I turned 30 last week and, while I have been mostly unfazed by another decade passing me by, I am reminded over and over again of this “milestone”. So, in my reflecting I came up with a few things I have learned in my last decade.
- Things don’t matter, experiences do.
The nice things, the brand names – they all get lost on you as you get older, especially as you have kids. Instead, you will wish that money towards experiences – doing different things and seeing the world. I sit here today telling you that I’d rather have a house with only the necessities, but a mind filled with memories of laughter and love with the ones that I love the most.
- Mental illness is REAL
Struggling with depression and anxiety throughout my twenties really allowed me to see, first hand, how mental illness is treated in this country. It doesn’t feel good, but I am also not ashamed to admit that I battled with mental illness. I won. But I learned that you are treated differently because of it. I learned that people pretend to be sympathetic towards you when you open up, but they are mostly scared of you. Facing mental illness on my own made me more empathetic to those that are currently battling it. I have vowed to treat mental illness the same way I would treat any other illness, whether it is for me, a friend or a stranger. Reach out, help those that need, don’t treat them as other.
- Weddings are fun but have no reflection on the marriage
I’ve went to so many weddings in my twenties its too hard to keep track of. Some of the best parties I went to turned out to be the most miserable marriages, some of which have already ended. We focus too much on having a great party and not enough on the marriage itself. It’s a hard lesson to learn…but once all those guests have gone home and newness wears off – it’s you and your spouse and if you don’t know each other in a way that is different than anything else you’ve experienced in your life, then that party probably wasn’t worth.
- The best thing I have ever been called is “mommy”.
Everyone tries to prepare you for how much your life will change when you have a child of your own. They try to describe the love that engulfs your heart and the different lifestyle you will lead. But none of it can do it justice until you feel it for yourself. As hard as it can be, as overwhelming as parenting can be, there is nothing that compares. My heart has expanded and grown each and every day since my first was born. There are times I don’t how I haven’t been burst with the love that I have for these two little humans that call me “mommy”. They have given me reason, they have given me purpose – but more that that they have allowed me to find my reason and find my purpose.
- Loving yourself is hard, hating yourself is surprisingly harder.
I spent most of my twenties hating who I was. It is no wonder that I was deeply unsatisfied and left wanting more. When I truly found a way to love who I was I found that life was so much easier to live each day. Hating yourself is hard and it takes a lot of effort to look in the mirror every day and find every little thing wrong with you…and then listen as you call yourself more names and point out every little flaw throughout every day of every year. That’s draining. It isn’t life at that point – it’s survival….and life is more that, we are all more than that. Learning that we are imperfect but accepting ourselves makes life a lot easier to live. Happiness is key. Life is too short to be so unhappy.
These are just a few of so many things I find myself feelings these days. I’ve decided to embrace my thirties – a new decade doesn’t mean a new me all around. Just a new decade accepting who I am and what life offers.