Today I read an article entitled “Things you should stop doing by the time you’re 30”. I overall thought it was a great list. It got me thinking. Not only do I believe there are certain habits you should have worked out by age 30, there are also mentalities and certain insecurities (for lack of better term). One assumption I made when I was younger is that the older I get the less I would care about what others think of me. It would seem very peculiar to me when I heard older people (women especially) talk about their need to look a certain way in public when “people” can see them. What? I’ve heard grown women talk about how bothered they were by someone who disagreed with them… as if they were ashamed to think what they think or are afraid to appear stupid. Are you not allowed to have an opinion? I’m over here thinking “who cares what they think?”
I guess I have to admit, from the start I’ve been blessed to have grown up with a mom who always encouraged my self-confidence. My sister and I have no problem being who we are and never make apologies for it. I guess our mom wanted us to have the confidence she felt she lacked especially in her younger days. Kendra and I always thought that was strange to hear because my mother is extremely brave and shares what is on her mind. We think she is #fierce! I am grateful for whatever it is that my parents did that availed me to growing up without [an over abundance of] insecurities, self-doubt, or thinking we couldn’t do something we put our mind to. I am not afraid to make desicions that are best for me even if that means doing something a friend of mine or colleague won’t like or understand.
Having that background, I know what you as a reader are likely thinking. How can I judge someone else then if they ARE 30 but still struggle with some things. Well, I didn’t exactly say I was judging people! I said it was strange to me! I’m sometimes confused by it. I believe certain things should be dealt with and conquered 12 years after you have graduated high school – or at least valid continuing attempts. Here was the list I read today of “8 things you should stop doing by the time you turn 30″…
1- depending financially on others
2- staying in a bad relationship
3- not de-stressing enough
4- not prioritizing sleep
5- crash dieting and eating too much junk food
6- binge drinking
7- hanging with toxic friends
8- not doing what you say you’re going to do
Even if this list was assembled by Cosmopolitan and shared on their snapchat story I still find myself emphatically agreeing! Where is the lie? Then again, there are certain things I could still be doing better (ahem, number 4). Still, tonight I find myself wondering. I recently had someone cancel lunch plans with me about an hour or two before we were supposed to meet. This person is an early 20’s girl. I had made time in my very busy schedule for this person and rearranged to make it work. Yet, I remember making similar desicions at that age and being super late to meetings with friends and others. I didn’t realize at the time how rude and inconsiderate it was. However, now I’m understanding things better. I have a better grip on life. I’m not perfect and still make mistakes, but overall I’ve learned some valuable lessons that I don’t think I’ll need to learn again soon (knock on wood). I made a LOT of progress each year of my 20’s. I feel like I’m a very different person now than I was even when I got married [at age 22]. Maybe I am being a little judgmental, everyone is different and has their own strengths. However, I just really don’t see how binge drinking or still hanging with toxic friends or especially staying in bad relationships can be excusable at 30. I know a lot of people carry heavy baggage from their childhood or past that they are still working out. I get that. Many people have gone through serious trials that have prevented them from being their best self in the past. I think of a friend of mine who is 30 and is struggling with PTSD after serving in Iraq. Can I blame them? Of course not. Everyone is different.
I think the people that bother me are those I know really don’t have any “valid excuse”. You know these people? This is why I could never work with college kids or young career age. Send me all the teens! Teenagers have an excuse, they’re still learning! When you are 26 and wondering if you should date a guy everyone knows is bad news… what is your problem? It’s a struggle for me to show certain people grace with that! Does getting older change you? Shouldn’t it? A better way to put this might be the following. It is not only the sole factor of time passing in your life (aging) that gives you a better grip, mindset, or habits… it is how you allow your experiences to shape and teach you. You can be your own teacher.
I was… okay, I am a stubborn person. One thing I did to help myself become a better learner is get a few older women to mentor me. When I’m having trouble learning my lessons (or even completely unaware I’m not learning my lesson), talking it out with my mentors help beyond words can describe. I have three women who are older and wiser with whom I share all with. One is in her 40’s, one is in her 50’s, and one is in her 60’s. Their feedback and advice is so helpful even when sharing a scary truth or something I hate to be wrong about I still covet their opinions. Each have proven to really hear me, listen to me, and know me. Each look out for me and have nothing but my best interest at heart. So, their advice is always spot on. Because there are three of them whenever I hear something from one that I’m still unsure about I can always share it with two other trusted sources. Each of them share my core values and beliefs and when all three are singing the same song to me – I know I gotta listen and follow through!
The other obvious answer is my faith. If you know me than you know I believe in God, love Jesus, and experience a relationship with Him that is life changing. If you’re a skeptic or have never heard from God yourself before and don’t believe – we can still be friends I hope. For me, God is the surest and realest part of my life. The wisdom and knowledge I receive from Him – the LOVE and acceptance that I receive – is better than any human wisdom or support. Jesus is the most consistent person in my life. The love, peace, understanding, and wisdom I receive from Him is beyond anything I could have hoped for. If you’re wondering about God email me today at Learnin2breathe.firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m willing to talk to anyone in a judgement-free and safe context. I can try by best to answer any questions you might have.
Overall, hey you – yeah you in your 20’s. Be your best self. Work towards your goals. Don’t be that lazy and immature human at 30. You can make it. You can heal. You can progress. I promise! And I’ll try to have more patience and understanding as well 🙂 Maybe I can even help you like my mentors have helped me.
“Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art” Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
“A man who views the world the same way at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life” Muhammed Ali
“…suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:3-8