At this point in the game, we get smacked in the face with the fact that our body is ever so slightly changing. Frankly, I still think I’m fabulous and can outshine a 20 year old in a heartbeat. But lets be honest here, anti-wrinkle cream and remembering our moisturizer is a must. We realize that drinking water is top priority and it’s time to decrease those habits that cause us to age. ::sigh::
- Tres Chic. I wouldn’t say this falls under the style category because CHIC is a way of life. Chic is the overall person and her ability to be CONFIDENT. It’s taking care of yourself and your body along with some very sexy shoes. It’s having a positive attitude and loving yourself even when you have adult acne. It’s putting on real clothes and not yoga pants to go out. (Do not roll those eyes, I practice yoga and trust me — yoga pants are meant only for yoga). Check out my IG if you don’t believe me (monicaymateo_thememoirsit)
- Single. If you’re single and in your 30’s do not panic. I repeat — do not panic. There’s no race to Mr. Right. Society will make you feel that way, but an aware 30 year old knows that rushing into an unhealthy relationship is not wise. Be as selective as you are in a shoe store.
- Taken. I’m engaged — we have a son together. All is right in the world — I’m in love. But I know that I LOVE me too. We value each other and we value our own individuality. So if your taken, understand that you’re also an individual. I know many people who change their lives for a man or vice versa.
- Serenity. At 30, you understand the concept of serenity — being calm and finding peace. I’m not saying you are serene all of the time, but you understand what it means. You understand that being at peace with yourself is more important than beating yourself up. You are no longer your worst enemy.
- HAPPINESS. You realize at 30 that happiness is not out there hiding in a person, job, or different country. Happiness has been within us all along — waiting for us to realize it. We have the power to be happy NOW. Not when we lose weight, not when we finally finish that project. Not when we finally find the one. Happiness is independent of external factors and is solely based on our own internal motivation to be happy.
Find me on IG: monicaymateo_thememoirist
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