My birthday was almost 2 weeks ago, which means that I’m now 31! While this isn’t a *big* one to celebrate, it does mean that I’m solidly in my 30’s now, and that seems like a big deal. I’ve heard so many people say that their 30’s are their favorite decade to be in, and I already agree! My 20’s were fun, but the last year was just even more fun and fulfilling and full of growth and I just loved it!! With everything that I did and everything that happened, I tried to be really intentional about taking stock of what was going on and using it to become a better version of myself. Here are some of the things I learned (or re-learned) while I was 30 and hope to bring into this next year of my life, too!
Find things that make you happy and then do those things.
For me last year, there were a lot of things that made me happy! One of those things was travel. I swear, it felt like I went all over the place. I spent time in Texas (obvi), Tennessee, Florida, California (twice!), Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and I loved every second of it!
Another thing that made me happy was just being creative in any way shape or form. This looked like baking, crafting, playing music, painting, and more. I may not be the best at everything I try, and that really used to bug me, but now I just see it as practice and am happy that I got to create something just for me while enjoying the process.
Don’t let silly things bring you down.
Sometimes life gets you down and it’s allowed, like when you don’t the job you were interviewing for or you rear-end someone and have to spend a good chunk of your money buying a new car. But sometimes life gets you down and it’s just silly stuff that you don’t need to worry about! A lot of this for me used to come from comparing myself to others, and this year I don’t know what it was exactly but it just didn’t seem to be an issue anymore. And thank goodness – it’s so much nicer to not deal with that!
Invest in the friendships that matter.
This year had a lot of ups and downs when it came to friendships. There were fun trips, great phone calls, a few hard conversations, making up for lost time with some, and letting go of others. But I spent a lot of time trying to be intentional with the friendships in my life that really matter, both new ones and old ones, and I feel like it really showed. I am so blessed to be able to have people in my life that I’ve known for years and years that I can get deep with, and on the flip side I met some incredible women over the last year and have had a blast getting to know them and call them real and true friends. I seriously can’t wait for this year to invest in these friendships even more!
Always find the silver linings.
It’s not easy in the moment, but there’s usually an upside that can be found in every situation. And sometimes you won’t be able to see it for a while, and that’s ok. Just know that it’s there and you’ll find it eventually. A good example of this is back in March of last year, I applied for a new job. And I wanted that job SO BAD. And I told everybody about this job and just how badly I wanted it. And I was qualified! I was SO qualified! I did all the interviews and made it to the final two candidates, and then I didn’t get the job. And I was a little bit devastated. And a little bit embarrassed (mainly because I told so many people about this great opportunity that I now didn’t get to have!) But months later, I heard that the position I was up for turned out to be not what they originally described and the person who got the job was miserable, and I felt so lucky that I didn’t get stuck in that bad position. And even better, the job that I stayed with got even better and I got to do some really great things because of it! Silver linings!
It’s ok to celebrate yourself.
You don’t have to wait for someone else to celebrate you – just go ahead and do it yourself! Did you totally rock a presentation at work? Tell your friends over a celebratory dinner! Did you meet a goal that you worked really hard for? Awesome – take yourself to see a movie! Have to work on your birthday? Blow up a bunch of balloons and get a cupcake and decorate your hotel room just because you want to! It’s ok!
It’s never too late to learn more about yourself.
2018 was the year I became OBSESSED with the Enneagram. It helped me know myself so much better, it’s actually kind of crazy. What I love about the Enneagram is that it’s not just another personality type test and it doesn’t just tell you how you act, but it goes into the root of WHY you do certain things and how to become a healthier version of yourself. I plan on doing a full Enneagram post as some point soon because I’m still obsessed with it, but in the meantime go read up on it if you don’t already know your number! I’m a 2 with a 1 wing which probably sounds a little bit crazy, but just go with it.
I’m actually really really happy being single.
Which is something I never thought I’d say, but here I am saying it! A friend and I made a pact together last year that we’d spend 6 months being intentionally single and really focusing on other important things, mainly our relationship with God and getting involved at church. Those 6 months showed me so much and I really learned to not just tolerate being single, but to ENJOY it! I definitely still want to be married someday, but I tell you what I’m having a whole heck of a lot of fun in the meantime.
Getting involved is a good thing.
Like I just said, I spent the first part of my 30th year being really intentional and jumping into community. I decided to do this in 2 ways: getting really involved in my home church and finding an organization I cared about to volunteer with. I was going to church already, and I was doing things here and there, but actually diving in and REALLY getting involved changed so much and I can’t believe what a difference a year makes. I joined a bible study and met some of the best women from all stages of life that give the best hugs. I started serving at church and love getting to see friendly faces while doing so. I joined a life group and love getting to encourage them and be encouraged by them. I started volunteering with a professional women’s organization and get so much more out of it than what I put in. Find a way to get involved and I promise you won’t regret it!