Yup, I'm 30 now, but I'm not feeling anxious or sad. I'm feeling better than ever!
When my birthday came I was expecting to feel different. TV and movies have always depicted turning 30 as some doomsday where you life unofficially ends and you stop doing new things, but I didn't feel like that at all. I still felt like my regular self. Ready to learn and experience new things at any time.
A couple of relatives asked me if I felt any different, and at first I said "No", but after giving it some thought, I'd say the answer is yes and no.
Like any birthday, it's hard to pinpoint a real difference from the day prior, but when you look back on the past year since your last birthday it's easy to tell the difference. A lot can happen in a year, and even more can happen in 30.
That's why, in a sense, I feel different. When I look back on my life it seems like I've been all over the place and I've learned countless lessons. Five years ago, I would have never predicted that I would be working full-time as an entrepreneur and sharing my writing and photography for all to see. I also could've never predicted any of the other experiences and changes I've had throughout my life.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my most valuable lessons I've learned so far in the 10,950 days since I officially breathed my first breath, and here they are:
You're going to fuck up. A lot.
Yes, in case you haven't realized it, life is full of mistakes. You're going to fuck up in your life. Actually, you're going to fuck up a majority of the time for the rest of your life, but that's okay. That's what makes life an adventure and a worthwhile experience.
I look at it this way: if you're not making mistakes then you're not taking any chances. Who cares if you fail or things don't go as planned? You took the risk and followed your heart, and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.
You're going to change. A lot.
It's so funny, when you're 20 you think you know everything. Not just about how the world works, but you think you know everything about yourself. You truly believe that you will always have the same interests, hang with the same crowd, and have all the same beliefs. But the only thing in life that stays the same is the constant changing.
Change isn't anything to fear, either. It should be embraced. I believe changes come at the right time and when you're ready for something new. So instead of fearing the inevitable, look at it as a new adventure, and another story you can tell your friends and family.
Most people come and go
I don't mean for this to sound jaded or negative, I'm just stating a fact. There are so many people you meet when you're younger that you think you're going to have a lifelong bond with. What you don't realize is that you change and they change, and sometimes people just drift a part.
It's not any reason to be sad, though. The real people stick around. The people who are meant to be in your life will always be there, and there won't be any doubts or drama. Just remember, it's about quality not quantity.
It's OK to change your mind
I can't count the number of times I've changed my mind regarding which direction I wanted to take. I've started and stopped so many endeavors, I've often found myself regretting my decisions and wondering if I just stuck it out, whether it be a job, relationship, or even place of residence, I would be happy. But I have to remind myself that I've also accomplished a lot. Most importantly, I've accomplished things that really matter to me.
So let's get this straight right now. You're going to change your mind a lot. Changing your mind is normal. It's okay to pursue something and realize it wasn't for you. How else would you know it wasn't the right fit? Trying new things and failing is the only way you'll find the path that is truly right for you.
Getting older is blessing
I know I'm still young, and at the end of the day I'm still the same person I always was, but now I'm more confident in myself. I'm eager to try new things and take chances. I know myself better now than I ever did before. I know what I want out of life and I know what it takes to get it. Most importantly, I'm willing to put in the work to achieve it.
This mindset didn't happen overnight, though, but only because I went through all the crazy, unpredictable, and irresponsible times of my younger days. If I didn't know what it was like to be a broke, hot ass, immature mess then I don't think I would've gotten the motivation to change my life and really pursue my dream of being an artist and entrepreneur.
I wouldn't want to go back to my old ways, but I'm grateful for all my experiences because they got me to where I am today.
I can say with certainty that I have grown a tremendous amount throughout my life, and in a way I've experienced many different lives in my individual human experience. I've traveled down a million different roads and I'm excited to travel down a million more if I have the chance. I wear my age like a badge of honor, and I will always be happy to see another day, another month, and another year whether or not I'm 30 or 90.
30 years of living has taught me to always be myself and always follow my heart, and to always be grateful for what I have. Nothing lasts forever so I try to appreciate what I have going on right now.
As people, we should be embracing the aging process instead of cursing the fact that we lived to see a wrinkle grace our faces or a grey hair pop out of our heads, we should take being alive as a gift to be treasured. That's the biggest lesson of all!