What could possibly happen in 10 years? I never thought about it before. I could tell that 10 years ago from now is not the year where I want to remember. Starting my twenties with grief, I ended up passing these past decades once again. I will turn thirty soon (or already when this post comes up), a number which surprisingly excites me more. Instead of worrying about “getting old” or “being sad that I’m older”, I just can’t stop feeling hopeful and be ready for the next decade that lay before me. Besides that, I could say that there were so many things that happened during those ten years which made me learn a great deal and I think sharing it won’t cause any harm. So, here is my “30 things I learnt before turning 30” list:
- People are there for reasons and seasons. I could tell that everyone who came to our life, all came with a reason. Either to keep us company, or to teach us some lessons. You have to admit that not everyone who comes will stay. I have friends who stay for a year or some period of time. We were so close but fell apart as the time went by, but I still appreciated the time we had before and I’m so grateful for their existence in my life.
- Happiness is not a purpose, it’s a state of mind. I used to think that my purpose was to find happiness. Five years ago, I thought all I needed was to find my happiness. Little that I know, happiness could be there anytime, so does sadness. For me, it’s a state of mind. As I can’t always be happy, I also can’t always be sad
- Be comfortable in your own companion. Be comfortable with yourself. You might not always have anyone around you and if you are comfortable being alone by yourself, that’d be great. Have a date with yourself, talk to yourself, hug yourself.
- Respect yourself, know yourself, and love yourself. When you respect yourself, you won’t let anyone disrespect you. Know yourself, what your inner child carries, love yourself for what you are. Loving ourselves will be a long journey full of ups and downs and that’s okay.
- If you have time, spend more time with your family. If you think you still have a lot of time, maybe you don’t. As I wrote in the beginning, I started my twenties with grief. I kept thinking “what if”. What if my father is still there? What if I come home twice in a month while I was in college? This year, I kept thinking that I missed my father’s voice. And seeing my mom now makes me wonder, when did her hair become that white? When did the wrinkle on her skin look clearer? If you have time, please give more to your parents, sister, or brother.
- Find joy in little things. These past two years, I admitted that finding joy in little things changed my perspective of life. Either it’s a pretty sunrise when I’m off to work or a fluffy cloud in the sky. Romanticise your life, they said. Slowing down a bit and finding joy in little things just made my day so much bearable.
- You don’t have to be okay all the time. I learnt to accept my emotions. I couldn’t be okay all the time even though I try to act as if I’m fine. I learnt that I should embrace my miserable time, but don’t ever be consumed by it. Life isn’t supposed to be a flat fine line (as it will bore you definitely). Life is a limitless curve that I need to acknowledge and most of the time, I still have a hard time embracing my miserable phase too.
- The world doesn’t revolve around you. Sometimes, we thought about too many what-ifs. What if people judge my fashion taste, what if they think that my way is wrong, and many more. The truth is no one would notice it that much. The self-centered bias sometimes made us fixated more to the mistakes we made and that is definitely giving more pressure. This is one of the things I’m working on as well (and I swear sometimes it’s hard to not worry about what others think about me).
- Give your dream a time. It’s okay to wait a little. I wrote “publishing a novel” in my new year for 3 or 4 cumulative years, and finally achieved it after those 4 years of waiting (and giving effort). I used to be sad because I couldn’t go to the college I wanted after graduating high school, I couldn’t get my bachelor degree like my other friends in high school, but after several years, I got it too. Don’t stop believing, keep on dreaming, manifesting, and making effort. It’s okay to wait a little.
- Don’t let social media control you. In this era, social media is the easiest thing that will overwhelm me. I can say I love social media, I love writing my thoughts and I hope to inspire people, that’s why I chose social media to do it. But sometimes, scrolling them made me compare things. Keep thinking that what you see on social media is not a whole picture of someone’s life. a 15 seconds story in Instagram is not even 1% from a day. Keep in mind, who wants to share their sadness to the public, that’s why you will mostly see happy moments on social media. If those happy moments of others didn’t make you happy and overwhelmed you, you are free to handle it. You are in control of it. Take your time off your social media for a while if needed or you can use the mute, block, or unfollow button if needed. You are the one in control of what you consume, you choose what fits for you and what resonates. Don’t make it otherwise.
- Do not care what people think about you. Even when you are being kind or doing nothing, people will talk about you. It might be because they’re jealous, projecting their own insecurities (being sad or unhappy with their own life), or just simply hate you. Haters gonna hate, baby. You do you.
- Your work or job is not everything. It’s not like you don’t need to do your best at work. I always tried to do the best at work but it’s not your everything. All I can say from my 7-4 work days is there’s nothing such a finished job. If you finished one thing, there would be another task coming. It’s endless. Don’t let your work take all your time so you don’t have enough time to spend with your loved ones, enough time to enjoy your life, and don’t let your work make you suffer. Do your work with a safety mind, thinking that you do this to support your life. If something happened to you, your workplace could easily replace you but your family couldn’t. So, do your best and work smart.
- Appreciate people who are there for you. As you need to know that not all people are meant to be your person, you need to know how to appreciate people who are there for you. Those who support you, feel happy with your happiness, listen to you wholeheartedly, and other traits that show you their love. It doesn’t matter how many people, it’s how they choose to be beside you that matters.
