Facing down the big 3-0 (or 4-0 or 8-0)
or any milestone birthday can be understandably scary. There’s something about realising you’re on the brink of a whole new decade to make you rethink, well, everything. The power of the milestone birthday. It reminds you that you are not here for ever, that if you have things to do, you had better do them now. And the older you get, the more strongly the message comes through: no one is stopping you apart from yourself. And wouldn’t it be good to stop stopping yourself before you get to another milestone birthday? So here’s our tips…oh, and never, ever complain about being 30 to anyone older than you. They will laugh in your face. And rightly so.
Before your next birthday…
1. Learn to like yourself the way you are. This doesn’t mean you can’t work on the things about you that you want to change, it just means you aren’t changing yourself out of self-hatred. Take care of yourself because you love yourself. It is the kindest thing to do for your heart and your head.
2. Come to know who you are without the worry of other people’s opinions. People will tell you that you are not skinny enough, pretty enough, or that you don’t make enough money, or that you belong in some other career. Figure out who you are for yourself. Let go of worrying about everyone else’s opinions of your life. When writing the story of your life, don’t let someone else hold the pen.
3. Learn to accept rejection gracefully. Whether it’s asking someone on a first date or sending in that manuscript, rejection sucks. When that happens, acknowledge the loss, but move on. Don’t spend your energy regretting anything, it is these life lessons that make you a stronger person.
4. Quit expecting opportunity to land on your front door. The perfect boyfriend or job opportunity won’t show up on your doorstep like an uber. You can’t just sit at home and wonder why it isn’t happening for you. If you’re not hustling, then you’re not close enough to reaching your goal.
5. Learn to let go of yesterday. Don’t let yesterday steal your present. Don’t judge yourself by your past; you don’t live there anymore. Let go, grow, and move forward.
6. Realise how short life is. Life is short. Do the things you want to do. Let go of what isn’t helping your soul smile and grow. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. Follow a path that moves you.
7. Realise how long life is. Don’t worry when things out of your control haven’t happened. You can still fall in love and get married. You can still pursue your dreams. There’s no time-line or time-limit, so figure out what you want to do and then go for it. Let go of feeling like you aren’t making progress fast enough. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
8. Live somewhere completely different from where you grew up. At least for a little while, get away from the comfort of the familiar and your family and friends.
9. Take the time to act like a child. Remember stretching out your arms wide and spinning in circles until you were dizzy, just for the hell of it? Or rolling down soft hills of green grass? Or eating a dripping ice cream cone on a hot summer day? Or catching crickets with your bare hands? Don’t lose that. Those experiences make life magical. Let it all go. Take the time to just be a kid.