As I approach 30 I can't help but think of the movie "13 going on 30". While my life isn't completely like Jenna's from the movie I can still relate to somethings. It seems like yesterday I was constantly watching it and 30 for me seemed so far away. Now, it's here. I will never be in my twenties again and as I hit this new milestone I can't help but reminisce over the last 10 years or even before that when I was 13.
"Wait, listen to me I'm 13!!!
Jenna, if your going to start lying about your age I'd go with 27" -
My twenties were a whirlwind. While that decade was amazing it had its learning curves. In a nutshell, it was exciting, happy, wonderful, sad and hard. The most amazing part was becoming a wife and mother. My hearts desire. The feeling of joy is un-explainable. Since my twenties were truly about learning and soul searching to the person I'm meant to be, those two things truly changed me and opened my eyes to a whole new world. The love for my girls; the love for my husband can't merely be put into the "right" words to explain it. My girls and my husband continue to teach me so much.
I look back on my life and can't believe that yes, I'm now (really) a walking talking adult. The "terrible two's" known as the twenties have passed and there are so many great things ahead. I've read several articles on becoming 30. Some apply to me and some don't so I thought I would take what does apply to my life from those articles and share here.
"Well Jenna, I know I've made a lot of mistakes but I don't regret making any of them". How come? Because if I hadn't had made them, I wouldn't have learned to make things right."
I am also happy to have learned what I have. From 13 until now. It's molded me, it's bettered me. I want to teach my girls what I know so they will be prepared for when they turn 13 and someday 30.
Here's what I know now:
1. Money will NEVER solve your real problems
Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems. There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.
Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.
2. You can’t please everyone
“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.
You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside. Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.
3. Your health is your most valuable asset
Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth. We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to. Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now or you’ll regret it later on.
4. Perspective is a beautiful thing
Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing. The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.
5. Don’t take anything for granted
We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow. When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not. Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.
This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.
6. You will figure out who YOU really are and why you have gone through so much. You will reflect on your life and find it easier to claim your own path outside of the wishes of your parents, counselors or coaches. You will realize the difference between a mistake, a whim and a calling.
7. You will see the world differently and embrace things that you would have run away from in your 20s. You will feel a higher sense of well-being, creativity and self-awareness as your experiences widen. I'm talking about values, experiences, goals and opinions that will (*gasp*) change. You will be very surprised by you.
8. You will figure out how to align who you truly are on the inside with what you are doing on the outside. You will figure out how to start accepting your limitations and your talents. You move toward making peace with the human experience and focus in on why you are truly here. You will accept your previous struggles as life lessons and gain a greater sense of life purpose. Amen. It's part of the beautiful game of life. Now play ball.
9. While the friends I had when I was younger were undoubtedly exciting (Britney Spears dance parties, hours of gossip, and sharing closets), I consider those who have stuck around for me into my thirties (old and new), my family.
. "You don't loose friends as you get older, you find out who the real ones are".
10. Forgive and forget – We need to let things go!
As humans we are far from perfect.
Be wise and go beyond people’s imperfections. Free your mind and soul by forgiving and forgetting. You don’t have to carry that heavy burden of anger and hatred.
"Jenna: I'll have a Pina Colada, not virgin. Wanna see my ID? Totally have it!"
Yes, getting carded will always make you feel good when your approaching or over 30 ;)
"Your life is just beginning in your 30’s"
Oprah at age 32 started on a small, failing morning show. But only months later, the show’s success was through the roof and renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
"Who are these women? Does anyone know? I don't recognize any of them. I want to see my best friend's big sister, the girls from the soccer team, my next door neighbor, real women who are smart and pretty and happy to be who they are. These are the women to look up to. Let's put life back into the magazine. And fun and laughter and silliness. I think we all - I think all of us - want to feel something that we've forgotten or turned our backs on because maybe we didn't realize how much we were leaving behind. We need to remember what used to be good. If we don't, we won't recognize it even if it hits us between the eyes."
I honestly feel like I am in my prime of life and I'm just getting started. I'm learning who I am and what I want. I know not to settle for anything less then the very best. So while I'm sad to see my twenties go. I am ready for my 30's.
"I LOVE THE WOMAN I'M BECOMING BECAUSE I FOUGHT TO BECOME HER"
Celebrated such a beautiful night!! Thankful for all the love put into it for me. It was definitely one to remember ;) <3