- Be conscious about your finances. Save your money, spend consciously. I’m still having a hard time on this but I’ve tried.
- Let go of what you cannot change or control. This one piggy-backs off number 11. What you can’t control, you have to let it be and let it go. The seasons, the weather, others opinion; you should let it be. The more you grasp on things you can’t control, the more you’ll suffer. Instead, focus on what you can control; your thoughts, your actions, your response to something.
- Know how to deal with your stress. Stress is inevitable. All you should do is know how you handle your stress. Meditating, taking an afternoon stroll around the neighbourhood, taking a long shower, eating your favourite spicy food, and many other things that fit you.
- Most of the time, what you’re worrying about will not happen. Human brain’s natural tendency is to respond to negative things more than positive ones. Sometimes, things that you’re worrying about will not happen. Don’t let yourself drown in your worry.
- Travel as much as you want (but still consciously). Put your money aside for travelling. You can learn another culture while travelling, make some friends, know how big the world is, and experience as much as you want. And once in a lifetime, try solo travelling.
- Learn to be genuinely happy for other people’s happiness. I can say this is a hard skill to obtain. Everyone deserves happiness and that’s okay to be happy with others happiness without comparing it with ours. Don’t become a party pooper, learn to genuinely be happy for people’s happiness, no jealousy and just empathy.
- Do not listen to all the voices around you. Be careful of listening to voices around you. Some voices might really help you build yourself, while some other voices might not. Not everyone is good with small talk, so sometimes they throw something on their mind just to get your attention. Be attentive to what you listen, filter it yourself, and decide what to take (and also what to throw).
- The past is the past. You can’t change the past, as well as the future. Regretting the past and worrying about the future are the same stumbling block for you. Don’t let your bad experience in the past make you less worthy. I experienced that before and now realising that past doesn’t make me unworthy. There are lessons learned and I grow through it.
- Small progress is progress. Don’t blame yourself too much. Appreciate every little thing you’ve achieved. You might not see it, but maybe you’ve been taking a little baby step one day at a time.
- Communication is the key. Understanding the importance of communication and willingness to communicate effectively are included. If you want something from someone, tell them. This is my long due task since I’m still learning about this too.
- Apologise if you made a mistake and learn from that mistake. Everyone makes mistakes and if you do, apologise. Learning from that mistake to not repeat it again in the future. Learn from it but don’t let the guilt gnaw you from within. Life goes on and don’t trap yourself in a box of regret.
- Be confident. This is what I’ve been working on these past years. I often feel insecure about myself, whether it is at work, while doing presentations, etc. My best friend told me that my problem is lack of confidence. When you’re confident, everything just seems so much better. What you wear, how you talk, how you walk, do it all with your confidence. If you’re struggling with it, at least fake it till you make it.
- Be grateful for what you have, then you won’t have any place for jealousy. This point gets along with point 19 before. When you are grateful for what you have, you know exactly what makes you happy. That way, you won’t be jealous of anyone’s achievement. Everyone’s joy and happiness are just different for each person. When you find the things that brought you joy, you won’t seek it in other people’s perspective.
- Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and move your body. I really regret a lot that I didn’t eat much veggies from when I was a kid. Also, I learnt that being hydrated is really important for human beings. One more thing is to move my body. I stayed inside my room for quite a long time, and it was not good. If your mind is full of bad thoughts, being outside, looking at the greenery could refresh your mind. See the green, listen to the bird chirping on Sunday morning, smell the grass. Your body will feel lighter and fresh if you do it. I’m actually regretting not doing this sooner. Remember that a healthy body could bring you more joy.
- The hardest step is beginning, and the next is consistency. After reading no. 17–about worrying—you will realise that worry will stop you taking the first step. The first step is always the hardest, but your every ‘one day’ will always begin at day one. For myself, I found that the next step is actually harder. Consistency. If you already started, how to keep going and how you could reach the finish line is the hardest. But you need it anyway.
- There’s always something you could see from people. I always believe that there’s always two sides of a coin. Just as yin and yang, people always have two sides; the positive traits or negative traits, the good or the bad, the black or white, anything you named it. But there’s always something you could see and learn from them, either it’s the positive you could appreciate or make you feel motivated, or the bad which taught you lessons not to be.
- I still need to figure it out. The finale. I thought being thirty means I will have all things figured out. Turns out, there’s too many things I don’t know. I’m still not an expert in life, I feel like a lost soul sometimes too. I wish now I knew how to do with my life, but I think I couldn’t find all the answers at once. Turns out, life is a lifelong journey, lifelong learning, and I’ll always find something new to learn, to experience, and to understand. I think it’s totally okay to say that I, too, still need to figure all this out.
The experience of turning 30 might be different for everyone. Just remember that your experience is as worthy as other’s. You are not in a competition with anyone else, so just live your life fully and appreciate every achievement you’ve achieved. You do you and be content with what is inside your life. You are in your own right time.
Thank you so much for reading and feel free to share with your friends who may be turning 30 soon too!
May 22, 2023