For years, I’ve imagined what turning 30 would look like.
I envisioned a woman who had completely found herself and who had it all together. I saw 30 as this magical moment of rebirth while shedding the skin of everything I’ve never wanted to be.
While there is absolutely a sense of deeper meaning to this coming of age, here I was contributing to a dialogue that instils pressure within this fabricated milestone.
The truth is that 30 does have meaning, and that is whatever meaning you choose to give it.
This year on my 30th birthday I’ve chosen a celebration of abundance, gratitude, and of self-worth.
Life may not be picture perfect but it doesn’t have to be in order to reap the rewards that come from overcoming adversity, facing change with an open heart, and letting go of empty expectations.
Meaning isn’t born in the highs and lows; it’s sparked in all the moments in between when we pause, reflect, and extract the lessons learned. True meaning is made when we put those lessons into action and honor their purpose in defining us as beautiful everyday warriors.
Here are 30 of the most meaningful lessons I’ve gained in my 30 years:
LOVE & MARRIAGE
1. Love comes when you set the intention, and then let it go.
2. When you hold on to old lovers, you don’t allow the space for new love to come through.
3. Marriage is not an end goal; it’s actually the beginning of even deeper work.
4. Marriage requires work and effort both as individuals and as partners. When you don’t do the work, problems arise. In the end you always have the opportunity to come out stronger in spite of the fights and the differences.
5. The greatest form of empowerment is knowing that even if the relationship ends, you will be okay.
6. You have to be bold enough to listen to your inner voice. Over and over and over again.
7. You cannot be who you are when you hold on to pieces of who you are not.
8. With every choice in the right direction, you evolve right then and there.
9. More than ever we live in a society that takes away from our self-assurance because of the value put on the external. Anchor yourself in what’s actually real ― your heart, your soul, your mind, your light, the way you treat people, and the energy you give to yourself.
10. Being yourself ― all of yourself ― is the only way to ensure a life lived with complete fulfillment.
11. All physical change begins internally.
12. Your healthy lifestyle should bring out enjoyment ― not restriction or excess.
13. Balance works when you couple healthy choices with the things that might not be so healthy but that do bring you joy for you must nourish the body, mind, and soul.
14. If you’ve mastered a healthy body but not a healthy mind, you haven’t mastered health at all.
15. Health is an ever evolving journey and not something to be mastered.
16. Life doesn’t work as a linear cycle; it’s a series of highs and lows that are intertwined, irregular, and often unpredictable.
17. You will get tested in ways that can strip you away of who you are, rob you of your joys, break you completely down ― and yet there is always the possibility to get back up again, stronger than before.
18. Sometimes we just want to feel bad and not have some positive ideology pushed our way.
19. Your humanity is the most beautiful thing.
20. The hardships you endure are there to free you from yourself. The sooner you accept them, the sooner you will move forward with a fierce newfound freedom.
21. Happiness is simple.
22. It’s not an achievement. It is a state-of-being, perception, and an active choice. You’re not always going to feel it and that’s okay too. Always honor where you are at but know that you have the power to change it.
23. JOMO, the joy of missing out. There is much to be said about living a simple life with clear focus based on meaningful values. Slow down, be present, and be good to yourself.
24. Happiness is cultivated from an internal desire to live a life where you are connected to the right things and disconnected from the rest.
25. Ultimately, to be happy you must surround the darkness with your own light.
26. Your family is everything. Yes, there’s a good chance there’s some dysfunction or imperfection within your family, but there is a tremendous amount of beauty and meaning within those complexities. Whatever the quirks or troubles, embrace your family.
27. As a woman your girlfriends are your most divine source of grounding. When you have amazing ones they will be your support system through thick and thin. When you find them, hold on to them.
28. Abundance and greed are two very antagonistic forces. The only way to bring more into your life is by letting go and giving more freely. Greed in the long term closes more doors. Stay in abundance and generosity even when it’s the harder choice. Generosity breeds abundance.
29. Set goals, reach them, and enjoy the success but never become so hyper focused on the future that you forget to enjoy the ride along the way.
30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Life is meant to be lived and fully experienced. Live, laugh, love.